The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Students find joy volunteering at Heartland Animal Shelter

Junior Abby Brown has always loved dogs, but due to her mother’s pet allergy, she has never been able to have one of her own. Finding a way around this, Brown began volunteering at Heartland Animal Shelter located in Northbrook.

According to Brown, she is trained to work with dogs specifically, and her job mostly consists of letting the dogs in and out for walks.

Brown feels the most unique part of the shelter is how the staff and volunteers take care of all of the animals at the shelter.

“The place is a non-for-profit [and non-kill shelter],” Brown said. “Most shelters you bring the dogs  [and cats] in and there’s just not enough room. I don’t know how [Heartland] does it, but I’d say most of their dogs and cats are animals that are […] about to get killed [at other shelters], and Heartland will take them in.”

Junior Alexis Brill, who also volunteered at Heartland finds the number of volunteers at Heartland unique.

“One unique thing about the shelter is that it is mainly volunteer-based,” Brill said. “Volunteers walk the dogs, feed the cats, donate supplies. Everyone is extremely friendly and loves to help out.”

Brill also enjoys how Heartland is a different environment than her everyday routine.

“[Volunteering] really is a time when I can take my mind off everything going on in my life and see the animals who are so excited to see me when I come to walk them,” Brill said.

Similar to Brill, Brown especially likes how the environment differs from school.

“My favorite part is how relaxed the atmosphere is,” Brown said. “[I’m] so used to school, and it being all kids and teenagers, and then you walk in there and it’s all animals.”

Junior Danny Colombo, who adopted his dog from Heartland, feels that Heartland’s shelter is run very well compared to other shelters. He also likes the environment the animals are in.

“As a dog shelter can be, it’s pretty happy,” Colombo said. “They keep [the dogs] on a tight leash and there’s a big outdoor space so they have a lot of room.”

He especially likes how his dog Hilton was treated the two and a half years he was there before being adopted.

“[The volunteers] loved him,” Colombo said. “He was a rockstar. He has his own Facebook page, [and] we take him back  [to the shelter] every other week to take a bath [and visit].”

Brill recalls seeing Hilton, her favorite dog, after he was adopted as her favorite memory.

“It was amazing to see how happy Hilton seemed in his ‘forever home’ as we call their new, safe place to live,” Brill said. “It was perfect to see my favorite dog again and see he was doing so well.”

Similar to Brill’s relationship with Hilton, Brown also developed a relationship with one of the dogs that recently was adopted.

“It was a really cuddly dog; a lot of [the dogs] are just in it for the treats and in it for the walking, they aren’t really personal, but this one would always try to [cuddle] with me,” Brown said.

According to Heartland Animal Shelter’s website, their volunteers are helping them to save thousands of unwanted cats and dogs, giving them the opportunity to find loving new homes.

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