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Animal Shelter Is Seeking Senior Citizen Volunteers

The Fairfax County Animal Shelter is looking for people with spare time who’d like to help improve the quality of life for homeless animals here. Currently, the shelter has around 100 volunteers, but it’s trying to double that number by attracting senior citizens to lend a hand.

Walking dogs, greeting shelter visitors and helping with community outreach, animal socialization and the fostering programs are some of the many tasks available to volunteers. The shelter is at 4500 West Ox Road in Fairfax.

“Fairfax County seniors have so much to offer in the way of business, communication and animal care skills and experience,” said Community Outreach Program Manager Kristen Auerbach. “They’re a wealth of information and support for shelter staff and animals.”

Shelter staff members also offer tours for senior groups, plus outreach programs in senior communities and centers. “We’ve found that animals have such a strong impact on the quality of life,” said Auerbach. “Bringing them into senior centers and offering tours of the shelter are great ways to share the incredible animals we have.”

A new adoption program, Pets for Seniors, will be launched later in the month and will offer incentives to senior citizens adopting shelter pets. “Older animals make such wonderful companions,” said shelter Director Tawny Hammond. “They’re usually housebroken and past the stage of destroying personal property by chewing or clawing. They’re looking for a warm and loving home to spend the golden years of their lives.”

A special senior orientation and information session for potential volunteers and foster parents will be held Sunday, March 31, at 2 p.m., followed by a shelter tour for seniors at 3 p.m. For more information regarding shelter tours, volunteering, programs and adoptions or to RSVP for the March 31 events, contact Auerbach at kristen.auerbach@fairfaxcounty.gov or call 703-324-0208.