Category: “Volunteer”

Why Volunteer? Why Not!

Volunteers are the heart of the NCCR team. They generously give their time each week to care for the many dogs that arrive on our doorstep. We welcome volunteers that have a love for dogs and would like to join the NCCR team!  A training class is required and offered each month to prepare volunteers to begin hands on work with the dogs.  If you are interested, send us an email ( or stop in during open hours (Mon-Sat, 1-3 p.m.)

One of our long time wonderful volunteers is Charlie Fisher, who we are featuring this month.   Here is a little insight as to why he volunteers his time at NCCR.

Great Things About NCCR by Charles Fisher

Charlie & Murphy“My co-worker and friend, Elaine, had been volunteering at NCCR for years and had at one time mentioned the wonderful care their staff and volunteers provided to homeless puppies and dogs.  After suffering the loss of my closest family member and dearest friend Forrest, my golden retriever, I decided to stop and visit this shelter in the summer/fall of 2011.  Within a few days I started volunteering, first walking dogs which I believe not only they, but I also enjoyed.  By being and having adequate volunteers, it gives the dogs and puppies in the shelter more time and opportunity to interact with people, other dogs, and the outside environment.  I believe it makes the lives of the dogs and puppies at NCCR less stressful, more enjoyable, more diverse, and better prepares them for adoption.  What I really love about NCCR is that it is a no kill shelter which goes above and beyond to insure that every dog or puppy they get in is well cared for and loved.  I also am very pleased and very happy to see that they are able to adopt a lot of dogs and puppies each year.


In addition to having the benefit of feeling good about providing some comfort and interaction with the dogs and puppies at NCCR, volunteering there opens your eyes to the good that others in our communities are doing, i.e.  I am most appreciative of all staff members and volunteers at NCCR for all their contributions and efforts in improving and saving the lives of countless puppies and dogs and making this a better world.  Marcia, the current director of NCCR, excels in this regard, whether it involves/involved driving to Erie, PA day after day trying to catch a loose dog or the countless puppies and dogs she has taken home to nurse, care for, and pull through a potentially fatal illness or injury.

The staff and volunteers are all wonderful and interaction with some of them have changed my life, i.e  I first started working with Stephanie.  I was most impressed how easily she could get along with any dog, no matter how big or how frightened it was.  In talking with her I learned she was a vegetarian.  Not long afterward, I also adopted this practice and have yet to deviate from it, which hopefully improves my health.

Being involved with NCCR and the volunteers and staff have also been rewarding personally in other ways,  i.e. Jann, who I believe is the 1st founder of NCCR and an excellent photographer who takes pictures of all the dogs and puppies coming into the shelter, went to the trouble of taking numerous studio quality photographs of my dog Murphy and I on a very, very cold winter day- [these are pictures I will always cherish].  NCCR also provided Murphy the opportunity to have his picture taken with Santa Claus.

Thus, volunteering with NCCR will give an individual the opportunity to help dogs and puppies in need, feel good about helping out some of the less fortunate puppies and dogs in our country, open ones eyes to the good that is being done by others, and may possibly change your life in other ways.”

Why volunteer? Why not!

Do you have a love for animals and have a few hours a week to spare?  Opportunities are available from hands on care, fundraising events, grant writing to foster care and so much more.  Your contribution of time can make a huge impact of the lives of the dogs in the care of NCCR.  Volunteers are the very heart and soul of NCCR and without everyone’s efforts we would not be able to care for 200-300 dogs that we do each year.Fill out a volunteer application today!     Volunteer Application

This month we are featuring two of our amazing volunteers, Steve and Linda Douglas. There is no job too big or too small for Steve and Linda and we are so grateful to have them on the NCCR team!

Turner and familyIn 2009¸ Steve and I were looking for a dog to adopt as a companion for our Princess, a Pomeranian/Corgi mix. We searched rescue websites, visited the Chautauqua County Humane Society, the Erie County SPCA and others, looking for just the right “small” dog. I saw a Rottweiler, Turner, on the Northern Chautauqua Canine Rescue website that stuck in my mind. Over and over I returned to the website to look at him. Steve reminded me that we were looking for a small dog. I just couldn’t get Turner out of my mind. I decided to go to NCCR to meet him. That meeting and several more changed our lives. Turner became a part of our family shortly after.

What I saw at NCCR really struck me. Everyone that I met and talked to there was so kind and caring. It was obvious that they cared about each and every dog and wanted the right homes for each of them. The kennels were all clean and were individualized to meet the particular dog’s needs and likes. All had kuranda beds; some had hard toys; some had stuffed toys, some had a blanket; some had more than one.

I sent regular updates to NCCR on Turner’s progress and new life. Sadly, Turner was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and that news was shared with NCCR.The support from everyone at NCCR meant so much to us. We lost Turner to cancer in October of 2011. Sympathy cards came from NCCR that touched our hearts.

steve-sAfter losing Turner, we wanted to give back to NCCR by volunteering our time. We began working the Friday night shift and still are now. We also help at events, such as spaghetti dinners, the Fredonia Farm Festival, Tractor Supply pet events, Westfield rabies clinics and other events promoting and benefiting the dogs of NCCR. Steve has worn a dog costume in the Mayville parade and at Trunk or Treat in Jamestown this past Halloween. We have fostered, too. Every time a dog is adopted, we know that we’ve been a part of helping that dog and it’s a good feeling.

In 2012, we learned of rescue transports. Groups/teams of drivers all across the country drive “legs” of relay teams, transporting dogs from kill shelters to rescues, foster homes and even to forever homes. We became a part of many of these teams and drive almost every weekend. Sometimes we drive one dog; sometimes we drive several. Our transports average 50 miles. We meet other drivers who hand off dogs to us, then drive those dogs to a meeting place where we hand them off to the next drivers. We are helping to save lives of dogs that otherwise may have been lost.

Linda Mickey s


Through NCCR and transporting, we have met many new friends and are a part of changing the lives of many, many dogs. It all started with Turner!

~Linda Douglas

Why Volunteer? Why Not!

Volunteers are the very heart and soul of NCCR.  Without everyone’s efforts we would not be able to care for 200-300 dogs each year.  Each month we feature one of our great volunteers and this month it is Lynn Marie Schroeder.  If you have a few hours a week to spare, come and join the great team at NCCR! Your contribution of time can make a huge impact of the lives of the dogs in the care of NCCR.  Fill out a volunteer application today!     Volunteer Application

IM000837.JPGI have always been an animal lover, and knew there was a soul behind their eyes. Compassion for every stray I saw, and wanting to shelter and give them love. The chance came to do just that about 8 years ago when I visited NCCR with my mom as she wanted to adopt a friend. From the moment I walked into the building, the feeling of love, compassion, friendship & common goal drew me to apply to volunteer. I started out with a 2 day morning shift of feed,water,walk,play,love.I had to scale back a bit and help with events and sponsorships, but always found time to enter each kennel and love up a furbaby. Nothing is more beautiful to see that scared,confused dog crawl into your lap, trying to trust again in a human. I have fostered over the years, litters of puppies ( I love puppy breath)  terrified puppy mill dogs, abused dogs and dogs dropped off because they aren’t wanted any longer. Watching their transformation into happy, playful, smiling, devoted creatures is wonderful for my soul, not to mention theirs.
Then there is the friendships of my fellow rescuers. We keep each other going when it gets rough, laugh at ourselves and our charges, and share our devotion to help these amazing creatures. I treasure these wonderful people I consider my friends. LM


When people learn that I volunteer, I hear the same old ” I could never do that I would bring them all home”  That was me,I thought that way…but that changed when I held my first little terrified furbaby, I knew I was making a difference in their lives without bringing them all home. And this is why I volunteer.


Why Volunteer? Why Not!

Volunteers are the very heart and soul of NCCR.  Without everyone’s efforts we would not be able to care for 200-300 dogs each year.  Each month we feature one of our great volunteers and this month it is Dana Baker.  If you have a few hours a week to spare, come and join the great team at NCCR!

“I became a volunteer for Northern Chautauqua Rescue because of my compassion for dogs.  Dana2As a young child I had bonded with every dog I ever came across.  It seemed that all the strays in town knew exactly where I lived.  And if one should happen to need a place to stay, food, or even a sore spot treated, I was there to provide it for them. I had accidentally come upon NCCR when they resided in an old pole barn where NCCR first began.  I was looking for a missing dog for a friend of mine. That’s when I met the founders of NCCR, Jann Balsano and Brenda Luce, and saw all the wonderful things they were doing for the many homeless, abused and surrendered dogs.  I knew immediately that this was my calling.  And so it began… The many hours of helping these poor pups that were in need of the love, compassion and companionship that we were able to give them, was very fulfilling.  I knew from the first day that I looked into their empty eyes, that I could not just turn my back and walk away from them.  They needed me.  They needed us.  And never a day went by that I regretted the hard work that was involved.  Because at the end of each day, I knew I helped save these poor helpless pups that would never have survived without us.  It made me feel complete.  To this day, I still help NCCR out in many ways.  I started my own boarding kennels so that I still had the day to day contact with my furry friends and I always keep a kennel or two opened for a rescue in need.

If you have even just a few hours a week to give, you will find caring for these dogs in need to be a very rewarding experience.”

Dana served as Co-Director, Dog Control Officer for Westfield/Ripley and NCCR Board Member for many years. In addition to providing foster care for dogs or puppies when needed, she owns and operates Creekside Boarding located on Minton Road in Westfield.


Why Volunteer? Why Not!

 Volunteers are the very heart and soul of NCCR.  Without everyone’s efforts we would not be able to care for 200-300 dogs each year.  Each month we feature one of our great volunteers and this month it is Joan Kunow.  If you have a few hours a week to spare, come and join the great team at NCCR!


Joan“My journey to Northern Chautauqua Canine Rescue wasn’t a planned one. As my husband, Peter, had been volunteering for several years after NCCR moved to Gale Street, I occasionally would lend him a hand at various jobs …. cleaning up the dog yards, helping with the yard work or taking over a shift with the dogs.  When NCCR was in need of an accountant about ten years ago, I volunteered to do the accounting and serve as treasurer on the board.

I’m sure to some people, paperwork isn’t probably the most exciting part of volunteering, but it is very essential in running this business and keeping us above board.   With the help of many volunteers, I enjoy doing my part in making sense of all the contributions and fundraisers as well as staying on top of the expenses and countless requirements.

Giving my time is something I do because there is a need for help, and that’s why we enjoy good volunteers at NCCR.  If it weren’t for our dedicated volunteers, we wouldn’t have this great organization with so many activities and functions to keep us operating.  Our goal is the same, to find our dogs good homes. We all work toward that goal, not for recognition and status but because we love and care for dogs.

Volunteering at NCCR covers a multitude of opportunities especially if one has a special talent in a certain area. But you don’t have to be limited to that. You’ll still find me occasionally cleaning a dog yard, painting, cleaning or working in the yard as well as helping at a fundraiser or special event.  You can be a part of that too!”