By Sarah Roehrich
Most students are encouraged to volunteer. While some participate for points on transcripts, others find it a way to grow as a human being.
Freshman Audrey Jensen has always loved animals. She’s owned everything from hamsters to cats and dogs. She discovered 4 Luv of Dog Rescue around the time of the Wheatland Puppy Mill Bust when Cass County deputies saved around 170 puppies from filthy cages in a suspected puppy mill in Wheatland, N.D. Jensen knew she couldn’t stand by and do nothing. That’s when she and her family decided to help in any way they could.
It is recommended by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to always get pets from a shelter or an organization, such as 4 Luv of Dog, to help stop the cruelty of puppy mills.
“We foster a few of the dogs that grew up in that environment, and helping them showed me how everyone at this organization will go out of their way to save a dog’s life,” Jensen said. “After spending a summer helping those dogs grow to become more comfortable around humans and then having to say our last goodbyes, I knew I couldn’t leave this organization. I love dogs and it was created solely for the purpose of those dogs without making any money in mind.”
The non-profit organization located in Fargo, N.D. helps to find homes for dogs across the Fargo-Moorhead area. Because the facility itself only has the capacity to house around nine dogs at a time, having volunteers to foster the extra pups helps 4 Luv of Dog Rescue save as many pets as possible.
“Without them we wouldn’t be able to rescue dogs from abusive situations or from the local pounds,” Jensen said.
Jensen loves seeing how excited the dogs get at the shelter just because of a few hours of human contact. They love everyone unconditionally and being able to show them that their love is received and given back is very important.
“After a long stressful day, just those few hours with those dogs can make any day, no matter how terrible, into the best day ever,” she said.
She says not only did volunteering help her academic career, but it helped her grow as a person, too. She recommends volunteering to anyone who would like to help.
“I believe it has changed me into becoming a more open and less selfish person,” Jensen said. “Once joining 4 Luv of Dog, I went on to volunteer for tons of other non-profit organizations. I used to be a shy, closed person but once I started volunteering, I became more open to people and less selfish.”
She now gives up two to three hours once or twice a week without pay to help the organization as she attends school.
“They love everyone unconditionally and being able to show them that their love is received and given back is very important. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a dog that used to struggle at the rescue be adopted,” she said.