VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Susan Johnson helps out in ruff times

Published 8:00 am Sunday, January 15, 2023

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Susan Johnson, who volunteers at the Vicksburg Animal Shelter.

The Vicksburg Animal Shelter houses unwanted or stray animals while helping them find their forever homes. The Vicksburg Animal Shelter also has a foster care program where foster pet parents take a pet home and help them back to health or assist in socializing until they find their new home. 

How did you hear about the program?

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I started fostering with the shelter once I became connected with (fellow volunteer) Dianne Gargaro. She would keep me in touch with all the babies that would need to be bottled or I would take care of the pregnant mothers that needed to come out of the shelter.

How long have you been volunteering?

I think I have been helping with fostering for about 7 to 8 years. 

What is your favorite memory while volunteering?

My favorite memory to date will be the foster I have currently. Her name is Imari. She came to me as a very broken soul who did not know how to show any emotion. Then one night out of the blue, I was getting her leashed to go for a walk and she came at me with full excitement wagging her tail. Now she is all about playing and getting attention. The great news is that in just a few more weeks, she will have her forever home.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?

For anyone thinking of fostering, it is truly one of the best feelings in the world to get a poor broken down or sick animal and watch it come back to life. It is a great feeling knowing that the poor animal would not have come back to life if it wasn’t for you stepping in to give it a little time and love.

What are your activities and what do they involve?

Well, just normal pet care if it’s just a normal situation. If it’s bottle babies, they are with me all day and night. I would take them to work with me or set up daycare if they need more socializing for a more emotional case. I also do any vet runs that are needed and handle medication or shots that are needed.

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.