Paws with a Purpose

Join CLS as they offer a helping hand at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter

Campus News > Paws with a Purpose
Paws with a Purpose
Students will be offering their time and effort at the Somerset Regional Animal Shelter April 11.
Shannon Sheehan, Staff Writer

The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) is hosting a volunteer opportunity at Somerset Regional Animal Shelter Thursday, April 11. This fun, interactive community service opportunity will be from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

The Somerset Regional Animal Shelter is located in Bridgewater, NJ and is open daily from noon to 4 p.m., with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. The shelter takes in around 1,000 animals a year, ranging from dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals. Not only does the shelter aim to find homes for these animals, but they also provide behavior modification, animal control, pet retention programs and affordable spaying and neutering.

There are several different tasks that will be assigned to the volunteers on the day of the trip by the on-site volunteer coordinator. Students may have the opportunity to do a variety of services such as socializing with cats, dogs and other small animals. This helps the animals have human interaction and play time.

Also, students could be assigned to cleaning cages and washing linens. This will ensure that the animals have a suitable, comfortable and clean place to lounge and live.

It is important to note that it is not guaranteed that volunteers will interact with the animals. Instead, it depends on what the shelter needs assistance with at the time of the visit.

The premise of the trip is for the students to offer their help before the opening of the shelter. Every morning, the workers have a list of tasks that need to be completed before the shelter opens to the public.

Service Specialist Rachel Domke said, "The idea is to help them with their morning day tasks, because there's only so many people that work there and only so many people that volunteer."

"[They're] easy tasks for us, but for them it's such a burden sometimes because there's so many other bigger things that they have to do. [When] we take [those tasks] out of their morning, it just makes the whole day go smoother," Domke said.

If one would like to volunteer to attend this service trip, pre-registration is available on Cougar Link. Spaces are not guaranteed, as this trip runs on a first come, first served basis.

Transportation will be provided to volunteers. The vans will be leaving from the Wilkins Theatre Bus Stop. The approved volunteers will get more information on departure and transpiration as the event nears.

Volunteers should remember to wear closed toe shoes and clothing that one will be comfortable in. Also, please note that one should wear clothing that can get wet, dirty or muddy in the event that this transpires.

Domke said, "I think that, in general, any of our trips offer a way to give back to the community and truly see what's going on out [in the community]. It lets you go past what you see at Kean."

For any questions regarding this trip or other service trips, make sure to contact the Center for Leadership and Service by visiting the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 219, calling (908) 737-5170, or emailing

about the author

Shannon Sheehan, Staff Writer

Shannon Sheeehan is a Junior Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. She joined The Cougar's Byte staff in Spring 2018. After her time at Kean, Shannon hopes to start her professional career in Public Relations and/or Social Media.