Spirit Betty Freeman Finished

By WVUA 23 Student Reporter Ivy Ervin

Every Tuesday, we at WVUA 23 love having the folks from the Humane Society of West Alabama come for a visit with one of their many furry friends looking for homes.

Nearly all the animals coming for a visit find their families after making their TV appearance, but did you know that none of the people working at the shelter gets paid? And there’s one volunteer who works close to full time helping dogs who need a home find one.

Betty Freeman spends nearly 30 hours a week taking care of dogs still looking for their forever home, and helps ensure potential pet owners know what it takes to accept a new dog into their lives.

And she does it all without getting paid.

“It’s a passion,” Freeman said. “I do it because I love it.”

Freeman spends her volunteer hours at the humane society’s dog house, taking care of the animals, running the adoption process and handling fundraisers, which is a lot more than you’d expect when hearing the word “volunteer.” And she’s been around from the start, with more than 15 years at the organization.

Other volunteers like Tina Miller said HSWA wouldn’t be the same without her.

“She’s really a full-time volunteer, and we could not do what we do here at the dog house without Betty Freeman,” Miller said.

Unlike many pounds and shelters, HSWA doesn’t euthanize any animal. If a potential pet to be doesn’t find a home, they live out their lives at the dog house.

“We want to help the animals because they can’t do it themselves, and they definitely need help,” Freeman said.

If you’re wondering how you can help HSWA and animals that remain homeless in Tuscaloosa, Freeman said they’re always accepting cleaning supplies, leashes, collars, food or treat, but there’s one thing that’s far more important.

“Spay and neuter your pet,” Freeman said. “I cannot stress that enough. Around 6,000 animals get turned into the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter on an annual basis.”

Volunteers are always welcome, and even if they can’t work with the animals, there’s plenty of help needed with fundraising.

But the best thing you can do is adopt instead of purchasing a pet, Freeman said. Adoptions are the best form of payment for her hard work.

“I call it our adoption high,” Freeman said. “When you see that adoption and you see a family loving on that animal, that’s what it’s all about for us.”

If you’re interested in adopting from HSWA, you’ll need to fill out an adoption application. Once finding a dog or cat you think is a match, HSWA allows you to take it home for a short trial period before the official adoption. Taking that extra step helps ensure pets wind up with families who mesh with their pets.

Adoptions cost $75 for dogs and cats, and there is an additional $100 refundable deposit for animals that have not yet been spayed or neutered.

Every animal from the humane society is up to date on their shots, comes with a microchip and has been spayed or neutered if they are older than 6 months.

If you have someone you’d like featured in Spirit of Alabama, please email us at spiritofalabama@wvua23.com.

Categories: Spirit of Alabama