Volunteers bring love to needy animals

Submitted to The Banner/Jen Fanning
Jimmy Walters works in the employment program at Delmarva Community Services, Inc., and volunteers to spend time with cats at the Baywater Animal Shelter in Bucktown.

BUCKTOWN – They might not have their permanent home yet, but the furry friends at Baywater Animal Rescue get loads of love from dedicated volunteers who remind them they are not forgotten.
Individuals from the crew at Delmarva Works, a division of Delmarva Community Services, Inc., have been visiting the shelter for about two years to help the animals become socialized, thereby making them more suitable for adoption. Delmarva Works is an employment and day center for adults with developmental disabilities.
But that’s probably just a fancy way of saying the men are there to offer their affection to the cats and dogs, something that has benefits for the volunteers, as well.
“It helps them with their confidence and it relaxes them,” Delmarva Works supervisor Domenick Grande said. “They feel like they are contributing to their community.”
The volunteers are divided into two groups, which attend the shelter Tuesdays and Thursdays, for about an hour and a half each time. Mr. Grande said now that they have been going to the facility for some time, the volunteers have learned enough that they can often help with general tasks at the shelter.
“We look forward to them coming every week,” shelter Executive Director Maureen Curry said. “It’s heart warming to see them so excited to be there.”
The facility is a no-kill shelter for companion animals, many of which come to the site from outside the area.
And now the cats who are staying there anticipate their visitors and all the love they receive. “They know when to expect the guys from DCS,” Ms. Curry said. “They’re part of the family now.”
Animals are assessed for temperament and their health is screened prior to adoption. The shelter also operates a low-cost spay/neuter clinic when funds are available, a food pantry, and provides behavior advice.
The shelter is open Tuesday and Thursday, 1-7 p.m.; Wednesday and Friday, 1-5 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Baywater Animal Rescue is located at 4930 Bucktown Road, Bucktown. Call 410-228-3090, or visit www.baywateranimalrescue.org.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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