I’ve had the privilege of volunteering with PVAS since 2017. Weekends always mean one thing - getting to hang out with wool, feather and fur friends.
While cuddles are copious, sanctuary work isn’t glamorous. With over 180 (and counting) animals, one can only imagine the amount of cleaning, washing, and caregiving that needs to be done. Chris & Mark, founders of the sanctuary, take on this enormous task while both holding full time jobs. Watching them do it everyday for the animals, joined by other wonderful humans who volunteer each week, gives me hope.
So I’ve mentioned the work isn’t glamorous. Sometimes it involves getting head butted by rascal rams, flying a few feet, and landing in the very poo you’re trying to clean. Why do it then? It’s watching the ducks splash happily in the paddle pool that’s just been scrubbed and filled with fresh water. It’s seeing the sheep get zoomies from being excited about a clean house and fresh bed of straw. It’s when the possums stuff their face with flowers from the new branches in their aviaries and you don’t need to speak a common language to know their joy. The animals at PVAS are living their best lives, something many of their species can only dream off.
It’s a long shot, but volunteering’s also about trying to make amends. I’ve spent too many years of my life participating in the exploitation of animals. Being at PVAS recharges me and gives me a purpose.