Have you ever wondered what happens “behind the scenes” at Marin Humane? Well, if you have, you’d discover our Animal Care Department is at the heart of it. And within this department you’ll find a wonderful group of volunteers – the Animal Care Volunteers (ACVs). The ACVs are dedicated to making sure our animals reside in a clean environment, are well fed, and comfortable in their temporary homes.

When you wander through the cat adoption areas you’ll see clean rooms with food, colorful bedding, and happy, playful cats. Next door in the dog adoption area, the dogs have been fed, their runs cleaned, and the dogs laying in comfy beds while they await their forever homes. This is because the Animal Care volunteers start their day at 8am to make sure all the animals are ready for the public by 10am when the shelter opens. Cleaning these animal areas is rigorous physical work but these volunteers are up to the task. It’s been said that being an ACV offers a better workout than going to the gym!

In the Small Companion Animal (SCA) room, the ACVs tend to the needs of the rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, and birds — each presenting a different set of care requirements. The volunteers work hard to make sure the SCAs are also ready for their close-up when potential adopters walk through.

But these are just the areas the public sees. There are many ACVs caring for our stray, feral, or sick animal population in the many rooms that house these animals. This presents a different set of challenges and requires another level of experience.

In addition to the ACVs who care for the animals inside the shelter, there are volunteers who specifically take care of the animals outside the shelter – in our barn. Our barn animals, including chickens, doves, ducks, and sometimes even goats, receive the same high level of care as all the other animals under our roof.

With all the animals and all the cleaning, you can imagine how much laundry is generated every day. The ACVs help with mounds and mounds of laundry under the supervision of Freddie the Feline Supervisor (if you haven’t met Fred, he’s our resident feral).

Back in October, when Marin Humane become a pet evacuation center for those affected by the North Bay Fires, pet evacuees filled our shelter. Many animal care volunteers took on extra shifts and duties. Then, when it came time to turn our shelter back into an adoption center, the ACVs stepped-up to do some deep cleaning to ensure that adoption animals were welcomed back with a pristine environment.

From sun up to sun down, the Animal Care Volunteers work hard in all animal areas of the shelter. While you may not see them, you will certainly see the results of their work. They perform the magic behind the scenes! (Now if we could just teach Freddie how to put soap in the wash…).