Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Balbes

Jennifer Balbes joined the DAWS team in January 2018 as a dog walker and socializer, in addition to photographing and creating videos of our pups. “I was looking for a meaningful volunteer position in which I could make a positive contribution. I am an animal lover and sought out to work with the dogs,” shares Jennifer.

Over the course of three years, she has watched many canines find their furever homes, which has been the most rewarding part of her volunteer experience. The animals she has encountered have shown their love and appreciation in more ways than Jennifer could have ever imagined. She has also met wonderful and dedicated volunteers along her journey and made lifelong connections. Jennifer explains, “DAWS has enabled me to make a positive impact on the lives of rescue pups. In a world where we need to help those around us when we can, DAWS provides us with the perfect opportunity to do so. I look forward each week to doing my part and my life has been greatly enriched as a result.”

In addition to being a dog walker, Jennifer had the privilege to foster a dog named Luther, which has been her most treasured memory of her time at DAWS. “He arrived at the shelter quiet and depressed, needing surgery but still a very sweet soul. I quickly bonded with him. When the shelter experienced a power outage, I took Luther home to help him recuperate. After a short time, I brought him to an open house at the shelter and had the very special experience of witnessing the instant connection he made with his adoptive parents. The best part has been seeing him go to a very happy, loving home and having the opportunity to dog-sit for him on occasion. He’s now a fun, adventurous soul and I feel so blessed that I was able to be a part of his adoption journey,” Jennifer says.

Alice Meenan, Director of Development and Marketing at DAWS states, “Jennifer’s dedication to our dog program and long-term residents is such an asset to the work we do at DAWS.  We value her optimism and drive to never give up on an animal and are grateful for the many talents she brings to our organization.” We are so thankful to our amazing volunteers that make such a difference here at DAWS!

Jennifer resides in Monroe and when she’s not volunteering with our dogs, she enjoys exploring nature by hiking and photographing the great outdoors.