SHINNSTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — Jackie Gaines decided to use her available time paired with something she loves.
“I had some free time, and I thought that was the best thing I could do with it because I just love animals,” Gaines said. “And, I knew at the time that they could use the help.”
She’s been volunteering her time with the Humane Society of Harrison County for years, and it’s even where she got her own dog.
“I’ve had dogs all my entire life. My last dog, we had to put down a year ago,” Gaines said, holding back tears. “He was a rescue. I happened to be at the humane society that day working when he came in, and everybody was going ‘take him home, take him home.’ I got home, showed my husband, and he said ‘go back and get him’. He was a love. He was a love.”
While Gaines does have a love for dogs, that doesn’t mean the felines are left out.
“I gravitate towards the dogs, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t liked or loved certain cats, because I have,” Gaines said.
With volunteering, Gaines has done everything from light office work, to cleaning, to even stepping into the surgery room a few times. She says there’s more than people see on a daily basis.
“There’s a lot down there that is more than meets the eye of the people think ‘Oh, the Humane Society, let’s go see if we can adopt an animal,'” Gaines said.
However, one of her favorite parts is seeing people find their new family members.
“You get to socialize with them. You can walk them. You can bathe them. You can just play with them, and you can help find the pet that this person walks in and says ‘I’d like to see Sissy’, or ‘I’d like to see Sassy’, ‘I’d like to see Fiona’, whatever animal they’ve come in to see,” Gaines said. “You can say ‘Here’s your animal if you’d like to play with her or him for a little bit. See if they’re a good fit for your family.”
Because of her work with the Humane Society of Harrison County and her dedication to animals, the Miley Legal Group has donated $500 to go toward the facility. She mentioned the humane society really needs the funds due to COVID-19.
“It’s made me kind of emotional. They can use all the funding that they can get,” Gaines said. “They can use all the donations that people want to give. They’ve lost a lot the last two or three years, plus everything that makes the humane society run on a daily basis as far as dog food, cat food, cat litter, laundry detergent, dish detergent, paper towels, garbage bags; there’s just tons of things that some people don’t realize that they need on a daily basis to keep the facility open and running to care and help these animals. I’m honored. I don’t do it for the honors, the award, for the glory. I do it because I love doing it. I love helping Frankie, which is the [executive] director [of the humane society]. I love helping the staff, and they’ve been remarkable over the years I’ve been there.”
All of the photos in this story are of animals that were available for adoption as of Tuesday morning at the Humane Society of Harrison County. If you’re interested in adopting any of them, you can reach out to them at 304-592-1600.