Correction: Faren Healey’s phone number is 352-262-0199. Please see the corrected language below.
Following up on last week’s special meeting focused on animal welfare, Alachua County Animal Resources and Care (AR&C) reports on recent improvements to its volunteer program.
“We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding as we navigate this unique time,” said shelter supervisor Faren Healey. “We want to assure the community that we are working on programs, strategies and techniques to get us to a manageable population and allow us to resume our consumption of animals.”
“One of the most important steps we are taking is rebuilding the volunteer program,” commented Sarah Gilley, Education, Volunteerism and Outreach (EVO) Coordinator. “We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from our animal-loving community, and we know many of you are eager to get involved. We hear you, we see you and we appreciate you. We are building a structured program that our volunteers and our community will be proud of.”
Volunteer enhancements include:
- Volunteers can now complete and submit their online application forms
- Volunteer orientation and training sessions are scheduled more frequently at various times
- Add volunteer positions and update existing descriptions to offer as many volunteer opportunities as possible in different areas
- Bring back group volunteer opportunities for school clubs, local businesses and organizations
- New guidelines and educational resources for staff, volunteers, host families and the community
- All volunteers will receive training directly from Education, Volunteerism and Outreach (EVO) Coordinator Sarah Gilley
- Personalized training based on the volunteer’s experience and comfort level
- A refresher course with the EVO Coordinator to review changes to the volunteer program.
The AR&C leadership team met with national and local organizations to expand their resources and learn more about successful volunteer engagement. Additionally, they are putting the finishing touches on a volunteer handbook that will be shared after the volunteer orientation is complete and will be readily available on site.