3-43 ADA partners with El Paso Humane Society for volunteer training
1st LT. Shannon Hensel,
3rd Bn., 43rd ADA Humane Society Liaison Officer:
As Fort Bliss honors the month of the volunteer, the Soldiers and families of 3rd Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, the Legion, and The Humane Society of El Paso have teamed up to provide a symbiotic partnership to help both animals and people.
This past week, the Humane Society opened its doors to provide volunteer training for more than 100 Soldiers, family and friends of 3rd Bn., 43rd ADA. The goal of the training was to provide volunteers from the battalion to serve the Humane Society in the months to come. Each training session introduced volunteers to the Humane Society and covered everything from basics of leash holding to more advanced of topics of animal behavior and recognition. As the day progressed, the training turned hands-on, with volunteers working with the rescued animals.
As a result, Soldiers and families will be afforded the opportunity to assist at the shelter with tasks ranging from administrative functions to walking dogs to assisting with adoptions. The Humane Society has also created a computerized system of tracking hours by name, allowing the battalion leadership to recognize the unit’s top volunteer Soldier and family members.
The training had an immediate impact. Spc. Brian Dayton of E Company, 3rd Bn., 43rd ADA, remained at the Humane Society after the training and successfully matched a 5-year-old female Chihuahua named Camilla with a new family. Dayton lives in the barracks and does not have the opportunity to own a dog. It was a positive and productive way for him to connect with a dog and find it a needed home.
“I love animals and it just felt very good to find this one a home,” said Dayton.
The Humane Society has also worked with the battalion to identify the needs of families with small children who wish to volunteer and encourage parents to allow children 8 years of age and older to participate in caring for the animals.
Many children participated in the Saturday training. They were very enthusiastic, assisting the instructors in handing out leashes and conquering their fears. Some even proved that stereotypes about certain breeds are misleading by walking several of the larger breeds to include a friendly pit bull mix named Marley.
Families of 3rd Bn., 43rd ADA, also agreed to open their homes to foster many of the young puppies and special-needs pets. The battalion commander, Lt. Col. Joshua Moon, and his family set the example by fostering a 2-month-old yellow Labrador named Scarlett. This is the second dog the family has fostered since January.
“The Humane Society is our neighbor and is in dire need of many services to include fostering animals, particularly puppies and kittens who are subjected to distemper and other diseases in the kennels,” said Moon. “It’s a great way to bring an animal into your home, care for it and find it a home.”
The training event signifies the start of a lasting commitment between the Legion and the Humane Society and is in preparation for the Humane Society’s 23rd annual K-9 Classic – Walk for All Pets, taking place Sunday. The Legion will help sponsor the event and hopes that a large number of Fort Bliss families will help a great cause by entering their four-legged companions or volunteer to sponsor a dog from the Humane Society.
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