Lynchburg Humane Society Offers Service Opportunities for Students
Wagging tails, wet noses and opportunities for Liberty students to get their daily dose of animal serotonin await at the Lynchburg Humane Society (LHS). Many students volunteer at LHS for CSER credit. Students can drive a dog to Starbucks for a puppuccino or attend community events, such as Cat Yoga, to help socialize and have fun with the pets until they are adopted.
Lexi Evans is a student at Liberty and volunteered at the Lynchburg Humane Society to fulfill her CSER credit.
“I chose LHS as my CSER because of my love for dogs,” Evans said. “I’ve worked with dogs in the past as my job, so being able to volunteer and go at my own pace is great.”
The next time a student misses their animals back home or wishes they had a fuzzy friend to de-stress with, they can visit LHS and ask to take an animal on a “Pet-Cation.” This program allows people to go to Starbucks, on a hike or just hang out and play with a dog or cat for the day. Anyone 18 or older can come into LHS and get matched with an animal for the afternoon.
On the last day of each month, eager cat lovers can participate in Cat Yoga from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The class is taught by yoga instructor Lucy Hathaway. Both Pet-Cations and Cat Yoga socialize animals, increasing their likelihood to be adopted.
“One of the big ways that college students can get involved in LHS is by volunteering,” Claire LeFew, the development and communications manager for LHS, said.
LHS is passionate about helping all animals in the community, and one of the biggest issues it has found in Lynchburg is an abundance of stray cats.
“Stray cats are like squirrels or raccoons, who just want to live outside. Even if we brought them off the streets, there aren’t enough homes for all the stray cats that exist,” LeFew said. “One female cat can have up to three litters of kittens from March to October. We’re dealing with the third wave of this summer… right now, so the moms are exhausted, a lot of the kittens are sick and a lot of them are orphaned.”
LHS participates in a “trap, neuter, release program.” Through the Best Friends Animal Society, it partners with locals who capture, fix and release the animals. The cats that have been through this process have the tip of one ear clipped to ensure it isn’t trapped again.
According to its website, “LHS is a 501c3, as well as a No Kill Humane Society, and firmly believes that no healthy or treatable pet should be euthanized.” Last year, the Lynchburg Center for Pets cared for 3,811 pets, and 93% of the pets went to new or existing homes. While animals are waiting to be adopted, there are plenty of ways that students can interact with them.
“I really enjoy the time I get to spend with the dogs there,” Evans said. “Seeing all the little personalities that each of the dogs have really makes the whole experience so much more fun.”
Liberty students can complete CSER with LHS by doing tasks such as laundry, dishes or walking dogs. Students can also get involved by collecting monetary donations or dog or cat food for the community pet pantry within the Humane Society.
“I volunteered (at LHS) because I heard great things about the staff and the overall atmosphere, and I 100% agree,” Evans said.
Anyone interested in volunteering with LHS can find more information at https://lynchburghumane.org/.
Falls is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion
Bear is the feature editor for the Liberty Champion