Volunteer of the Week: Tracy Chaney goes to the dogs

Published 4:00 am Monday, November 29, 2021

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Tracy Chaney. Chaney volunteers for the City of Vicksburg Animal Shelter.

How did you hear about the program?

I heard that the City Animal Shelter was desperate for volunteers in 2017. I retired in April 2017 and thought I could help out. I thought all the current volunteers were just walking dogs and taking pictures and posting them online. Easy enough. I didn’t start then, but I thought about it a great deal. I had been a dog foster for Paws Rescue for many years before then. I knew that Paws pulled a lot of their fosters from the City Shelter. I thought I could more or less choose my foster.

How long have you been volunteering?

Paws Rescue was looking for fosters when the city shelter was in danger of flooding back in 2011. I contacted them and agreed to take one dog. At that time, I assumed there were many volunteers in Vicksburg stepping up to help. That first year, I probably fostered three or four dogs and ended up with a senior rescue that lived with us until her life ended. Paws Rescue paid for her expensive meds for probably four years. We loved her just like we loved our own, and she is buried on our property.

What is your favorite memory while volunteering?

This past week’s Cloo Croo has definitely made a memory! I also love walking the dogs. When I drive up, they all get so excited. I feel bad if I have to do something else that takes me away from that. Their little world has shrunk to their cells. Some are used to wandering around and really miss feeling the grass under their feet and smelling those smells. I also remember the day a guy came and said, “Who is in danger of being put down?” and adopted THAT dog!

What are your activities and what do they involve?

I, of course, walk dogs. There are other volunteers who love the cats. I take pictures of the dogs and write up what I observe about them. Are they leash trained? Do they know any commands? Do they have any health issues that I can see? I report to Animal Control and she decides what gets posted. One of the rescue groups has given (Shelter Director Kacie) Lindsey some heartworm tests which, with her vet tech background, can tell very quickly if a dog has heartworms.  f they can afford it, Paws Rescue will take them and get them treated and then they are good to go to a northern rescue. I also transport dogs and cats, mainly for Safe Haven Rescue which is a transport for rescues. I meet Safe Haven transport wherever needed in central Mississippi (mostly in Crystal Springs) to be picked up. They are then taken to northern rescues for the adoption process.

Do you have any advice to share with future volunteers?

Find your niche. I leave the cat business to those wonderful volunteers. I’m not good at fund-raising, but when I go to the vet, I donate to Paws Rescue’s account when I can. In the past, I volunteered to write thank-you notes for a Paws Rescue fundraiser that took days. I love to drive, so I’m transporting. There are other things that I do, but on a case-by-case basis. A lot of getting into fostering has to do with trust. … If you can help, please do. If you cannot, just share the posts.

Thank you Tracy Chaney for your commitment to the Vicksburg Community.