Humane SocietyAs winter approaches, several Eaton County seniors have begun preparations for their annual migration to the warm climate of the south. This includes several volunteers at the Eaton County Humane Society (ECHS).

ECHS animal welfare director, Connie Friedly took one look at the calendar in her office and realized what was coming — a volunteer shortage, at least until many of her volunteers returned home to Eaton County in March. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, ECHS relies heavily on its volunteers to help run the office as well as the shelter.

Friedly is the only official staff member and is responsible for the care of up to 15 dogs, 10 cats and a host of smaller animals housed at the shelter at any one time.

“I rely heavily on volunteers for our day-to-day operations,” Friedly said. “We have several students that volunteer from the college, the high school and middle school, but we need more adult volunteers to help keep our doors open.”

Currently the Eaton County Humane Society is open Monday through Thursday from 2 to 5 p.m., Friday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. Friedly said volunteers willing to man the phones and the front counter would help increase hours for the shelter, which could in turn increase donations and adoptions.

“We need kennel help, someone to man the office if food runs or emergency veterinarian runs need to be made,” Friedly said. “There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers of all ages to help.”

Friedly said the group of volunteers that recently left for warmer weather down south was a tremendous help in the office. She said similar help is needed and that those duties may appeal to retired folks. Volunteer meetings are held the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. at the shelter, located at 129 N. Main Street in downtown Olivet.

ECHS typically facilitates two to three adoptions a week, on a good week, Friedly said. They participate in several remote adoptions throughout the year at PetSmart in Lansing and PetCo in Battle Creek. There is a “Santa Claws” event scheduled this Saturday and next, Dec. 7 and 14 at PetCo in Battle Creek where people can have their pet’s photo taken with Santa Claus. A portion of the proceeds collected from the event benefit ECHS.

For more information, call ECHS at (269) 749-9440 or visit