A group of volunteers founded the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1894 and are vital to our success today! With the help of volunteers, we can provide care, love and attention to our four (and sometimes two) legged friends until they find their forever homes. The MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) will recognize the work and get to know these special MVP’s in a spotlight each month that includes an article and photo shoot. MVPs will receive a framed photo and gift card as our thanks!
Is there a volunteer you’d like to nominate to be MVP? E-mail us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell us why you think they should be an MVP!
MVP is a volunteer-driven project with articles by Brian Kozak and pictures by Jim Harvey.
MVP: Aaron Frank
Volunteering at the Winnipeg Humane Society is more than a way for Aaron Frank to give of his time. It’s also a chance for the quiet time volunteer and adoption assistant to make new friends each week.
“I love seeing the dogs.” Aaron said. “I’m friends with them. It’s a little strange – they’re friends but I’m glad when they go away. It means they’ve found a new home.“
Aaron explained quiet time lets volunteers bond with the dogs at the shelter. “I go in and first I’ll walk a dog for 15 minutes,” he said. “Then I’ll take the dog back to its room and we sit for another 15 minutes or so. It’s a little different from dog walking in that you’re socializing the dog a little bit more. You help it feel calm a bit more.”
“I was looking for some volunteer work when I started here about four years ago,” he noted. “I thought the Humane Society work would be a good thing. At first it was a bit challenging. Some of the dogs can be a little excited at times but once I got the hang of it and learned how to handle the dogs I started to really enjoy it.”
He started as a cat cuddler but found he preferred working with dogs: “They’re better suited for my personality,” he said.
Growing up with two retrievers in the family might have made Aaron more comfortable with dogs. “They’re very friendly, and great with kids,” he said.
In his four years, Aaron’s seen many dogs with which he’s worked get adopted into good homes, but a recent adoptee brings back fond memories. “I worked a lot with Zeus, a big German shepherd. I’d walk with him and play with him.”
He also enjoys dealing with the other volunteers and the WHS staff. “Everybody’s really nice,” Aaron said. “ Working with them you get to know people a little bit. Cindy and Ann work with Behaviour and it’s really good to have them there. They do really good work for the dogs. In the last year or so they’ve had this more intensive behaviour program and it’s worked really well.”
His hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed from other volunteers and staff. “Aaron comes in on my shift, said Ann Roehl.” “He goes in to each of the dogs’ rooms to clean the windows, inside and out. He goes that extra step by talking with the dogs while he is in there. Aaron is cheerful and friendly and has been very helpful to me.”
“It gives me a sense of purpose to go there. I feel I’m contributing something by going to the Humane Society.”