We bet that animal lovers, especially dog lovers, will get excited about this story that we are about to share. It involves keeping our furry companions company during a trying time in their lives. But the best part of it all? It also involves plenty of cuddle time with these pooches!
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is in need of volunteers to bond with and cuddle shelter dogs who just came out of surgery. Yes, you read that right – there is such a thing as a dog-cuddler! If the perfect job exists, then this might be it.
Jeff Honig, a retired deputy, may not seem the most likely candidate for this type of task. But he says that he absolutely loves every minute of it! He has four cats in his home and he travels a lot, but he likes to stop by the shelter so he could hang out with the dogs. He says that it is a soothing experience for the distressed animals and that he also gets a lot out of it.
“It’s very soothing for me, it’s very soothing for them,” says Honig. “It’s just a great experience.”
When shelter dogs leave the operating room – often after getting spayed or neutered – it is natural for them to feel confused and scared. That is why those who are fresh out of surgery are the ones who need the snuggles the most. What could be more comforting for a frightened dog than a gentle and loving touch from a human, right?
There are lots of students who are willing to volunteer for the Humane Society. However, when school is not in session, it can be harder to find people who would lend their time for these dogs. Once the winter sets in, the students are usually busy with their schoolwork, which keeps them from being able to help. It is during this crucial time that the shelter needs more helping hands to comfort these pups.
In the meantime, knowing that the shelter is short of volunteers, Jeff Honig is sharing 10 hours of his week with them. On top of that, he also fulfills various roles in the shelter such as cleaning up and assisting the veterinarians. Unsurprisingly, his favorite part of the job is snuggling with the animals.
“It makes me emotional just thinking about it,” Humane Society’s Liz McCoy says. “Nothing happy brings animals through our doors. So when volunteers come in to make things better, it’s just a moving thing to be a part of.”
Do you think you have what it takes to be a dog snuggler? Learn how you can volunteer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay by visiting their page.
Watch the video by ABC Action News to see as Jeff Honig bonds with the shelter dogs.