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Today's Date: 17 December 2014
Last Updated: 16 December 2014 19:03:48 EST
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Star volunteers at Humane Society

Emily Connor and Alex Strickland, volunteers at the Humane Society, with two puppies that have just been adopted. – PHOTO: NORMA CONNOLLY

 

Whenever Alex Strickland and Emily Connor have any time off, they head straight for the Cayman Islands Humane Society animal shelter, spending hours each day caring for abandoned and homeless cats and dogs. 

Alex, 13, and Emily, 10, are among the youngest volunteers at the shelter and their dedication, initiative and hard work earns them high praise from Humane Society staff and other volunteers. 

“They’re very dedicated volunteers, they’ll do anything. They don’t sit around and wait to be told what to do, you can really depend on them,” said Jason Jairam, manager of the shelter. 

Longtime volunteer Aileen Samuel said: “They’re such committed volunteers. I’m sick and tired of people saying young people never do anything – these two are always helping out and using their own initiative.” 

She recalled a recent dog adoption day at Camana Bay when the pair took it upon themselves to walk around the area and sell the doggie biscuits and Christmas cards on sale at the Humane Society stall. “They sold them all,” Ms Samuel said. 

The Humane Society staff is always looking for volunteers and if they can find more like Emily and Alex, they’ll be more than happy, Mr. Jairam said. 

Both kids are dog lovers and both own labradors – and also share another important attribute, which is important in the shelter that houses scores of animals. “I don’t have a very good sense of smell,” Alex said.  

“Me neither,” Emily said. 

Both say they know the shelter needs help and volunteers and they’re happy to spend their spare time doing anything that needs doing, whether selling dog biscuits, lining kennels with papers or cleaning up after the animals. 

They spend hours each week at the shelter, coming after school, on weekends and on holidays. Alex, who attends Cayman Prep, started working at the Humane Society about a year ago, while Emily, a St. Ignatius student, started helping out this summer. 

Alex’s favourite part of working at the Humane Society is interacting with the people who work at, volunteer and visit the shelter. Emily enjoys the fact that it feels as though she has lots of pets. ”You want to take them all home but you’re not allowed. Here, I can give them care without having to take them home,” she said. 

One part of their volunteer work that they sometimes find hard is getting attached to an animal that is then adopted and they never see the dog or cat again. 

Alex explained that three of his favourite cats at the shelter were adopted recently. “I’m happy that they got adopted but I’m sad because I don’t know who adopted them so I don’t know where to go to visit them,” he said. 

 

To find out more about volunteering at the Humane Society, call 949-1461. 

Both say they know the shelter needs help and volunteers and they’re happy to spend their spare time doing anything that needs doing, whether selling dog biscuits, lining kennels with papers or cleaning up after the animals. 

 
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