Behind the scenes at Sarge’s — volunteers are essential

Help the effort — become a Sarge’s volunteer
Jan 10, 2014
Photo by: Michael Ritter photo CRAZY ABOUT CATS AND DOGS — Pictured are members of Sarge’s cat committee, many of who form the backbone of the volunteer work needed to care for the cats and kittens Sarge’s adopts out to loving homes. From left are Linda Sexton, Jean Larsen, Donna Murray, Steve Hewitt, Mary Alice Brotherton, Jean Richards, Nicole Kelly, Connie Hewitt and Nancy Lux.

In yet another banner year in 2013, Sarge's Animal Rescue Foundation made excellent progress on its mission of ending the euthanasia of healthy and adoptable dogs and cats.  While many people in Haywood County appreciate the work Sarge’s does, they may not understand the monumental effort it takes to get the animals ready for adoption.

Several times a week, Sarge’s dog and cat teams go to the Haywood County Animal Shelter to select as many cats and dogs as Sarge’s can find room to house. Sarge’s holds weekly adoptions to help pets find the loving homes they deserve. But there is a great deal of work that goes on between the saving and the adopting.

Sarge’s needs the community’s help in more ways than all-important donations and adoptions — Sarge’s needs volunteers to care for the animals until they are adopted.

Sarge’s needs foster homes to house as many pets as possible.  Animals who stay with a family make a much better adjustment when adopted.

Cat and dog areas at Sarge’s adoption center and PetSmart have to be kept clean on a daily basis.

“This includes cleaning cages, walking dogs, feeding, watering and providing needed medical attention,” said Jean Larsen, head of Sarge’s volunteers. “Volunteers help by taking one or more two-hour shifts per week in the morning or early afternoon. And, volunteers run Sarge’s reception desk from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Thursday. They handle phone calls and visits from people inquiring about adoption.”

Adoption coordinators are at every Saturday adoption event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., helping people meet and adopt the pets. “Sarge’s cannot support its mission without its volunteers,” said Larsen. “And there are so many pets to save that Sarge’s transports them to other states where we have made contact with other no-kill shelters needing pets for their local residents. The transport volunteers who put in long hours on the road are essential to meeting Sarge’s mission.”

There are other needs for volunteers including shelter photography, where Sarge’s make sure each pet has its photo online so it can be noticed and adopted; fundraising and special events; and more.

“The bottom line is that Sarge’s would love for you to be a part of the team dedicated to saving these deserving animals,” said Sarge’s board president, Gary Smith.

Sign up to volunteer today by filling out a volunteer application at: Or call 246-9050 to talk to the Sarge’s volunteers about the good work that they do for the pets of Haywood County.