June 5, 2022
The Saved Me Adoption Center held its annual spring cleaning event on Saturday, April 30. Saved Me was started 12 years ago and is a non-profit organization that rescues dogs from high-mortality shelters locally and across the country, housing dogs until they can find someone willing to welcome or adopt them.
“Our mission is to help educate people about the importance of neutering and to try to bring this population under control,” said Saved Me employee Laura Nace. are already here finding a safe and loving home so they can live out the rest of their lives to the best of their abilities.”
Volunteers helped clean the center to prepare it for the warmer seasons. From moving bags of food to wiping down windows or recovering lost toys, the event was a success and a fun way to give back, said volunteer Jillian Raab.
“It was really nice to be there and be able to experience a day at a canine center,” Raab said. “I’ve lived in Philadelphia for almost two years, and I didn’t even know events like this were happening. I’m glad to know about Saved Me and I’m excited to be volunteering again.”
Aside from cleanups, there are still plenty of ways people can volunteer at the shelter. From menial tasks like kong stuffing, laundry, dish cleaning, and food service, to more interactive activities like boardroom playtime, dog walking, and grooming, to maintenance and more general administration, such as painting, general office work and adoption assistance.
“A lot of volunteering is dirty work,” Nace said. “The best way to volunteer is to be open to any task. People understand better what we are doing when they arrive and see us on all fours cleaning up or picking up poop.”
Regular volunteers keep the organization running smoothly, Nace said. Pet owners who have adopted Saved Me often come back to help where they can.
“We have quite a few people who come to the shelter three or four days a week,” Nace said. “Especially recently, we’re seeing a lot of people who were volunteering before COVID-19 and starting to come back.”
Saved Me is a multi-site company, which means it has multiple satellite locations around the city. They partner with 10 of the Doggy Style pet stores that help showcase the dogs available. Each store welcomes one or two Saved Me dogs.
At the headquarters on Federal Street in Point Breeze, there are 40 dogs, and the shelter is at its maximum limit. Although most of the shelter dogs come from high-mortality shelters in southern states like Georgia and South Carolina, Saved Me also receives dogs from local shelters.
By partnering with the ACCT, Saved Me is able to give dogs a second chance to find their forever home, Nace said.
“The more people are aware of what rescue is and what neutering is, the fewer dogs there will be to save,” she said. “Walking, donating and giving a little of your time is very helpful. The more people who know us, the more lives we save.”
When people hear that someone works in an animal shelter, they think it’s all fun and games. In short, this is not the case. Not only is it hard work, but it’s also hard to come home every night knowing that there are 40 dogs that don’t have one.
“It can be very difficult to understand the emotional weight that this takes on someone,” Nace said. “It’s great to see successful adoption stories, but every story you see there are many more that don’t have that success story,” Nace said.
One way to help dogs have their own success stories and help out at the shelter is to encourage them. People can take dogs in for five days, two weeks, or a few months. It’s as simple as opening their home, finding a good K-9 match, and Saved Me will do the rest.
“We provide everything,” Nace said. “From scheduling vet appointments to buying medical supplies, crates, leashes, toys, treats, food, everything. All foster families have to do is donate a place for dogs to go that is not a kennel.”
For volunteers like Raab, connecting with Saved Me through events like this helps deepen their commitment to caring for dogs in need.