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.)


Janie WillieThis month we feature Janie Raynor, another wonderful volunteer that NCCR has been so fortunate to have on our team for the past seven years. Her assistance has been invaluable in so many areas of the Rescue over the years.”Growing up, my family always had a stray dog living in our house; almost always a big black dog. I started my married life with a black lab and eventually two at a time to keep each other company while I worked. When one passed in April of 2011, I went to NCCR to meet a lab named Preston and adopted him. At that time, I observed a very clean, well run shelter where the dogs seemed comfortable on their raised beds with soft blankets and they were excited to see people come in. After that visit I knew that I wanted to volunteer there and spend my time with the dogs.A few months later when I fully retired in September of 2011, I immediately began volunteering on the day shift. In April of 2012, I started the evening shift and continue to do so presently. During this time, in addition to doing shelter chores, I make adoption follow-up calls, puppy spay-neuter checks, schedule Safety Training for new volunteer applicants, update the volunteer listing, set up and attend events, rabies immunization clinics, etc. There is so much to do at the shelter and we need many volunteers to help with the care of the dogs. It is a heartwarming experience seeing the dogs have things they probably never had before and watching them come out of their shell and loving life. When trying to recruit volunteers, I’m often told “I couldn’t do that” and my response always is “Why not? Try it, you’ll like it.”

“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.” (author unknown).


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!”