a guide to: volunteering at TRTL
1. Make It A Date
Wanna step up that tinder meet-up?
Or maybe you wanna catch up with a few friends without having to spend any money.
Try to go in even numbers because the dogs are homed in pairs or more and they have to be walked together.
If you're going in a group of 5, make sure to ask for the family!
There's a family of 5 dogs who can only be walked together and they are the sweetest pack.
2. Go at least an hour before 4.30pm
The dogs are usually walked anytime after 12pm - 4.30pm.
Each walk (2 rounds around the compound) will take an average of 15 mins, so plan your trip accordingly.
3. Getting There
The closest MRT Station to the shelter is Choa Chu Kang.
You can take a bus to the shelter from there.
A grab ride from Lot 1 Mall is about 8 SGD- this is great if you're heading over in a group.
The closest Bus Stop to the shelter is Chengtai Nursery or Opposite Chengtai Nursery.
It is about a 10 minute walk (uphill) to the shelter.
4. Be Mentally Prepared
The shelter can get a little overwhelming if you are sensitive like our founder, Joie. She was a mess on her first visit. But she quickly pulled it together, and you will too!
With walking the dogs, come poop. Newspaper is provided for you to take on your rounds so you can clean up after them. It might be a little gross your first time, but you'll get the hang of it.
It is easy and understandable to get affected by the reality of the situation while you're there, but it's important to know that you being there is such a great thing and it makes their day.
Use the time you have there radiating joy and giving loads of love. You'll feel a whole lot better!
5. Dress Comfortably
Doing your rounds in tight jeans or long-sleeved shirts might get a little uncomfortable especially if you head over in the afternoon. It gets HOT.
Also, if you plan on heading in to the shelter instead of waiting outside for the. full-timers to hand you the dogs, wear flip flops for easy access in & out of the units..
6. Spend Time With Them
These babies spend all day in the kennel. Though they're not alone, their kennel mates can't cuddle them like we do! After your 2 rounds, take 5 minutes or so to hang out with them and give them head rubs and more. Don't forget not to spend too much time with one, though. The rest need love too!
6. Snap Pictures
Another way you can spread the word is to share your experience with the dogs.
Posting about your time with them and showing how lovable they are can do so much to get people interested in volunteering their time too..
7. Go On Weekdays
If your schedule allows, go on a weekday!
The shelter is full of volunteers on weekends, which make weekdays a little quieter for them.
8. Sunday is Shower Day
If you want to bathe them, go on a Sunday.
A check of the whiteboards in each unit will let you know which doggo is in need of a bath.
Please make sure you have experience in bathing them and being able to clean and dry them off thoroughly. Access soap being caught in their fur might cause a rash and lead to poor skin.
9. Talk To The Full-Timers
They are equipped with the knowledge of the quirks of each dog.
Also, if you have experience with dogs who might tug harder on the leash, let them know!
This information will enable them to assign you to dogs who require more attention, that most volunteers are unable to handle, and as a result get walked less.
A friendly conversation will surely make their day too!
10. Go With An Open Heart
Animals are kind, forgiving and intuitive.
They are able to sense our emotions and have the ability to make things better with their presence.
A lot of these dogs have been abused before, but despite their past still yearn for human affection.
Shower them with love and tell them you love them. What you get in return is fulfilling and humbling.
And enjoy yourselves!!! Volunteering is a beautiful thing.