Saved Me Adoption Center held their annual spring cleaning event on Saturday, April 30. Saved Me was started 12 years ago and is a nonprofit organization that saves dogs from high kill shelters locally and around the country, hosting dogs until they can find someone willing to foster or adopt them.
“Our mission is to help educate people the importance of spaying and neutering and to try to get that population under control,” Laura Nace, a Saved Me employee, said. “We also strive to get the dogs that are already here to find a safe and loving home so that they can live out the rest of their lives to the best of their ability.”
Volunteers helped clean the center to get it ready for the warmer seasons. From moving bags of food, to wiping windows, and recovering lost toys, the event was a success and a fun way to give back, volunteer Jillian Raab said.
“It was really nice to be there and be able to experience what a day at a dog center is like,” Raab said. “I have been living in Philadelphia for close to two years, and I didn’t even know that events like this are held. I’m glad I know about Saved Me and I’m excited to volunteer again.”
Aside from cleanups, there are still many ways that people can volunteer at the shelter. From menial tasks like Kong stuffing, laundry, dish cleaning and food service, to more interactive activities like meeting room playtime, dog walking and grooming, to more general maintenance and administration, like painting, general office work, and adoption assistance.
“A lot of volunteering is dirty work,” Nace said. “The best way to volunteer is to be open to complete any task. People get a better understanding as to what we do when they come in and see us on our hands and knees cleaning, or scooping poop.”
Regular volunteers keep the organization running smoothly, Nace said. Pet owners who have adopted from Saved Me often come back to help out where they can.
“We have quite a few people who come to the shelter three or four days a week,” Nace said. “Especially recently, we see a lot of people who used to volunteer before COVID-19 who are starting to come back.”
Saved Me is a multi-location company, meaning they have several satellite locations around the city. They partner with 10 of the Doggy Style pet stores who help to showcase the available dogs. Each store hosts one or two dogs from Saved Me.
At the headquarters located on Federal Street in Point Breeze there are 40 dogs, and the shelter is at its maximum limit. Although most of the dogs at the shelter come from high-kill shelters in southern states like Georgia and South Carolina, Saved Me gets dogs from local shelters as well.
By partnering with ACCT, Saved Me is able to give dogs a second chance at finding their forever home, Nace said.
“The more that people are aware of what rescue and what spaying/neutering is, then the less dogs there will be to save,” she said. “Walking, donating, and giving some of your time is very helpful. The more people who know about us the more lives that we get to save.”
When people hear that someone works at an animal shelter, they think it’s all fun and games. In short, it’s not. Not only is it hard work, it’s also hard to go home every night knowing that there are 40 dogs who don’t have one.
“It can be really hard to understand the amount of an emotional toll that it holds on someone,” Nace said. “It’s great when you see successful adoption stories, but every one story that you see there’s many others that don’t have that success story.”
One way to help the dogs have their own success stories and help out at the shelter is fostering. People can foster the dogs for five days, two weeks, or a few months. It’s as simple as opening their home, finding a right K-9 match, and Saved Me will do the rest.
“We provide everything,” Nace said. “From scheduling vet appointments, purchasing medical supplies, crates, leashes, toys, treats, food, everything. All the foster families have to do is give the dogs a place to go that isn’t a kennel.”
For volunteers like Raab, connecting with Saved Me through events like this helps deepen their commitment to caring for dogs in need.
“I’m definitely interested in fostering,” she said. “Dogs are my favorite form of company and I would love to help in anyway possible.”
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