It’s that time of the month again where we feature one of our amazing volunteers. All our volunteers are incredible, and it will take many, many months to let you know more about all of them, but this month we are featuring Carolyn Hoskins who wears several hats at Lu’s Labs.
Carolyn is the Director of AC Training, she is an Adoption Coordinator, Home Checker, and helps with Transport. As the Director of AC Training, not only does she train all the adoption coordinators, she also receives and distributes all the applications from adopters seeking to bring a Lu’s Lab into their lives. This is a huge task, in that she must read through each and every application and sometimes clarify information before sending off to one of the 40 or so AC’s to begin their process. At times Lu’s Labs can have 20 or more applications in just a week. In fact, last year we had somewhere over 2000 applications and only 360 dogs to adopt.
It is a fact that we always have far more adopters than available dogs, due to our limited funding, and foster homes. Carolyn’s dedication speaks volumes about how much she not only loves dogs but believes in the mission of Lu’s Labs. She has always been an animal lover, and avidly followed Lu’s Labs Facebook posts. When a good friend who was also a volunteer, put out a message that Lu’s Labs was looking for Adoption Coordinators in December of 2015, that started her on the road to rescue and she hasn’t looked back.
There are always so many memorable and rewarding moments when involved with rescue. One of Carolyn’s favorite aspects of working for Lu’s Labs is getting to know he applicants and getting updates once they adopt. “Seeing what a difference the dog is making in their life, but also getting the opportunity to see the amazing life our dog is leading, is the best feeling!” says Carolyn.
In any given week Carolyn is reading through new applications, finding AC’s to process those applications, and keeping herself in the mix by checking vet and personal references and conducting interviews. Recently she trained a new group of volunteers which she says is, “Awesome! The more the merrier!” We are always looking for Adoption Coordinators as well as other volunteers to keep the rescue moving like a well-oiled machine.
“It’s an amazing village that is always advocating for the dog,” Carolyn says about the rewards and benefits of working for Lu’s Labs. “Everyone is incredibly supportive and is there if you need guidance, or just to vent.”
Just as most volunteers, Carolyn has her resident pups. Though not Lu’s Labs, Bella and Bosley round out the family. Even at 9 pounds Bella thinks she’s a 90-pound dog. “She could be an honorary lab if it weren’t for her wonky ears,” Jokes Carolyn. Bosley was a rescue adopted 5 years ago. “He came with a host of issues, but I worked through his issues and although he is still fearful when meeting new people, he is the absolute sweetest dog, and I wouldn’t change anything. I would adopt him again in a heartbeat even knowing his issues.”
If you are new to rescue or would like to know what it’s like to work in rescue, Carolyn would like people to know that we work incredible hard to do what is best for our dogs. “They have not had the best start in life and we are looking for their happily ever after – no exceptions. WE are not trying to judge anyone, or prevent someone from getting a dog, or trying to make money.” She says that’s laughable. “When we ask for personal references, vet references, and ask lots and lots of questions during an interview, we are trying to get to know you so that we can be sure our dog is going to the best home possible. We want to make sure the applicant has thought things through and understands the level of commitment that is required when adopting a dog.” Especially a rescue. With her extensive experience with Bosley, she wants our adopters to “Love our dog through it, whatever “it” may be.”
Carolyn reminds us that, “rescue is not always “Happy tails” sometimes a dog or puppy doesn’t make it, and it just breaks your heart. But the good stories always outweigh the bad and makes the heart breaks easier to bear. All of our dogs know only love the minute they land with Lu’s Labs and we do everything in our power to make that continue when they land in their forever home.”
For Carolyn rescue fits nicely into her life, “It’s easy to find an hour or two a day to help a dog in need, I want all of our dogs to be as spoiled as my two, so I find the time to make that happen.” Ultimately Carolyn wants anyone considering volunteering to know that it’s worth it! “There are so many different areas where you can help, and you can commit as much or as little time as you want. Once you see that “Gotcha Day” photo of that dog you transported, fostered, did the home check for or processed the application for, you will be hooked!”
If you would like to explore the volunteer possibilities at Lu’s Labs, please reach out to us! There is always room for another caring hand.