Lee Hansen is using volunteering at the Winnipeg Humane Society to help determine his future career path.
Lee has been with the WHS for approximately 2.5 years now. He began volunteering in Animal Care, switching to the Clinic about one year ago when his career aspirations were confirmed. “I didn’t start in the clinic right away because I wanted to make sure that I was comfortable around the animals,” he explained. “I figured going to the Clinic right off the start might be too big a step.
“I wanted to see how I’d be around animals in crisis, for example. How would I react to being around animals that were sick or injured. So, Animal Care was a good starting point (in terms of being around the animals) but the Clinic is more geared to what I want to do.”
What does he want to do? Lee will be entering the Animal Health Technician Program at Red River College. “To get into the program you need a certain amount of clinical volunteer hours,” he said, “so I started volunteering at the Humane Society to see if I like the environment.
“I liked it, and once it became clear to me that I wanted to sign up for the program, I asked to switch over to the Clinic so I could accrue the volunteer hours. I’ve passed the hourly requirement a while ago, but I’m enjoying it and it’s very applicable to what I want to do.”
Lee volunteers every Friday, taking care of a variety of duties, including cleaning cages, clipping nails, cleaning up incisions from animals that have come from surgery, stocking inventory, and much more. He says the Clinic staff has helped him learn what to expect when he starts school.
“They’ve been pretty good with me because they know I’m going to be going to school,” he pointed out. “If there’s something I haven’t seen yet, they’ll pull me over so I can watch them do it and learn a bit more. They’ve been quite helpful.”
Lee says the entire Clinic team has been awesome. “They have a fantastic team back there and it goes way beyond the fact that pull me aside to show me things that I can remember when I return to school.”
“They’re fun to work around and they’re crazy efficient. It’s amazing to watch how quickly and efficiently they can get things done. I’ll come in on a Friday morning and they’ll have maybe 10 dogs and 30 cats to spay and neuter that day as well as other surgeries. And it all gets done.”
“My shifts go by very quickly.”
A lifelong love of animals got Lee to the Humane Society in the first place, but he did have some worries about coming over. He usually has two cats, but now he’s got a four-year-old tortoiseshell cat named Sigrid. He had wondered if or when she’d have a playmate, but it hasn’t happened yet. “I was convinced when I started volunteering here that I’d probably walk home with a cat every week and as of yet that hasn’t happened. I’ve been pretty good about not accruing animals.”
Written by: Brian Kozak, Volunteer
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!