Chautauqua County Humane Society Volunteer Reaches 4,000 Hours

Chautauqua County Humane Society volunteer Joyce Shelters was the recipient of a Presidential Volunteer Lifetime Service Award in October for her service working at the Humane Society through Chautauqua County RSVP.

The certificate came with a letter signed by President Barack Obama and is awarded to individuals serving more than 4,000 volunteer hours in their community.

“We’re honored to have such a dedicated group of volunteers and supporters here at the shelter,” said Sue Bloom, volunteer coordinator for CCHS. “Joyce has always gone above and beyond, and we are thrilled that she has been recognized with this honor.”

Shelters has been volunteering at CCHS for a little more than three years. She was one of only two people to receive this award through Chautauqua County RSVP in 2013. Dan Girts, who serves as an ombudsman through the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, was the other. Four thousand hours is the equivalent of working full-time for two years.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to recognize valuable contributions volunteers make across the country on an annual basis. The award was created as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. The Chautauqua County RSVP program works in conjunction with the council to document the service hours for registered volunteers in the community and determine which individuals can receive an award.

“I do this to support the animals,” Shelters said. “And I want to help promote the volunteer opportunities available here. We need help now more than ever.”

CCHS offers many volunteer opportunities to individuals or groups including dog walking, foster care, animal cleaning, shelter maintenance, thrift store sorting, special events, money drives and more.

For more information on the Chautauqua County Humane Society or to learn about available volunteer opportunities, visit or call 665-2209, ext. 205.

The mission of the Chautauqua County Humane Society is to promote the adoption of animals, prevent all forms of animal cruelty and neglect, shelter lost, abandoned and homeless animals, and to provide education about the humane treatment of animals.