July 1, 2012

If I’m describing this place with a single word, it would have to be WOW! I just got home from my volunteer orientation and I am beyond impressed with what I experienced. The shelter is clean, the staff is super friendly and knowledgable and the volunteers couldn’t be nicer.

OAS is funded by the City of Oakland and is a division of the Oakland Police Department. For those who know me, I’m a huge supporter of our understaffed, overworked and horribly treated police force so knowing the shelter is part of of OPD makes me even happier to volunteer with OAS.

Being a publicly funded shelter, OAS has to accept all animals that are brought in to be surrendered. Taken in this context, there are many sick and dying animals that end up here as well as those who have been so badly treated that the fear and anxiety that has resulted in aggression may or may not be too severe to rehabilitate given the resources available. That said, I was thrilled to find out about the network of shelters, humane societies and rescues that work together to ensure that the adoptable animals find homes. After today, I’m excited to say that my perception of public shelters was misinformed. At least where OAS is concerned.

To anyone looking for a rewarding volunteer activity, I can’t recommend this place enough. They could sure use the help and I’m really looking forward to my first experience in getting a dog adopted. I should mention that the volunteers are trained in one of three animal classes – dogs, cats and bunnies. The bunnies are incredibly cute, by the way. Who knew?!?!

Here’s the link for anyone looking for more information. http://oaklandanimalservices.org/