“My dog, Frankie, means world to my husband and me. He brings us so much love and joy and completes our family. I want to help make that happen for other dogs and families,” said Coming Home Rescue volunteer, Mary.
And she’s been doing just that by volunteering to help animals since 2004. These days, she spends her time assisting two organizations: Coming Home Rescue and St. Barnabas Hospice Paws for Patients program.
For Coming Home Rescue, she transports dogs to and from adoption events, leads the charge with social media and advertising and supports the fundraising events.
“I help out with any other area of the group that needs a set of hands.”
This Jill of all Trades has enlisted the help of a special friend to aid in her endeavors. Her dog, Frankie, also enjoys giving back to his community.
“Frankie is a certified therapy dog and we make visits to bring both canine and human companionship to hospice patients and their family members.”
One of the things that Mary enjoys best about being part of the group is the time she spends with others that are also passionate about finding good homes for rescue dogs.
“I feel a great sense of pride, accomplishment and most of all camaraderie with my fellow volunteers. They are like a second family to me.”
And it’s that sense of family and a close-knit group that makes Coming Home Rescue so special. While other rescue groups can be quite large and unwieldy, where a volunteer might feel lost, Coming Home Rescue is a bit like the television show “Cheers” where everybody knows your name. The group will get together socially as they did this summer to celebrate the organization’s third anniversary with an outdoor BBQ and everyone is gearing up for a holiday party and gift exchange next week.
It takes a village to help rescue dogs and volunteers are needed in many capacities including: fostering, attending dog adoption events, fundraising, administrative duties, taking dogs to and from vet appointments, hanging posters and much more. For those interested in volunteering, Mary suggests stopping by an adoption event (which happens nearly every weekend in Morris and Essex County) to talk to members of the group.
“Meet volunteers in person and ask why they do it? The consensus is always the same: They love dogs and they love to give them a second chance. It’s really very simple.”
In her spare time, Mary also has a passion for getting behind a camera.
“I love photography and taking photos of anything and everything – especially my dog!” (You can see a sample of her work throughout this blog post).
Do you enjoy taking pictures or editing videos? Beautiful photos that capture a dog’s personality go along way in attracting potential adopters. And seeing a dog in action (fetching a ball, enjoying the company of other dogs or playing with kids) is a way that a volunteer with those skills could help the group.
“Nothing fills my heart more than someone saying that the dog they adopted from us is the best thing that ever happened to them. If I can help make that feeling happen for another family, then I feel like I have done well.”