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Michael23456

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MORRIS SAFE HOUSE FOUNDATION
September 7, 2011

My wife and I started volunteering at the Morris Safe House about a year ago. In a community that is much beleaguered with financial hardship for its human occupants, the struggle to help our canine friends is nearly Sisyphean. I see stray dogs on a weekly basis, if not daily. We try to take in what we can to find them a proper home, but we are not exactly equipped to keep every dog we find. The Morris Safe House however has been relentless in its endeavor to save, protect, and provide dogs with a temporary home for as long as it takes to find a permanent home. They seek to provide not just "shelter" care, but the quality of care that any good owner can provide. It is not an easy operation to take care of; there are numerous costs, countless trips to the vet, and often times requires personal care that only a mother, or father, could give. This can mean hours of sitting in a kennel with a new, often terrified resident, or another who is recovering from injuries or surgeries to mend the wounds from an abusive, former owner. The Morris Safe House has a wonderful staff of paid full time and volunteer help. I am constantly amazed at the care that is provided by these folks--Carolin and Sydne are amazing. You can see it by the reaction of the dogs, who see their care takers not as strangers, but companions. It is always bitter sweet to see one of the dogs get adopted. Everyone knows that it's important each dog find a good and permanent home, but its always hard to see them go.

The facilities are always kept clean and well ventilated, cool in the summer, warm in the winter. The meals are healthy, tasty, and the treats are generous. The number of volunteers varies from season to season and week to week, but never seems to be lacking. On some days you can see half a dozen volunteers outside walking dogs, playing catch, or just sitting in the shade with their four legged companions. Some of the more nervous dogs (usually from abuse) opt to just stay in their kennels with one of the volunteers--as sometimes cuddling is more needed than sunshine. There is ample space to walk outside on leashes or to go a little crazy in the dog runs. Each dog, unless they come as a pair or litter of puppies, has his or her own indoor/outdoor kennel providing them with shelter from the elements as well as fresh air and sunshine when needed.

Sallie herself I know puts in an extraordinary amount of time at the shelter, making sure not a single dose of medication is skipped, or that a single dog is left lacking attention. This requires early morning as well as late night visits, not to mention weekends spent at the local Pet Smart trying to find permanent homes for the dogs. Funding an organization primarily with donations essentially means you are in a continual state of financial crises. Money and other valuable resources are needed for this organization to stay afloat. It saddens me to think that any dog would have to be turned away or not given the proper amount of care simply because the money and help just wasn't there. I know Sallie would never allow that to happen, but that also creates a tremendous burden to carry. Money and resources that go to this organization will be greatly appreciated and, most importantly, used to save more and more dogs. If I have my facts correct, I believe the Safe House has rescued somewhere around 4,000 dogs over the course of about 4 years. I've been to the City Pound and know that they have no qualms about putting a dog down after only 2 days in. I'm pretty sure that without the Sallie Morris Safe House, those 4,000 or so dogs would either not be here today, or be here in abusive homes of neglect. That means something. Saving these dogs creates a positive culture. Kids that visit develop a sense of empathy and learn that each one of those dogs are precious. Older volunteers are made aware of the extent of abusive behavior and seem to take on a mission to educate the community so that it comes to an end. I can see nothing but positive outcomes from the extended life and even expansion of the Morris Safe House.

Michael Smith
Assistant Professor of American and Texas Government
South Plains College
Levelland, Texas

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

...not sure how to answer this.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

...probably not make any changes.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes: positive, deeply moving.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Sad knowing all the abuse and neglect that go on, happy that the dogs are now safe and well taken care of.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Volunteered to walk dogs, clean kennels, feed dogs, etc.