Perry County Humane Society volunteer Amy James
Amy James finds it therapeutic being a volunteer for the Perry County Humane Society (PCHS).
“There is nothing in the world like the love that the dogs and cats give,” James told SW Illinois News. “There is just something about a rescue pet; I truly believe they know they've been given a second chance and are truly appreciative of that. I love them all but every now and then there is a special one that comes in and I get really attached. And I admit that I cry when they go home, some selfish tears because I won't get to see them anymore and some happy tears because they've found their home. But it's all worth it to see them blossoming and being loved.”
James began volunteering at PCHS around five years ago, though it was not her intention when she first visited the facility on a recommendation after a difficult loss.
“My oldest son was volunteering there for credit for school,” James said. “We had recently lost our dog of 17 years just a couple of months prior. He called to tell me there was a dog out there that I needed to come look at. I told him we weren't ready for a dog but I'd come look. Needless to say, long story short, we first applied to foster that dog and then we ended up adopting her, and it snowballed from there.”
A Du Quoin native, James started out as a cat-room volunteer and then went on to help with the dogs. She is currently the volunteer coordinator and is on the adoption committee. She also participates in hands-on cleaning and feedings.
“I hope I have helped the community by making them more aware of the shelter and its mission,” she said. “I was shocked at how many local people didn't realize that we had a no-kill shelter in Perry County. I hope to both educate and advocate, along with getting homeless pets off the street.”
When she’s not volunteering, James can be found working at the City Clerks Office in Du Quoin. The rest of her spare time is devoted to being with her two dogs, reading and gardening.