HomeNewsArticle Display

K-9 fixer upper: Volunteers spruce up dogs’ digs

Sprucing up dogs' digs

Master Sgt. Melissa Erwin and Anthoney Smith, 340th Flying Training Group, volunteered a few hours last week to paint dog kennels at the Humane Society of New Braunfels Area shelter in New Braunfels, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo)

JOINT-BASE SAN ANTONIO-Randolph, Texas – It was a K-9 fixer upper opportunity that led two 340th Flying Training Group members who don’t have pets to spend an afternoon last week helping dogs who don’t have families.

Master Sgt. Melissa Erwin, group information technology superintendent, and Anthoney Smith, financial management travel lead, volunteered to paint dog kennels at the Humane Society of New Braunfels Area, New Braunfels, Texas, while the kennel residents were out for medical procedures. By the time the pups returned, their quarters were clean and fresh.

Although neither has a pet, both Erwin and Smith welcome opportunities to help others, and both are animal lovers, so helping out the Humane Society was a natural fit.

Erwin, a long-time volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and other non-profit agencies in Georgia and Arizona, has been volunteering at the New Braunfels shelter for a little over a year, helping prep animals for veterinary visits, adoption events and more. She got involved when a fellow group member told her about the facility and its need for support, and although it’s a long drive from her house in Cibolo, she plans to continue to help when she can.

The painting visit was Smith’s first time at the shelter, but like Erwin, he’s a regular volunteer whenever there’s a need, whether it’s setting up and cooking for a unit event or helping out at the local food bank. Like Erwin, he’s not a New Braunfels resident, but the drive wasn’t going to stop him from helping the shelter and its dogs.

Until the shelter dogs have forever homes and families of their own, Erwin, Smith and other group volunteers plan to do what they can to make the shelter a better place for them.