Tom Audette, Volunteer Since 2007
Keeping Order in the Court and Kennel
After spending his career working in the county court system, Tom Audette knows how to keep things running smoothly, and deeply appreciates the advantages of being around canines. “What’s not to love about this?” Tom commented as he snuggled an adorable pup in his arms. “When I was working it was definitely therapeutic to be around puppies on a Saturday!”
Now retired, Tom still volunteers and has 16 years at North Shore Animal League America under his belt. He continues to find the work both fulfilling and engaging. Though he did not grow up in a household with pets, thanks to his wife and daughters, that eventually changed for the better. After parenting several cats, Tom and his wife adopted their first dog, a German Short-Haired Pointer named Dottie, from Animal League America and she was the first of more to come.
Tom initially signed up to volunteer after his daughters expressed interest. He had agreed to do the hour-drive back and forth from their home and thought, “I’m not going to drive all that way and then come back, so I volunteered too.” Over a decade later, he’s still grateful for the hours he spends with the animals, the volunteers, and the visitors.
Tom has a particular fondness for the dogs who are rescued from commercial breeders, because he knows they have had a hard life and need a little more patience: “When you find a home for them, it’s so rewarding. I truly believe that people and dogs belong together.”
Part of his work training and supervising volunteers includes working with a group from The Nicholas Center – an organization that provides programs and services for autistic individuals in Port Washington, NY. Tom sees first-hand the benefit they receive from working with animals and the smiles they bring. He also assists potential adopters in making informed decisions before bringing a pet home. “When a young couple comes in who’ve never had a dog before, I’ll talk to them about what to expect,” Tom said. “I don’t sugarcoat things. A puppy is a lot of work!”
We rely on volunteers like Tom to help us transform the lives of our animals and adopters, and we are grateful for the positive attitude he brings to whatever he is doing. “He leads our Volun-teens and The Nicholas Center Navigator volunteers flawlessly,” said Melissa Hargett, Animal League America Senior Volunteer Coordinator. “Tom is an amazing volunteer team leader who loves to help anywhere he can, and we truly appreciate all the time and care he has provided for our team!”
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month
At North Shore Animal League America, we could not perform all of the hands-on work that we do without the help of our incredible team of dedicated volunteers.
If you’d like to learn more about the Volunteer Program and available opportunities, please visit animalleague.org/volunteer.