By: Jennie Baxla, Volunteer Coordinator
John Long is a familiar face to many of the staff members at SICSA. Not only does he help with some of our special events, but he has been regularly coming in to walk dogs every Thursday afternoon for two and a half years. ACTs rely on his help and he always stays until each and every dog has been walked, no matter how long it takes! John always has a smile on his face, whether it’s snowing or it’s 90 degrees outside. He loves coming to SICSA because, as he says, “You can always make new friends, two- and four-legged, at SICSA.”
When John retired, getting and training a dog was the number one thing on his bucket list. He says that volunteering at SICSA gave him the perfect opportunity to find his dog, who he adopted soon after starting his volunteer service at SICSA. Of course, like many volunteers, John is also here because he loves animals, and dogs in particular. Coming to SICSA gave him the opportunity to work with a whole kennel full of dogs.
John continues to volunteer because of the joy it gives him. He says that, although the dogs cannot speak, he knows they enjoy the attention. “I know I enjoy giving them attention,” he continues. He enjoys making sure each dog he walks gets some quality time, and some treats! He loves getting to work with and know each and every dog that walks through SICSA’s doors.
One dog in particular made a deep impression on John. He explains, “The first time I walked into the SICSA dog kennel, there
was a dog named Pilgrim. Pilgrim was new to the kennel and looked so sad that it really touched me. Over the next few weeks, Pilgrim came out of his shell and became a favorite of mine. I was so happy for him when he was adopted into his forever family.” We’re so glad Pilgrim had John looking after him until it was time for him to find a family!
John stays busy in his retirement, regularly attending his grandchildren’s sporting events and concerts. He not only volunteers at SICSA, but also at his church. We’re so lucky to have volunteers like John, who quietly care for the animals here at SICSA, making their stay here as comfortable as possible. Thank you, John, for everything you do for SICSA! We appreciate the time you spend here and your compassion for all of SICSA’s animals.
If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering, please visit our volunteer page for more information!