The Camp Pendleton Animal Shelter opened to Marine volunteers from the Single Marine Program to help cultivate the landscape around the shelter and interact with the animals, Aug. 21.
Volunteers are an essential element in the animals’ well-being. Experienced volunteers train the animals, by rewarding good behavior, to prep the pets for adoption.
“The volunteers train and play with the animals, ensuring they’re given the best chance to get adopted,” said Cedrissa E. Austin, an animal caretaker and volunteer coordinator for the Camp Pendleton Animal Shelter. “We really rely on the volunteers for the quality time that the animals need.”
The volunteers began with a brief on what tasks they would be performing throughout the day, followed by more than two hours of hard work. Some of the tasks included cutting weeds, pulling crab-grass, removing debris and much more.
“Today our volunteers are helping with ‘beautification,’” Austin explained. “This ranged from landscaping, gardening, removing excess brush and ensuring the chicken wire is intact so rattle snakes don’t get into the enclosures.”
After a job well-done, the SMP volunteers were given the opportunity to spend time playing with the animals.
“Service members, families or civilians are more than welcome to come adopt, as well as volunteer,” Austin said.
The opportunity to volunteer is available during business hours seven days a week.
According to the Camp Pendleton Animal Shelter Mission Statement, “The shelter is a public service organization responsible for protecting animal owners, non-owners and domestic animals aboard the base. It accomplishes its mission through the vigorous enforcement of base regulations concerning the ownership of domestic animals. The shelter also strives to offer humane education and to control the pet population on the base by enforcing housing regulations in cooperation with the base housing office.”
The shelter protects animals from abuse and neglect, rescues sick or injured animals and places qualified animals in the adoption program.
For more information on the Camp Pendleton Animal Shelter located in the 25-Area, visit building 25132 or call (760) 725-8120. For more information on Camp Pendleton’s Single Marine Program visit, http://www.mccscp.com/smp.