Berkshire Animal DREAMS needs enthusiastic, competent volunteers who would like to dedicate some of their time to help in the effort to end the overpopulation of cats in the Berkshires.
Since the year 2000, we have helped and brought dignity to the lives of thousands of cats. This could not have been possible without the committed and caring work of volunteers. In fact, Animal DREAMS is completely run by volunteers.
Here are some of the ways you can help as a volunteer:
- Become a Trapper
- Become a Canvasser
- In-House Cat Care
- Transport Cats
- Foster Cats and Kittens
- Raise Funds for the Organization
- Deliver Food For Ferals
- Specialized Skills
Trappers are at the core of our TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) mission. Most of the cats we help are feral or semi-feral. In the Berkshires, Animal DREAMS is the primary organization with the equipment and know-how to trap them for their vet appointment. Trapping requires dedication, the ability to work well with people, and the physical strength to carry cats in traps. Training is provided.
In order to solve the cat overpopulation problem in a particular area, we need to go out and canvas the area to make sure we know about all of the unfixed cats that live there. This involves walking around the neighborhood, knocking on doors and asking about cats in the community. The goal is to find out where the cats are living and eating. This information is critical to large TNR projects. The job requires volunteers who work well with people, and who have the dedication to follow through with the canvassing project they commit to. Canvassing always happens in teams of two or more. Training is provided.
When trapping projects are taking place, trapped feral cats are brought to Animal DREAMS until their vet appointment. After they have been vetted, they recover for 24 to 48 hours before returning to their caretaker and outside home. While at the Animal DREAMS facility, the cats need their cages cleaned, and they need food and water. This is not the kind of animal care you might expect to do at a shelter. These cats are most often feral and semi-feral. Cat petting is not involved! They want as little to do with human contact as possible, but it's a great service to the cats to keep them comfortable until they are returned to their stomping grounds. Training is provided.
Cats need to be transported to and from vet appointments, and sometimes from the caretaker to Animal DREAMS. When bringing cats to the Animal DREAMS facility, transporters are required to set up the cat's cage with litter, food and water. Training is provided.
If there are young kittens who are trapped before the age of 8 weeks, it's possible to socialize them so that they can be brought to a shelter to be adopted out. We sometimes need foster homes to raise and socialize these kittens. This could involve caring also for their feral mother, or it could involve bottle-feeding kittens without mothers. If you become a foster volunteer, you would be called upon to help, but can determine in each case whether you have the time or experience to handle that particular foster task.
We don't currently have a dedicated fundraising committee guiding Animal DREAMS' fundraising efforts. We rely on self-starter type individuals who care about our mission, will raise money in their own way, and donate to Animal DREAMS. Have a birthday coming up? Ask your friends to donate to Animal DREAMS instead of giving you gifts. Do your kids love animals? Explain what Animal DREAMS does and make a project of raising money with a lemonade stand or other creative activity. Every dollar makes a big difference in this organization, so no effort is too small.
Animal DREAMS maintains a food bank to help the many caretakers in Berkshire County who are feeding feral cats. Sometimes these caretakers have no transportation, and we need people who will deliver food to them.
Are you great with computers or Graphic Design? An ace with a hammer and drill? Is there a particular skill you have that might be of help to Animal DREAMS? We would love to hear about it!
Join Our Cause!
All new Animal DREAMS volunteers must meet with the Volunteer Manager for an orientation and to fill out a bit of paperwork. During that time, we can discuss what specific volunteer jobs you.
If you would like to volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (413)997-CATS (2287).