I first became familiar with Lollypop in college when a friend adopted a cat. It was a few years before I had another run in with the organization. That happened while I was teaching and a humane enforcement officer came to speak with the students. At that point I decided I wanted to volunteer. Being allergic to cats, I opted to volunteer as a dog walker. It was such a wonderful experience.

The dogs at Lollypop quickly learned who was there to get them outside, and they were always so excited to see me as I approached. Other dogs in the same suites would pick up on what was happening and would get more and more excited as I worked my way through the suite. I met so many wonderful animals that surely completed they families into which they were adopted, but the one who sticks in my head the most is Diamond. She has probably passed on by now, but she was incredible. She was a black lab mix puppy, about a year old. Truth be told, I am a sucker for black dogs and black labs in particular. So, I may be a bit biased. Anyway, Diamond would love to go out and play in the fenced area, enjoy the walks around the farm and just love to sit and get treats and pets. Had I not already had a dog at home (who was absolutely wonderful too, but quite a handful), I would have made Diamond part of my family. However, I was lucky enough to see the family who adopted her on their way home with her and told them they had a great dog. I am sure she brought them much love and happiness.

After a while, Lollypop started recruiting volunteers for a new program they were going to offer, Pet Peeves. I was no longer teaching at this point, and could commit more volunteer hours to training and staffing the hotline. So, I applied to be part of the dog help staff. I went through the program and worked the dog hotline for a while. I eventually trained on the cat hotline as well. Unfortunately, due to the birth of my first child, I no longer had the time to commit volunteer hours, and I had to step away. I will always cherish my time as Lollypop volunteer and I hope to come back someday once my children are out of school.

I do hope that Lollypop continues to offer and expand its programming, not just for the animals sake, but for the benefit and enrichment of the community too. Lollypop does an immense amount of good for our area, and it’s comforting to know, after all these years, they’re still there from adoptions, farm care, school age programs, birthday parties, humane enforcement, etc. Lollypop is truly a force in the animal welfare community, and it is my hope that it sticks around for the foreseeable and unforeseeable future.