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PAWS UNITED

Paws United Charity (PUC) is a non-profit, volunteer-based rescue organization established and registered in Hong Kong. Set up by animal-loving volunteers passionate about animal rescue, the charity has worked with several rescue projects in Hong Kong to save puppies and kittens, offering them a place to live in, while doing the best to help them find a forever home.

PUC’s core mission is to improve wellbeing of animals by providing temporary foster care at the adoption centers, educating potential adopters about responsible pet ownership and promoting animal adoption.

As volunteers, you will help in the Dog Adoption Center of Paws United Charity located in Repulse Bay, working under a manager/supervisor. Volunteers’ main duty is to take care of the animals in the center and attend to customers. Cleaning the center is a vital task to ensure satisfactory hygiene for visitors and the puppies. Three time slots are available per day, namely the morning, afternoon and evening shifts where the tasks varies.

Morning shift (10am to 2pm)

Volunteers are expected to arrive before the shop is open to prepare for the day ahead. Your main tasks in this shift include cleaning up after the dogs from the night before and thorough cleaning of the center while constantly relocating the puppies for a smoother cleaning process.

Afternoon shift (2pm to 7pm)

Arriving just after lunch times, this is the period with most visitors. Besides cleaning (if necessary), volunteers in this session will also work as shop attendants, ensuring that visitors have fulfilled certain requirements to interact with animals, and also to answer any questions raised by them.

Night shift — (7pm-10pm)

With few or no visitors at night, volunteers face the task of relocating the puppies back into their pens for night and ensuring that they do not try to engage in a fight. Due to restrictions of the center, volunteers will have to make sure the local air conditioning is on, there is sufficient water and food for the puppies overnight.

There are no strict requirements to participate in this rewarding volunteering experience. However, it would be best for interested parties to have some familiarity with dogs so that they can quickly get along with the tasks given to them, including but not limited to cleaning after them. Those with allergies to pets and their furs should avoid this volunteering experience.

Students’ Reflections

As a person without a pet, I once had worries about joining Paws United Charity, as it is commonly believed that some animals may hurt strangers. But with curiosity I still signed up as a student volunteer. I would say that I do not regret this decision at all, as I learnt a lot during the volunteering sessions.

When I first arrived at the center in Repulse Bay, I was welcomed by small puppies, aged two to three months. They look much cuter than I thought it would be, given the story that they are mostly rescued from poorly maintained venues. The supervisor there was very friendly to me, and explained in great detail what my task as a student volunteer is. I feel comfortable working with other volunteers and the animals all the time.

My most memorable experience would be visiting the center for a morning shift. As I walked in what greeted me was not a very pleasant sight and very much contrasted with the clean image that visitors usually see. However, after I spent one hour to clean up the whole place alongside other volunteers, the center returned to its original spotless condition, which I feel very proud of. Without volunteers like us, the center will not sustain for a long time. Getting along with puppies is a very heartwarming and fun experience, but also letting me reflect on how urgent this global issue is; while everyone is focusing on human crisis, animals being part of the earth, should also receive attention and care for. ~ Anson Lam

 

The greatest challenge I encountered was having to serve customers and potential adopters. We had to ask them to fill out all the relevant information, as well as inform them of the relevant procedures and regulations on entering the pen. It was certainly daunting as we had to learn the appropriate etiquette on serving customers. However, my most memorable experience was when we had to clean up a night’s worth of excretions. The place stank, and was quite a sight to behold. Nevertheless, we managed to clean up the place by mopping the floor, wiping down the windows, and giving the dogs a thorough cleaning. In the end, after less than an hour of turmoil, the place finally looked presentable and no longer reeked. It was very satisfying to witness the complete transformation of the center at our own hands. ~ Anonymous

 

As volunteers who’ve been to Paws United several times, we are well able to say that this is truly a rewarding experience. Since both of us does not have a pet at home, we are mildly concerned about what’s going to happen. But as we stepped into the center and welcomed by cute puppies, things started to exceed our expectations. Briefed by experienced volunteers there, we quickly digested our tasks and began working. 

Seeing passerbys entering the center with interest, interacting with the puppies with love and enquiring about adoption attentively, we are very proud of lending a help hand to abandoned puppies. In one of our afternoon sessions, we witnessed a family of four adopting a puppy on the scene as well, which makes us feel like all our hard work pays off for these furry animals to have a forever home.

This experience truly broadened our avenues as we have no experience towards the caretaker of animals before, nor did we have experience in customer service. However, after trying a few times, we get more familiar with the process, cleaning up faster and speaking more confidently with the customers eager to learn more about adoption. We can’t wait to learn more difficult skills such as bathing the puppies! ~Anonymous

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