Want a job with no pay, lousy hours and stinky? Jourdan Giron, 21, of Lawndale, Calif., is a shelter volunteer at the Los Angeles SPCA. "I'm just happy being here and I don't want to leave," Giron said (AP photos)
Want a job with no pay, lousy hours and stinky?
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Help Wanted: No pay, hours can be lousy, and sometimes it stinks.

That plea from animal shelters and rescues across the country doesn't sound very appealing. But thousands of volunteers answer the call every day.

"I don't know how we could function without volunteers," said Robin Starr, who is in charge of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Richmond, Virginia.

Jobs include that often smelly cleanup chore. But every facility also needs people to feed, walk, groom, train, play with and show animals. They also need office and other help.

Karen Gammon, 58, donates her art for auctions and the gift store at Starr's shelter. She used a charcoal-smothered canvas and then an eraser to peel away the charcoal.

"One year, the bidding got to $11,000, so she agreed to do two drawings at that price, making $22,000 for the shelter," Starr said.

At Florida's Humane Society of Vero Beach and Indian River County, Cornelia Perez, 72, started volunteering 60 years ago, when she rode her bike to a shack by the railroad tracks and they let her walk the dogs.

She was away for a while, at boarding school, college and an early career, and returned in 1984. She put pails in supermarkets for food donations and coordinated the building campaign for the shelter that replaced the shack. She now volunteers at the state-of-the-art shelter that replaced the building.

Jourdan Giron, who turns 21 this month, signed up in February for eight hours a month at the SPCA in Los Angeles. She already has put in over 325 volunteer hours, well over the 64 promised.

"I'm just happy being here and I don't want to leave," she said.

Usually shy, she is comfortable when talking to customers about animals. Giron does those smelly jobs too. She sees it as a matter of faith.

"I know," she said, "it's because they trust me to go in the kennels."

Critical thinking challenge: Why must shelters depend on volunteers who work for no pay? Why are people willing to work for no pay?

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COMMENTS (197)
  • RM00charlie
    10/01/2014 - 01:02 p.m.

    shelters depend on the extra work for no pay because they need a lot of extra hands to take care of the animals but they don't have enough money o pay for all the extra hands so they use the volunteers

  • TranieceGayden-Pet
    10/01/2014 - 01:13 p.m.

    I think they do this because someone can probably be to old to handle all the stink. and hard work. people are willing to work with no pay because a lot of people in the world are an animal person. like me. and especially for me I love animals. and I would absolutely be willing to work with no pay for an animals. # animal power

  • A.R.S
    10/01/2014 - 01:19 p.m.

    Shelters need the volunteers because there isn't enough to take care of the animals. They have lots of animals and it is a lot of work to do take care of them.

  • JosephBraxton-Pet
    10/01/2014 - 01:28 p.m.

    My question is who would accept a job with no pay and lousy hours? My opinion is i would not accept a job with long and lousy hours with no pay.My connection is on avatar the last air bender the television show this guy named sokka he took a job with this old man. sokka did work long and lousy hours over the sea.

  • JasmineShather-Pet
    10/01/2014 - 01:33 p.m.

    opinion-yes! i would work at animal shelter for no pay because animals are just like people they need to survive .the only thing they have is us to depend on we take them out for walks to go to the bathroom or give them food and water .So i would want to work for them for no pay.

    Connection-i connect with this because i did something for someone or thing that i didst want to do and did not get payed.


    lesson learned :i learned that you should help people and animals.

  • josec103
    10/01/2014 - 01:51 p.m.

    they don't like pay for work. i think they want work for no pay. all work like 4 or 8 years job. at work place like job.

  • 12Tyler-May
    10/01/2014 - 02:26 p.m.

    Shelters do need work, and this one didnt have it before but now they do. People want time with animals, and that is probly why they are willing to wrok at and animal shelter. Either they dont have pets, or they have an allergie or if they have some, we ALL share a love for certain animals.

  • JessieS-Bla
    10/01/2014 - 03:59 p.m.

    I read the article "Want a job with no pay, lousy hours, and stinky?" It was inspiring to read that all these people are giving their time for the animals because there is no pay and you have to wash them, clean up after them, feed them, walk, train and play with them. Before reading this article, I did not know that you needed that many people to work at a shelter. They need more than one person to do things such as feed, groom, clean up after, train, walk, show, and work in the office. The Critical Thinking Question asked: Why must shelters depend on volunteers who work for no pay? Why are people willing to work for no pay? I think they depend on people working for no pay because they need the money for upgrades in the shelter and supplies for the animals. People are willing to work for no pay because they probably love animals and they don't think pay is needed to take care of animals. I wondered how could a painting be worth $11,000?

  • jocelynb1-gru
    10/01/2014 - 05:30 p.m.

    I'm glad that the people mentioned, and not mentioned in the article are volunteering to help out the shelters. Even if they don't get paid, they are just happy doing what they are doing. I like that.

  • EmilyK-2
    10/01/2014 - 06:02 p.m.

    This article is explaining just how much volunteers at animal shelters across the nation help. The article gives a few examples of people who have really just devoted themselves to helping their local animal shelters. These are of course extreme cases, but even people who just volunteer a few times are helping. The reason volunteering at animal shelters is such a kind and greatly appreciated thing is because when you are asked to come in to volunteer it could be sometime in the middle of the night. Another reason is that there is no pay for the volunteers, so they really are just doing for the animals. I really enjoyed reading the people who have volunteered and helped the shelters so much. I loved learning about the devotion and love for animals these people have.

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