Animal Resources and Care Volunteer Update

Press release from Alachua County

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – As a follow-up to last week’s special meeting focused on animal welfare, Alachua County Animal Resources and Care (AR&C) is reporting on recent enhancements to its volunteer program.  

“We appreciate the community’s patience and understanding while navigating through this unique time,” said Shelter Supervisor Faren Healey. “We want to assure the community that we are working on programs, strategies, and techniques to lead us to a manageable population and allow us to resume our intake of animals.”

“One of the most important steps we are taking is rebuilding the Volunteer Program,” commented Education, Volunteerism, & Outreach (EVO) Coordinator Sarah Gilley. “We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from our animal-loving community, and we know many of you are eager to get involvedWe hear you; we see you, and we appreciate you. We are building a structured program that our volunteers and community will be proud of.”

Volunteer improvements include:

  • Volunteers can now fill out and submit their application forms online
  • Volunteer orientation and training sessions are being scheduled more frequently at a variety of times
  • Adding volunteer positions and updating existing descriptions to offer as many volunteer opportunities as possible in different areas
  • Bringing back group volunteer opportunities for school clubs, local businesses, and organizations 
  • New education guidelines and resources for staff, volunteers, fosters, and the community
  • All volunteers will receive training directly from the Education, Volunteerism, & Outreach (EVO) Coordinator Sarah Gilley
  • Customized training based on the volunteer’s experience and comfort level
  • A refresher course with the EVO Coordinator to review the changes to the Volunteer Program. 

The AR&C leadership team has been meeting with national and local organizations to expand their resources and learn more about successful volunteer engagement. In addition, they are putting the finishing touches on a volunteer handbook that will be shared after the completion of volunteer orientation and will be readily available on-site.