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The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

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The Daily Eastern News


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Coles County Animal Shelter offers volunteering opportunity

Abraham Ortiz
Stacy Forcum spends time with Sally Mae, a lab shelter dog. Forcum is a volunteer who often comes to help with the animals, at the Coles County Animal Shelter.

The first time coming to an animal shelter can be nerve-racking for those who are not used to being around animals, said Julie Bennett, the Coles County Animal Shelter manager. 

Typically, newcomers start out working with cats, being shown how they’re cleaned and how to do maintenance work with them, animal shelter employee Taylor Bennett said. 

After that, Taylor Bennett said, the shelter brings out the dogs for people to work with, teaching how to walk the dogs and how to properly work with them using treats.  

She suggested that new volunteers wear shoes and clothing that can get torn up, filthy or muddy.   

“It is rewarding,” Julie Bennett said. “Not only do you get to socialize with the animals, but I feel like you will know that you are earning their love, their trust, taking them out, having them just love on you because their love’s unconditional.” 

For Taylor Bennett, working with the shelter helped her become more passionate about animals.   

“Everybody’s open and everybody welcomes everyone here with open arms,” she said. “We play with cats, socialize with the dogs more than people. It taught me a lot about how to take care of animals and the proper way to take care of animals.” 

According to Taylor Bennett, often people come into the animal shelter to volunteer but end up falling in love with the animals and adopting one. 

At the shelter, it costs $50 to adopt a cat, including spaying and neutering, Taylor Bennett said. For dogs, there is a $50 dollar adoption fee alongside an additional $75 to get the dog neutered or an additional $100 to get the dog spayed.  

According to the Coles County Animal Shelter website, veterans with proof of service can have the $50 adoption fee removed.  

The fees include feline leukemia testing, vaccinations, de-worming, and a checkup for fleas and/or mites, she said. The animal shelter also offers microchipping. 

 Recently, the shelter has started offering the option for people and businesses to sponsor an animal. By sponsoring, the animal’s adoption fee or part of the adoption fee is paid to aid in the adoption process.  

According to Jason Wallace, who has been with the Coles County Animal Shelter for 26 years, animal sponsorships have seen great success, with more dogs being sponsored than not.  

The Coles County Animal Shelter also has a list of items needed and a GoFundMe page for those who want to donate.  

Even if someone cannot adopt a pet, people can still visit the animals at the Coles County Animal Shelter. 

“Just coming out here for five to 10 minutes will really make a difference for any of the animals,” Taylor Bennett said. “Whether you come out and show them some love or take them on walks, they’ll love it regardless.” 

The Coles County Animal Shelter’s hours can be viewed on their website, or you can find them on Facebook.  


Alli Hausman contributed to this story.  


Chandler Smith can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]. 

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Chandler Smith, Reporter
Chandler Smith is a senior broadcast journalism major. He previously served as a reporter at The News.

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