Community Improvement at the SPCA

For my community improvement, I volunteered at the Fredericksburg SPCA, a local animal shelter. Through the volunteer work, I was able to talk to multiple employees in order to gather information about the services provided, power distribution, and other details about the shelter. For example, I learned that the shelter is a no-kill, independent organization, meaning they receive no funding or regulation from the local government. From my conversations with employees, I also learned that this granted them all of the decision-making power, allowing the shelter to create their own adoption policies, programs, et cetera. However, they also informed me that this meant the SPCA was also responsible for 100% of their own budget, which meant that fundraising and volunteer work were a huge part of the process.

By volunteering, I learned about the wide range of volunteer opportunities that are available. One can work directly with the animals through dog or cat socialization and dog walking, or they can participate in cleaning the facilities, doing laundry, clerical work, and many other jobs. The staff also informed me that they get many volunteers, meaning they have been able to establish strong connections with the community. These connections also play important roles in their fundraising, allowing them to organize with community members and provide many opportunities for them to participate in the events the shelter holds. I learned that they receive many donations, ranging from monetary gifts to cleaning supplies or dog/cat food.

Through this work, I was able to get a sense of how important volunteer work was for this organization, which showed me the distribution of power. Because their budget is limited, the shelter relies heavily on volunteers, creating a cohesive network between the SPCA and the community. The staff explained to me that their organization is different than others in the area, because they are a no-kill shelter and independently run. Because of the strong presence they have in the community, they are able to maintain a high adoption rate, meaning most animals do not remain in the shelter for more than a month or two. This allows them to be a no-kill shelter, since overpopulation is not a huge issue and they receive enough funding from the community to properly care for the animals that come through the shelter. Through this experience, I learned about the importance of non-profit organizations for animals, because as an independent organization, they are able to make their own decisions about the care of the animals. This distinguishes them from other shelters, who are often forced to put animals down if they are there for more than a week. The power in this case is distributed in the hands of the shelter and the community members who participate in the function of the SPCA.

5 thoughts on “Community Improvement at the SPCA

  • December 7, 2015 at 9:22 am

    The fact that you were able to volunteer with the SPCA is really awesome. Not knowing much about this organization, I didn’t know that they were independent from the government and had such a high turnover rate for the animals. I love that the fact that they are so respected in the community means that they are have such a surplus of volunteers.

  • December 7, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I love that you volunteered for the SPCA! That’s where I adopted one of my dogs. I like that you emphasize where they get their funding because I didn’t know that before. And I especially appreciate that you comment on how nonprofits that help animals are important–they really are!

  • December 9, 2015 at 9:53 am

    I thought this was a great idea to do since it is with animals and I feel like nobody relates that to power instantly. When reading, I thought it was interesting that the SPCA hosts other events not just volunteering with the animals, I did not know that! I think it is a good and bad thing that they are in charge of their own budget, I think it gives them the power to do what they want but when they do need money the government cannot really help them. Overall, I thought this was a great research paper to read!

  • December 11, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I enjoyed your presentation. I had no idea that the spca was independent, especially because they are so widely known. One thing we forgot to mention the Fredericksburg food bank also donates pet food and items to the spca. It’s great to see how the community interacts with each other to make a difference.

  • December 11, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I really enjoyed reading about what you did and learning about the Fredericksburg SPCA! I think animals are super important community members! I love how you talked about their strong presence with the community due to the volunteers and how valuable they are to the organization. You did a good job explaining power and how everyone could also help because there are tons of options!

Leave a Reply