A surge in adopting and fostering animals during the pandemic has helped to clear shelters at a higher rate, but they also continue to take in animals in need.
Auburn Valley Humane Society volunteer Uta Burley helps to find dogs and cats forever homes. But since it’s difficult finding care for the older pets or ones with special needs, they end up becoming part of her family.
“Very hard to find people that do senior dogs or senior cats because they require a little bit more time. They are either on medication or you have to watch them all the time,” said Burley.
Five of her animals are foster fails, which are actually stories of success for animals in need.
“Make sure their end of life is quality. I am just honored and blessed, to share their end of life with me, and what I am getting out of it, is I love doing this, I wouldn’t do anything else,” said Burley.
Working full-time as an operations manager for an IT company, Burley dedicates her lunch hour, time after work and weekends to helping the shelter. During the pandemic volunteers are unable to come in, so the Auburn Valley Humane Society shifted operations to move most of their animals out to foster care. Fortunately, a large part of Burley’s contribution has been from home which includes taking in animals, managing their social media and community outreach.
“Her talent and dedication is just something I can’t put a dollar amount on, it’s very vital to the organization. She would be our foster care coordinator, she would be our social media person, she would be our public relations person, I mean it would be 2 or 3 positions that would need filling,” said Phil Morgan, Auburn Valley Humane Society President & CEO.
Morgan relies heavily on Burley’s dedication to help the organization thrive. As a volunteer for 6 years, she has extensive knowledge of the shelter and their operation.
“I would have to say Uta is our single most dedicated volunteer, with the selflessness she gives of the organization and the genuine care she gives for the animals that are in our care,” said Morgan.
As long as there are animals in need, Burley is committed to helping the Auburn Valley Humane Society- and looks forward to retiring so she can then volunteer full-time.
“I want to be a voice for the voiceless, and I want to be a great role model for my grandchildren,” said Burley.