SPOKANE, Wash. — For a nonprofit organization like SpokAnimal, volunteers aren’t just appreciated — they’re needed when it comes to finding forever homes for Spokane’s four-legged friends.
When Spokanimal needs some extra help, they turn to the Gonzaga University.
Specifically, the nonprofit reaches out to the student club Man’s Best Friend which includes an e-mail list of more than 200 potential student volunteers.
Headed this year by senior president, Braeden Charboneau, the club offers volunteer hours for club members who spend their time between classes walking dogs, playing with dogs, anything they can to support animals in need of love, affection and eventually a home.
That’s a bit of a tough spot, Charboneau admits: when homesick college students find themselves drawn to a dog they’ll never see again, can’t adopt, whether its due to their schedule, the finances, or any other road block that comes with college life.
"I stress this again and again to my club members,” Charboneau said. “SpokAnimal has such a good turnaround in dogs, which is a good thing in the long run. You just have to embrace the mentality that they’re in a better home, they’re with a loving family, and it’s a good thing. Your one interaction with them made all the difference with them, and it set them on par to be with that family."
But those single interactions can be truly life-changing. Just ask former club President, Reanna Moore-Best, who continues volunteering with SpokAnimal in any way she can.
"It’s just amazing to see, when they sit there, and when you’re not holding them, you can really tell that they really want to be held,” Moore-Best said. “And then when you do hold them, they don’t want to let go, and so it’s just amazing how big of a difference we can make."
The Man’s Best Friend club has also been instrumental in helping SpokAnimal prepare for KREM's Red CarPET event, which airs on KREM 2 News at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.