Senior Katherine McCracken volunteers at the Animal Humane Society

Senior Katherine McCracken would hope to continue work like this in the future.

Photo Courtesy of Katherine McCracken

Senior Katherine McCracken would hope to continue work like this in the future.

Many times, students feel called to pursue volunteering opportunities that align with their personal passions. As a lifelong animal lover, senior Katherine McCracken channels her love for animals as a volunteer at the Animal Humane Society. She currently volunteers at the Golden Valley location, where she has been dedicating her time for around two and a half years.

The Animal Humane Society provides care and a safe home for more than 23,000 animals across the U.S., while also sponsoring programs to help people and their pets. As a part of this mission, McCracken is trained to volunteer with the cat adoption center; she helps potential cat adopters to pick out the right cat for them.

In addition to this, McCracken is responsible for taking care of the basic care needs for the cats at the shelter, like feeding them and making sure they have enough water and toys at all time. Along with her work with cats, she is also trained to volunteer with the critters. “They’re all the small animals so like bunnies birds ferrets and the occasional reptile,” McCracken said.

McCracken has had this passion to help with animals ever since she was little. “I was interested because all my nannies and babysitters used to bring me to the Humane Society to visit the animals; ever since then, I have wanted to be a volunteer,” McCracken said.

For others wanting to get involved with animals, liking all different types of animals is something to take into consideration. “If you’re scared of any type of animal or creeped out by like cats or something, you really shouldn’t work there because you can’t go 10 minutes without running into a cat or a dog, no matter what section you’re working in,” McCracken said. 

It’s also important to be able to put up with different types of smells and minor injuries. “A lot of times the animals will scratch you especially bunnies and cats; I’ve bled a couple times. Also the ammonia smell in the dog room is really bad,” McCracken said.

McCracken would like to continue this type of volunteer work outside of high school. “I want to find a shelter near by in whatever city or town I go to and then I’ll end up volunteering or working there,” McCracken said.