In their shoes: Volunteer Coordinator for Mayhew Georgia
Volunteers are a vital part of our team in the UK, but also internationally.
We caught up with Mayhew Georgia’s Volunteer Coordinator, Salome, who has been volunteering with us for over seven years!
You’ve been rescuing dogs and volunteering in animal welfare for a long time – what sparked your passion to help animals?
Salome: Lots of stray dogs and puppies around me sparked me to help animals! I have now adopted six dogs from the street. Each of them had a very sad story and in every case I adopted them just to save their life.
What inspired you to get involved with Mayhew Georgia?
Salome: I believe the only humane way of controlling the population of stray animals is neutering, which drew me to Mayhew Georgia.
You have volunteered with Mayhew Georgia for some time now. Can you tell us what your role is?
Salome: I have volunteered with Mayhew Georgia since it started it’s Trap, Vaccinate, Neuter, Return (TVNR) programme, and I am now the Volunteer Coordinator of this programme.
As you say, you’ve been with us since the very start of our TVNR programme – what are some of the differences you see this programme making for the lives of free-roaming animals and the communities in which they live?
Salome: This programme helps stray dogs to survive. People are more friendly towards tagged dogs than those without the tag. When adopting street dogs, people also prefer neutered and vaccinated dogs. This program helps us control the free roaming dog population and also helps save both the dogs and local communities from disease.
What is your favourite memory from your time with Mayhew Georgia?
Salome: Every moment is very special. I still remember neutering my first dogs; it was around seven years ago and those dogs are still living near my workplace. It keeps me motivated to help more animals when I see these animals some years later. It is because of the TVNR programme that we run that those dogs are still living in that same place happily.
And what challenges have you faced working in animal welfare?
Salome: The worst thing is when you save an animal, ensure they are neutered, and some people are still against the animal and ask their municipal shelter to take the dog from that place. In many cases, this means that dog will be put down as it is always very hard to find another place for them. I had and still have dogs in paid foster care because there was no other chance to save them. It is getting harder and harder to rehome dogs in Georgia and abroad as well.