Heartland Pet Connection in need of volunteers

The shelter is understaffed as a big project is about to begin
Updated: May. 17, 2021 at 7:42 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - Coming on the heels of Give Hastings Day Heartland Pet Connection is looking forward to moving ahead with its long-planned outdoor project while also in need of volunteers.

Jenny Theesen, the manager of Heartland Pet Connection, said the shelter has been short on volunteers since the start of the pandemic but has never seen it this bad. Theesen believes the pandemic caused volunteers to leave due to personal safety reasons but can’t pinpoint why younger people aren’t eager to jump on board.

The silver lining of being short staffed is that Heartland Pet Connection recently received $16,393 from Give Hastings Day. It was the 13th highest dollar amount out of the 94 nonprofits.

“I am shocked,” Theesen said, “I’m very thankful for it obviously and we’re going to definitely be able to move ahead with our planned project so we’re very excited about that.”

The project Theesen referred to is a plan to bring 16 outdoor kennels to the shelter, providing an opportunity for more than one or two dogs to be outside at a time. With the addition of the kennels the dogs can all go out at once and enjoy their individual space for exercise. Right now the shelter has one large running area and two smaller areas but no individual, outdoor kennels.

The need for volunteers will not go away anytime soon however the number of volunteers usually picks up in the summer when younger students are off work and have time to volunteer.

Anyone 16 or older who is interested in volunteering can visit the shelter’s website and fill out an application.

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