March Volunteer Spotlight: Velvet Brenner
By: Jennie Baxla, Volunteer Coordinator
Velvet Brenner has been volunteering at SICSA for a little over a year, but she’s already made an impact in one special dog’s life. Pretzel was adopted several times from SICSA and returned each time for separation anxiety issues. When Pretzel came back to SICSA, she wasn’t happy to be back in the kennel. She didn’t like being alone or when other dogs would approach her in the kennel. SICSA decided she would do better in a foster home.
This is where Velvet stepped in. When Velvet was contacted to take Pretzel, she was expecting an uncontrollable dog. Pretzel surprised everyone, however, and was nothing like what Velvet had prepared for. Velvet and her family put together a walk and play schedule for Pretzel and never needed it. Pretzel turned out to be a pretty lazy dog when she was in a home, just wanting lots of love and pets.
Velvet and her family loved having Pretzel visit them for so long. They worked with her on her manners and Velvet’s husband, who was previously very afraid of dogs, formed a special bond with Pretzel. They unfortunately couldn’t keep Pretzel because of her relationship with their cats, but it gave Velvet hope that they’d be able to get a dog one day. In fact, Velvet was extremely happy (and a little teary) that Pretzel was adopted, but her cats were ecstatic. SICSA is so grateful to Velvet and her family for taking Pretzel in and giving her a relaxing environment while she waited for her forever family.
Velvet decided to volunteer because she wanted to do something productive with her free time. She learned of SICSA from someone who’d adopted dogs and volunteered at SICSA. He was so full of praise that Velvet had to check it out. She instantly knew it was the right place for her.
She loves the rewarding feeling she gets from helping these homeless animals. She also feels supported at SICSA, and loves getting to hang out with animals, saying that, “nothing warms your heart or puts you in a good mood like seeing an animal that is super excited to see you.” She likes knowing that she’s enriching the animal’s life by giving them exercise or a bit of fun and playtime. Velvet says, “These animals deserve the best life possible, as many come from unhappy situations, and the attention makes a huge impact on them.”
Velvet encourages everyone to volunteer, even those who think it’s too sad, or that they’ll want to take every animal home. Says Velvet,
“There are unhappy moments, but the good always outweighs the bad. There is no downside to volunteering.”
And while it’s true that many volunteers would love to take home every animal, it’s comforting to know that, like Pretzel, every animal will find a great home.
We appreciate everything Velvet has done for SICSA’s animals, and hope she and her family continue to volunteer for many years to come!