Wild animals have always fascinated senior zoology major Lauren
Kloer. So, when she heard about the WildKind program at the Larimer
Humane Society, she jumped at the chance to volunteer.
Now, two years later, Kloer is a paid part-time employee in the
animal behavior department at the humane society, where she trains
animals and works with both wildlife and domestic creatures that
have behavior problems.
Kloer said she loves to show people there are positive ways to
train and work with animals.
“It’s so much fun to be able to work with the owners of the pets
and the animals themselves,” she said. “I find it fun. I love to
The Larimer Humane Society has many volunteer opportunities to
fit all interests. Volunteers can act as kennel assistants, a
position that includes feeding, vaccinations, cage cleaning and
Volunteers can also work with the WildKind program, which
involves the rehabilitation of orphaned or injured wild
“We empower our volunteers to do anything they are interested in
and they can work in any job in our shelter,” said Ellen Taylor,
director of operations at the humane society. “We have volunteers
who never come into the shelter and work on fundraisers, volunteers
who work with wildlife, volunteers who assist in dog-training
classes. We have close to 300 foster homes. Pretty much any job you
want to do, we’ll let you do it as a volunteer.”
In order to become a volunteer, one must first attend a
volunteer information session to learn about the humane society and
the various departments and volunteer opportunities offered. The
next information session will be held Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. at the
Harmony Library, 4616 S. Shields St.
Following the information session, the volunteer is interviewed
by the manager of the department with which he or she is interested
in working. The final step is a training session where the
volunteer learns about the animals he or she will be dealing
Taylor thinks volunteering can be very beneficial for students,
especially those who left pets behind when they came to
“A lot of students are away from home and missing their family
animals. It’s a good opportunity to relieve stress and kind of get
that fur fix that you’re missing out on,” she said.
Ashley Barnes, a junior biology major, volunteers with the
humane society’s WildKind program.
“If you like animals, it’s a good way to spend your time because
it gives you exposure to animals and it gives you a chance to help
animals when they can’t help themselves,” Barnes said. “Seeing
these animals get rehabilitated and get back out there is a very
Both Kloer and Barnes would like to have a career involving
animals and they said their volunteer time at the humane society
has reassured them they have chosen the right job.
“I still want to be a vet, which is one of the main reasons I
started there. It’s made me even more confident that that’s what I
want to do,” Barnes said.
Kloer encourages students to consider volunteering at the humane
society if they are able and advises potential volunteers to make
sure they pick an appropriate department with which to donate their
“I think it’s important for people if they’re interested in
volunteering to really look into the area they’d like to volunteer
in and understand that it’s not all just playing with the animals.
Do your research. Look around, read the volunteer descriptions on
the Web site and find out what you really want to do,” Kloer
To learn how to become a Larimer Humane Society volunteer, visit
the society’s Web site at www.larimerhumane.org for more