Stanton teen volunteers at Montcalm County Animal Shelter


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:08 am on Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Autumn DeVries, 16, of Stanton pets a stray dog at the Montcalm County Animal Shelter while volunteering at the facility Friday evening. — Daily News/Cory Smith

STANTON — Three years ago, a Stanton teenager found a new passion she not only enjoys, but that also helps others.

Autumn DeVries, 16, volunteers at the Montcalm County Animal Shelter in Stanton.

At first, she began walking dogs when she could, but as her passion grew, so did her volunteer hours.
“Now I spend more time at the shelter than at home,” DeVries said.

Because of her volunteering, she now does a little bit of everything at the shelter.

“It’s something to do,” DeVries said. “I love animals and I love volunteering.”

Animal Control Officer Angie Sova said DeVries spends time cleaning, doing paperwork, taking care of animals and anything else she can.

Recently, Sova said DeVries helped reunite a lost dog with its family by using Craigslist.org. DeVries said she searches the website to see if any of the shelter’s animals match ones that are listed as being lost. She happened to stumble across an advertisement about a lost shepherd mix dog missing from the Howell area. DeVries knew of an older shepherd mix dog that was recently brought in from the Lakeview area, which matched the description online.

“I texted the number to get more information,” DeVries said. “The lady sent me a photo and it was the dog we had.”

The family who lost the dog travels to the Lakeview area on weekends and DeVries believes that is how the dog got so far away from home.

“She is really dedicated,” said Sova of DeVries.

DeVries said she is at the shelter just about every day, volunteering about six to seven hours a day.
“She is a huge help,” Sova said. “Especially since we are low on staff.”

DeVries has strong feelings for animals. She said there are many organizations out there that receive money to help people, yet not as many to help animals.

“They are just like people, but can’t speak,” she said. “Why shouldn’t they get same treatment as people?”
This is the reason volunteering at the shelter is so important to her.

In the future, the Central Montcalm student said she might become a veterinarian technician to continue  her passion of helping animals.

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