We believe the world is full of gooderness. And we believe it’s full of people who make it that way. We call them Do-Gooders --people that are committed to making things just a little bit, well, gooder.
We created the Do-Gooder series to share those gooder vibes like we share cheese, which is to say IN ABUNDANCE. (Cheese and gooderness are two things you can never have enough of, and that’s just #facts.)
To kick things off, we’re shining the spotlight on Nancie Newby who turned her soft spot for all the good lil puppers and doggos of the world into life-changing volunteer work. Enjoy, but be warned: you just might need to adopt a pet after reading.
Q: First off, how many volunteer hours are we talking, here? 100 hours? 500 hours?
A: I volunteer over 100 hours per month. This includes on site dog TLC, taking a dog to a local brewery or event for exposure, in addition to posting photos and videos on social media. Recently I drove a husky to Southern California to a rescue group. Road trip!
Q: OK, I’m speaking for both humans *and* dogs here: THANK YOU for what you do! How did you find your way into volunteering at an animal shelter? Was it love at first bark?
A: It was love at first bark for sure! I wanted to get a second dog but my husband suggested we volunteer instead and that was the best decision we ever made! It is like we have 20 dogs to love instead of just one.
Q: What does your time at the shelter look like? Something tells me there’s more to it than snuggles and countless puppy kisses!
A: A shift at the Shelter is never the same. Between getting dogs out to the yard to play or take for a walk there are dog shows to do for potential adopters. Plus calls from staff to help with reunited lost pets with their families.
Q: And just to get this out of the way, poop duty: can you tell us the real deal?
A: I always have a roll of poop bags in my pocket! After you have stepped in “it” in the doggie play yard you learn. It’s Volunteering 101 and my poop duty skills are pretty darn good.
Q: Other than the poop, what part of your work brings you the deepest joy?
A: When I see a Shelter Alum (a dog who has been adopted) out in the public. It could be walking on the cliffs, at a brewery, on a hike or riding in a car with their head sticking out. It fills my heart to see how happy they are now that they have a family.
Q: What are some of the crazier shelter “care” stories that you are proud to have been a part of?
A: When the CZU fire hit in August 2020 hundreds of animals came into the Shelter for safe keeping. We had approximately 50 dogs to take care of until their families could come back for them. They kenneled dogs from the same family together - some kennels had 2 up to 8 dogs depending on the size. It was crazy! I was part of a group of amazing volunteers that came in for 13 straight days!
Q: So many people opt out of volunteering because, LIFE. You have a full-time job and a family! Do you have the time to volunteer, or do you make the time?
A: Everyone has the time to volunteer but you need to MAKE the time to actually do it. It is about wherever your passion lies - for us our passion is the Shelter. I don’t even think of it as volunteering now - it is part of my daily routine - like having that morning cup of coffee.
Q: I’m so in awe of your commitment to our furry friends out there. Who are you inspired by?
A: I am inspired by another Do-Gooder named Tami McConnell - a Shelter staff member. She gives the best care, comfort and love to all the dogs coming into the Shelter. She makes their stay at the Shelter as positive as possible in an otherwise scary environment.
Q: Changing the world can be exhilarating *and* exhausting. When your tank is low, how do you fill it back up?
A: Ironically, listening to true crime podcasts actually relaxes me. You will find me in Henry Cowell State Park walking and listening. Now don’t be jumping out from behind a redwood and scare me!
Q: It’s time to ask one last hard-hitting question. Mac and cheese: main course, or side dish?
A: Main course of course!!!
Q: Can we use the GOODLES headquarters one weekend to do an adoption day? Free Mac & Cheese on us!
Thanks so much for chatting, Nancie! And THANK YOU for all that you do! Keep on spreading those gooder vibes 😉
To learn more about volunteering with an animal shelter in your community, check out https://www.humanesociety.org/volunteer.