Volunteer for PMRF

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart. ~Elizabeth Andrew

Volunteer of the Month

Volunteer of the Month - Jamie N

I started volunteering with rescue dogs in late 2009, early 2010.  We had 2 dogs of our own at the time and thought we could help a dog in need through fostering. In retrospect, my life partner Kevin and I really didn’t have a clue about what was involved but we had a desire to help. Over the years and many fosters later (pushing 50 now), we have had some bumps and bruises along the way but also great joy, happiness and love. We have learned much about dogs in general and have grown personally. We now have 5 dogs of our own and still foster. It’s amazing what you can become accustomed to.

Volunteering of any kind – and for me the outlet was my life-long love of dogs – shifts your focus from your own personal issues and helps you realise that there are bigger things out there. Surprisingly, it isn’t all about you! You CAN make a difference if you look beyond your personal self and try to help animals that cannot help themselves. You may find that your troubles aren’t so bad after all when you can be with a dog that has been through terrible things, has nothing, and is happy nonetheless. You may not be able to ‘fix’ the troubles of the World, but you can definitely change the World for that dog (or cat or any animal in need). And that is huge! Without you, their future would be quite bleak in many cases. And they are all so very deserving of a chance! All the dogs we have helped on their journey needed a loving hand and I am so honoured to have been able to be there for them. When a dog that has been mistreated or abused, starved or neglected, can look to you with love and trust and you watch them blossom – going from quivering and terrified to playful and happy – and then on to a loving home of their own… there is nothing that feels better. Yes, your heart breaks that they are leaving, but it is breaking for YOU, not for them. You have to let them go as the next deserving animal needs you as their stepping stone. 

People say “I could never foster as I would get too attached”. To that, I respond that you are SUPPOSED to get attached. It is supposed to hurt when they leave. If you don’t become attached, you are not doing your ‘job’ as a foster.  How can you teach a dog about love, if you don’t love them? Your role is to help them become healthy and happy – many have not had enough to eat or medical care; prepare them to live in a home – many of them have never had a bed let alone a home; help them learn to love and trust – sadly, so very many have been betrayed.  Fostering is rarely convenient, is always disruptive (you are bringing a new soul into your home!), and most often messy… but it is also hugely rewarding and, for us, the rewards far outweigh the inconveniences. You are not only saving the life of the dog you foster, but you are opening a place for another dog to have a chance. If you go into it knowing you will let them go when they are ready, it can make it a tiny bit easier. But don’t kid yourself … while the rewards are great, it can also be heart breaking. Kevin and I keep a little ‘photo album’ on the coffee table that contains the picture of every dog that has come through our home as part of their journey. We love them all!

All that aside, fostering is not for everyone and, thankfully, there are many other ways to get involved with Pawsitive Match! Kevin and I have picked up dogs from the airport, transported dogs from other locations, taken dogs for medical appointments, dropped off needed supplies, walked and fed dogs at Almost Home, participated in fundraising events, made monetary donations… if you have the desire to help, there are many ways to become involved and make a positive difference. Helping these animals is a wonderful and selfless thing to do.

I guess, on the days where things seem overwhelming, I try and remind myself to be the change I want to see in the World. Do something for another being that has nothing to do with something for yourself other than the great feeling you get by doing something good. That kind of selfishness is the good kind. And you will be a better person for it.

Pawsitive Match is 100% volunteer based and therefore we rely on our volunteers to operate. We greatly appreciate any and all of the help we receive.

You can help by volunteering your time and energy with us by fostering a dog, fundraising, advertising, training, grooming, transporting, helping out the adoption and foster committees, or whatever else your talent may be. We always need the help of people who can help bake, sew and build.

Rescue Volunteer

WestJet Volunteers

We can always use help from WestJet employees to transport dogs from Los Angeles and various other locations. We would also be grateful for any buddy passes donated. If you are able to help, please send us an email.

Flight Escorts

We are always looking for flight escorts flying with Westjet, Air Transat or Alaska Airlines to help dogs get to (or across) Canada to begin their new lives. By escorting a dog, you're not only saving that precious life, but the one who can be saved because of the freed up space at the shelter! Visit our Flight Escort page for more info.

Apply to Volunteer

For more information on the positions currently available or general volunteering questions, please contact the Volunteer Team at volunteer@pawsitivematch.org. If you've made the decision to volunteer with us, great! Please fill out and submit the application below or download an application and email it to volunteerapps@pawsitivematch.org.

Listed below are the main groups within Pawsitive Match. Volunteers are always needed to care for the dogs at our temporary holding facility (Cambrian), foster, transport or help out at events. You do not necessarily need to commit to fulfill a full position and all of the duties required, and there may be more than one person assigned to each position.

  • Adoption Committee
    • review of adoption applications
    • communication with potential applicants
    • coordinating meet & greets
    • reference checks
    • home visits
  • Foster Committee
    • review of foster applications
    • communication with potential foster homes
    • home visits
    • follow ups
  • Medical Committee
    • medical requisitions for vet visits
    • pet insurance administration
    • keep track of incoming medical records
    • ensure dogs receive required medical attention
  • Shelter Committee
    • help care for dogs currently being housed at the Almost Home shelter (NE Calgary off 32nd Ave)
    • walk, feed, water & play with dogs
    • daily shifts available are: 8am, 12pm (noon), 7pm
  • Cat Cuddlers
    • cuddle our adorable cats who are up for adoption at Petsmart in South Trail crossing
  • Volunteer Committee
    • communicate with all new volunteer applications
    • maintain volunteer spreadsheet (input volunteer info etc..)
    • communicate with volunteers when various committees request a certain need
  • Supplies/Donations Committee
    • work with Supplies & Donations Coordinator to keep track of supplies in foster homes
    • possibly store some supplies
    • help with pick up or drop off of supplies
    • request donations when needed
  • Transport Committee
    • vet trips if foster cannot take a dog
    • donation pick ups
    • transport dogs to events
    • airport runs
    • transport dogs & supplies to/from Edmonton
  • Marketing Committee
    • online advertising of events, dogs available for adoption
    • creating and distributing posters
    • event help (set up, organize, marketing)
  • Overnight and Emergency Fosters (short term only)
    • provide temporary care of dogs/puppies upon arrival into our rescue