Volunteer Spotlight

Susie Harvey, Ashford University

Kendra Ramada, J.D., Student Dispute Resolution Specialist I

Nonprofit: The Barking Lot

Man’s best friend? Kendra has a lot of those!

When Kendra moved from New Jersey to San Diego in 2013, it did not take long until she felt right at home at The Barking Lot. A volunteer-run nonprofit, The Barking Lot has rescued over 5,000 dogs since 2010. Kendra not only enjoys her time here, she is passionate about the well-being of her furry friends.

“Every year, approximately 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in animal shelters across the country. Numbers like this are the reason why rescue and responsible pet ownership are so important. If you’re looking for a dog, check out your local rescues and shelters. It’s one life saved and one less animal euthanized!”

Kendra starting by coming to The Barking Lot to walk the dogs around Lake Murray or up Iron Mountain. She now volunteers 8 to 12 hours and loves every bit of it. Her responsibilities run the gamut – she is part of The Barking Lot’s social media team where she takes on social media strategic planning and helps get content up on our social media channels. Kendra is also the foster coordinator for the entire organization and so is responsible for getting dogs in foster homes and serves as support for their network of fosters. In between those two roles, Kendra assists with adoption play dates and help potential adopters meet and find good match dogs, and then process their paperwork.

She is also a foster parent herself, what The Barking Lot calls “Temporary Barking” while they find the dog “Permanent Barking”. Kendra has this to share about her fostering experience:

“Being a foster mom is really rewarding. Most of the foster dogs I’ve had have medical/special needs, and it’s very fulfilling to be able to help them through their recovery and eventual adoption (although I’ve ended up keeping several of those pups AKA foster failing). I also like to take home Chihuahuas and help spread awareness about the breed, as they are the second most euthanized breed in US shelters (behind pit bulls). I highly recommend fostering to anyone who wants to help a pup find a home, as dogs with a foster generally get adopted MUCH quicker than those without.”

Kendra’s comments about volunteerism? “I think volunteering is really important because it teaches people to step outside themselves. It’s easy to become self-involved and focused on your own problems, and volunteering helps people re-focus on more than just themselves. I do think it’s very important to co-workers to volunteer. I am a big believer in giving back to one’s community, and volunteering helps people give back and helps people live a life outside of work, doing something they are passionate about that also contributes to a cause. I think the best way to encourage others to volunteer is by example. I have had a lot of friends and family start volunteering across the country because of things I have posted on Instagram or Facebook that have inspired people to want to get involved, or adopt from their own local rescues. It’s really nice to have a friend reach out and tell me that they started volunteering at a rescue because they saw a picture I posted on Instagram that inspired them to want to help, too.”

Interested in volunteering at The Barking Lot? Want to take home a furry companion? Check out their website HERE.

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