We can’t do what we do for homeless animals in Houston without our fantastic volunteers! Meet two of the faces you see frequently at Special Pals – Gill and Sarah.
Gill Snider has been “officially” volunteering with Special Pals since the beginning of 2018. Before that, she would check in every now and then to see if we needed things like towels, blankets, and sheets. She would also help clean the kennels and run a load of laundry or two.
As she became more comfortable, she was trained to handle the front desk responsibilities, including answering the phone, responding to emails, and scheduling surgeries and boarding appointments. She also comes in on Sundays for the weekly dog walk to give the pups some love while they get out of their kennels and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
Gill has two dogs of her own, both seniors. Bambi, a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix was rescued from wandering the streets near I-10 and TC Jester. Michael, a good old-fashioned mutt, was actually her neighbor’s dog. But he kept digging under the fence into her backyard. She sent him back several times but it was obvious he was lonely and needed someone to love him. So one day, she decided to let him stay and he’s been hers ever since.
When asked why volunteering at Special Pals is so important to her, Gill said, “I recently retired after 30 years in the oil industry. It’s been a real adjustment. The first year was okay but after that got bored. I found Special Pals and fell in love. Now I feel like I have a purpose and am able to give a voice of the voiceless.”
Sarah Poudrier began volunteering with Special Pals around February 2018. Along with Gill, she handles the front desk area by answering phones, meeting and greeting customers, preparing surgery paperwork, and other general administrative tasks. Her favorite part of the job is meeting customers when they come in and
interacting with the small dogs that come through the lobby.
While she loves all of the animals at the shelter, she is partial to the small dogs and kittens. Queenie also holds a special place in her heart. Her own pack includes three dogs: two Japanese Chin mixes named Rigz (9) and Tukr (8) and a Pekingese named Haley (18).
Not new to giving back to the community, Sarah has also shared her time and talents by volunteering with the National Fish and Wildlife Service at Trinity River. “Now that I’m retired, I want to leave a good footprint,” said Sarah. “I’ve had dogs my entire life and I have a passion for shelter dogs. A dog’s love is consistent with no
Learn more about becoming a Special Pals volunteer like Gill and Sarah by clicking here. We are always looking for dedicated volunteers to be helping hands around the shelter!