Being able to dedicate a few hours of your day playing and showing love to dogs might be one of the best ways to spend your time.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on November 21, 2019. It has since been updated.
The love of a dog is something every human should experience at least once. Those furry creatures love with all their hearts and give all of themselves to their owners. They are the perfect all-weather friend we crave for. Having a bad day? Snuggle your dog. Having a good day? Snuggle your dog. It can't get simpler than this. If you are someone who would prefer spending their day with a dog rather than sitting behind a desk or on the couch at home, an animal shelter in Florida has the best opportunity.
Jeff Honig, a retired Hillsborough County deputy, has taken the job as a volunteer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay very seriously and become an expert "dog snuggler," according to ABC Action News. He is there for the furry creatures when they leave the operating room at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay after getting spayed or neutered. He cuddles the dogs in a recovery pen and comforts them during this frightening phase.
"It’s very soothing for me, it’s very soothing for them," said Honig. "It’s just a great experience," he said. The retired county deputy spends 10 hours a week at the Tampa shelter and every hour he gives them is important to the shelter. While there are enough volunteers during the summer, once the schools and universities reopen the students have to leave this beloved position. There aren't enough volunteers during the downtime, which is in the winter and spring, and any help is appreciated.
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay had posted a photo of Jeff snuggling one of the dogs and it became popular on social media. In the post, they shared, "Meet Jeff! He is one of our AMAZING volunteers! He helps with anything he can, especially within our surgery department. As you can see he is a pro at surgery snuggling; providing comfort and care to our animals post-surgery. We are so grateful (animals too) for such passionate and dedicated individuals like Jeff. Thank you, Jeff for all that you do!"
The look of pure joy on Jeff's face is proof of how fulfilling the job is. "This is my dog fix," Honig said while holding Rosie the Rottweiler. "I have four cats at home. I travel a lot. So here, I get to hang with them."
The number of volunteers at the shelter stays dynamic and volunteers are appreciated by the animals and humans both, said Humane Society’s Liz McCoy. "It makes me emotional just thinking about it. Nothing happy brings animals through our doors. So when volunteers come in to make things better, it’s just a moving thing to be a part of," she said.
To become a volunteer, you can visit -- https://humanesocietytampa.org/become-a-volunteer. If you are not 16, you would have to be accompanied by an adult.