SPO's Placement Coordinator reflects on her first year with SafePet Ontario. To contact Chelsey, send her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
"I joined the SafePet team just over a year ago in December 2023 as a part-time contract while on maternity leave with my son, but it has become so much more than a part-time job. It’s a program that I am so passionate about. I’ve recruited friends and family to be fosters, and even taken in a couple (ok, more than a couple...) short-term fosters myself. My preschooler often talks about saving the pets – though she may think SafePet Ontario is more like Paw Patrol than we really are.
We have had a busy year with huge growth in the number of pets in our care. We have also supported dozens of pets in partner Violence Against Women (VAW) shelters and survivors' pets needing vet care in community. The demand for our help is higher than ever, and I’m excited to be working with SafePet in finding new and creative ways to meet it!
SafePet is fortunate to have some of the most dedicated and generous volunteers. Our wonderful fosters go above and beyond – stocking up on items for their foster pets, sending home notes and gifts to families, taking in multiple animals (sometimes from multiple families!) and driving hundreds of kilometers to get our pets to safety. Working with you is motivating and humbling.
My interaction with our clients is all at once heartbreaking and inspiring. Our clients love their pets so dearly. It’s amazing to be able to provide them an option that doesn’t involve surrendering, re-homing, or leaving their pets behind. I reassure every client that the pets very much remain theirs and will come home to them when they are ready. The relief they feel is profound. We allow them to focus on themselves, get to a safe spot, rebuild their lives, and get well. Reuniting pets with their owners is the highlight of this role. Though bittersweet for fosters (they can’t help but get attached to their furry friends!) the whole team gets excited for reunions – our transport volunteers and vet partners love being part of this process!
We have big goals in 2024, and we are expanding our team to achieve them. You will soon see social work and social service work students responding to emails and working on our projects. I’m so excited to have them on board to help us to serve more clients, expand our service areas to more communities, reach more people via social media, expand connections to more vet offices and social service organizations, and grow our volunteer teams.
I cannot wait to see how this program grows and expands next year. Cheers to helping more people and pets in 2024!"
Happy New Year,