TJO seeking new volunteers amid busy time of year

Do you have some free time on your hands? The Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center is looking for volunteers.
Published: Aug. 17, 2023 at 3:36 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Do you have some free time on your hands? The Thomas J. O’Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center is looking for volunteers.

If you have ever been to the adoption center on Cottage Street in Springfield, you may have met Ann Galland, who has been volunteering with the organization since 2010

“I do a lot of their paperwork. I do a lot of filing. If they need forms made, I make sure they have plenty to use,” Galland said. “I have fostered over 100 kittens and I do bottle babies, which means that I have to feed them every two hours. That’s 24 hours a day.

She said she finds the work rewarding.

“I just enjoy the people, I enjoy the animals, and it gets me out of the house one day a week and I just enjoy it,” Galland noted.

However, many volunteers are needed to support these animals, so TJO is reaching out for help.

“After COVID, our volunteer level really dropped off the number of volunteers we had and we’re really trying to build that number back up,” said TJO Executive Director Lori Swanson. “We have volunteers that contribute right now about 100 hours probably a week and so we really need to get that number up.”

Swanson told Western Mass News that summer is one of their busiest times, so they can use all the extra hands they can get with helping with tasks like laundry, office work, walking dogs, and more.

Becoming a volunteer is simple. First, you attend an orientation to learn about the organization and their goals, as well as how to be safe around animals. From there, discussions are held on volunteer task preferences and availability. All volunteers must be 18 or older, be able to work independently, and read and identify warning signs that an animal might be giving off.

Swanson said any help from the community helps them work towards providing every animal with the opportunity to live a safe, healthy, life.

“We would not be able to do the job we do without the people that come into our building every single day, the people that support us financially, the people that support us coming in and pulling up their sleeves,” Swanson noted.

Galland hopes people get just as much out of volunteering as she has.

“If you want to spend some time, it would be great,” Galland said.

TJO will be hosting another two-part volunteer orientation on September 21 and 28, both starting at 5:30 pm. People interested in volunteering can email