DPA’s Pawesome Person: May Volunteer Spotlight

“Shelbye is the breath of fresh air I needed for the PASS program. She volunteered and worked while in college at Texas A&M with animals, so her backgroud peeked my interest in her immediately, but her passion for saving animals really made me want her on the team. PASS is a program that is so new and complex, that its hard for some to conceptualize but Shelbye just got it and she has ran with it ever since. Her organization and compassion for people and their pets is exactly what I needed in this role. The PASS line can be hard to volunteer for, there are very few solutions out there to help people and their pets but Shelbye always takes the opportunity to make individual email responses to people, people she will never see. Her customer service to citizens in need and her organization have taken the PASS line, to where it should be. I am so happy to have her on the PASS team!”

– Leslie Sans, Executive Director of Dallas Pets Alive!

What is your current role?

I am the Assistant Director of DPA’s (somewhat new) Positive Alternatives to Shelter Surrender (PASS) program, and I also foster.

How did you get involved with volunteering at DPA?

I had a lot of free time when I moved back to this area last summer. One of my close friends, Lizzie, has been a DPA volunteer for the past 2 years and loves rescue just as much as I do. She forwarded me a list of DPA’s volunteer opportunities; I took one look at that list and honestly have been hooked ever since.

What are you most passionate about at DPA?

If I had to choose it would definitely be fostering and the PASS program.

Fostering is so amazing because you can save an animals life just by letting it stay at your place for a short time. Saving a life is the best feeling ever!

Now PASS, this program holds a special place in my heart. The PASS line is usually an owner’s last hope and effort for trying to find some help before actually taking their pet to the shelter. PASS showed me that most owners don’t actually want to surrender their pet but have no other choice. This devastated me! I adore my fur-kids and I literally can’t even imagine having to surrender them & here are people in DFW that have to do it every single day. So I try to do everything possible to help these owners keep their pets. Responding to each individual person can be time consuming, and we hear a lot of sad, heart-wrenching stories but I’ve developed a passion for this; a passion for helping the people and helping their pets. And guess what? We’re making a difference! Knowing that I helped a family keep their beloved pet, a pet that they’ve had for 8+ years, is so rewarding. I’m beyond blessed and extremely grateful that I get to do this every day.

I mean, I’m able to save a life AND keep a family together just by volunteering. How awesome is that?!

What are some words of wisdom to new DPA Volunteers?

Have fun and enjoy it! Don’t hold yourself back from taking that extra step to help someone/something. People take notice and show appreciation when someone goes the extra mile for them. Regardless, volunteering your time to help out is such a rewarding feeling & makes everything worth it in the end.

Give us a fun fact about you!

Want to know what I do if I start to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or just need a chill-break? I pour a glass of wine, turn some “feel-good” music on and dance around the house with my dogs. They love it as much as I do and honestly, there is no better remedy 🙂

Be like Shelbye:

Sign up to volunteer with Dallas Pets Alive!

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