As a volunteer, you go through a training for five hours and the staff preps you on the routine and all the rules. You receive a badge, a key to the cages and a leash. You can walk the dogs anywhere around the grounds, but they must be on the leash at all times and cannot come in contact with other dogs. On the papers listed outside their cages, you can see how old they are and how they came to the shelter. Many are termed strays and others are titled owner surrendered. Some notes are mentioned what needs to be done to the animal, if their teeth need to be cleaned or if they have other health issues. Some don't get along with children or other dogs.
This morning, I did my small service and I walked this mixed breed named Case. Case had such strength for a small slender dog and he went wild when I brought him outside as he pulled me all over the place. I walked across the street to an abandoned large ball field and observed that it was completely fenced in. I hesitated and wondered what would happen if I let Case go. I took the risk, and let Case rip into the field. He ran like a race animal and bolted here and there, so happy to be free. Case came back to me and as I bent down to greet him and he put his head on my shoulder. It was a hug.
The dogs are very appreciative of the walks and the affection you give them. Most of them are so nervous and excited to be out that you wouldn't know this, but after they calm down, you see the their sweetness and gratitude. They correspond and let you know this by their pleading eyes.