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Give & Take: Volunteering with Lucky Dog Refuge

Tara Flanagan,  Kristen Anderson

At Prosek, employees are given four work hours a month to volunteer at an organization of their choice. In our Q&A spotlight series, we feature the different ways that Prosekians take advantage of this time. This month, Tara Flanagan spoke with Kristen Anderson, Account Executive in our Fairfield office, about her work with Lucky Dog Refuge and the role that volunteering has had on her life. 

Q: What type of work do you do at Lucky Dog Refuge?
My primary role as a volunteer at Lucky Dog Refuge (LDR) is to walk and play with the dogs. LDR is located near Harbor Point in Stamford, so I love walking dogs down to the water. It’s important to me to spend quality time with them during the short time I’m volunteering, so I always try to stop and sit with them on a bench to give them the much-needed pets and love that they deserve. 

Q: How did you first get connected to Lucky Dog?
I first got connected to Lucky Dog in early 2022. I had recently been laid off, and was looking for something to take up my time while I figured out what I wanted to do next in my career. My older brother had been volunteering at LDR and suggested that I try it out since he knew how much I loved animals. After volunteering for the first time, I instantly fell in love with it. I loved getting exposure to the dog life, especially as a cat person!

After I got a job offer from Prosek, it was a little bittersweet, because I thought I would have to stop volunteering, so I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that each employee at Prosek is allotted four hours per month to volunteer. I’ve completely taken advantage of this benefit, and have been going about twice a month for a little over two years now. 

Q: What types of dogs end up at Lucky Dog Refuge?
There are dogs who have come from a variety of backgrounds, and LDR focuses on those most in need of saving. This includes those who have been abandoned by their families, strays, dogs who are injured or sick, and those in immediate need of help. They rescue dogs from all over – from Stamford to the Bahamas. Pree (pictured) was rescued from Thailand and was incredibly skinny when he arrived due to a severe skin infection leaving him with no fur. Despite going through a terrible situation and being nervous at first, once he got to know me, he wouldn’t leave my side.

Q: How do you feel when the dogs get adopted by new families? 
I’m always thrilled to hear when dogs get adopted by families, but of course a part of me misses them. Fortunately, LDR is a very involved organization even post-adoption, so you never truly leave the Lucky Dog family. They even host alumni walks, which act as reunions for staff, volunteers and their families with dogs who have found their forever homes.

Q: What would you say to people who think that dog adoption is not for them?
First of all, I think it is very important to do your research before bringing a dog into your home – adopted or from a breeder. It’s so important to break the stereotype around dogs from shelters being aggressive or unpredictable dogs that you can’t welcome into your home. It is disheartening to see the amount of purebred dogs walking around at the same time I’m walking these amazing rescue dogs. While I understand why people want purebreds – the idea that they will know exactly what they are getting – I personally don’t believe ethical breeding exists, especially since so many purebred dogs end up in shelters when owners don’t do their proper research on the breeds they buy. 

There is something so special about dogs that have come from difficult backgrounds or found themselves in the shelter. There is a unique element of adopted dogs that I wish more people would see. They love you so much because they know you are helping them. I would encourage anyone who is skeptical about adopting a dog to volunteer at a shelter near you to see for yourself!

Q: I know you are a cat person, why Lucky Dog? 
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a cat person and have adopted cats my whole life, but it is absolutely in my long-term plan to adopt a dog one day (while still having cats)! I would love to adopt a dog of any age, whether they’re a puppy or a senior – there are so many amazing senior dogs in shelters who are unbelievably sweet and looking for homes (and fully trained). LDR does the best job of making sure their dogs are ready to go home by providing training and other tools to ensure a successful adoption process. When I’m ready, I fully plan on adopting from Lucky Dog! 

Q: Are there any dogs at Lucky Dog currently available for adoption?
There are so many amazing dogs that are ready to be adopted here! In particular, I’ve developed special bonds with Bluebelle & Cassie who are both waiting to find their forever homes:

Bluebelle is a Weimaraner and lab mix who is playful and smart and loves kisses. 

Cassie is a lovable Shar-pei who loves to walk (and sniff) and would be great in a home with other dogs or children!

About Lucky Dog Refuge
We are not just a rescue, we are a refuge; a safe haven for dogs from dire backgrounds. We focus on the dogs most in need of saving - those who have been abandoned by their families, the strays, the starving, the injured, the sick, and those in immediate need of help. We take them in, rehabilitate them, provide housing, vetting, training, and extra doses of love.

Whether at our facility in Stamford, CT or placed with one of our rescue partners, every dog we commit to is guaranteed love and a beautiful life with the forever family they so deserve.  

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