Even though Chrissy Rudder is married and has two children, she still finds time to be the number one volunteer at Columbia County Animal Services. Linda Glasscock, manager of the facility, praises Rudder’s volunteerism.
“If we didn’t have Chrissy, there are some days I don’t know how we would manage,” said Glasscock. “She comes up and plays with the dogs and she even helps clean, if needed. If we need animals transported to the vet, she transports them for us.”
“If she comes in the door and sees that we have a lot of customers that are waiting, she’ll grab a customer and escort them to see the animals. She knows as much about them as we do,” explains Glasscock.
Rudder’s efforts don’t stop at the animal shelter. She often represents Animal Services at county events.
“She’ll set up a table for us at every event in Columbia County. At the fireworks recently, Chrissy was up there by herself, without anyone from the shelter, with a table with all our information on it,” said Glasscock. “She promotes us all the time.”
Rudder frequently enlists the help of her children Aiden, 11, and Adeline, 8, who recently opened a lemonade stand to raise money for the shelter. They made enough to buy two banners the shelter uses to promote its services.
“They love coming up here,” said Rudder. “It’s like family. I think children who grow up with animals are more nurturing and kinder.”
“Sometimes I’ll have my kids sit on the bench and see how the dogs react so we can tell people whether they are good with kids. Adeline loves to help out in the cat room,” said Rudder.
Animal Services currently has 136 animals and only 13 staff members to take care of them. That’s where Rudder and the other volunteers come in handy.
“Chrissy works a lot with the rescues,” said Glasscock. “If they need someone to transport animals, Chrissy will take them to wherever they need to go. She has even taken them as far as Madison, Ga.”
Rudder spends time with all the animals in the exercise yard at the facility. She and other volunteers keep meticulous notes about whether the animals can sit, shake or get along with other dogs so that they can tell prospective customers what the characteristics of each animal are.
“I take a book with pictures of all the animals who are up for adoption (to Petco and other adoption locations) and if someone likes a dog, I’ll tell them what I know,” said Rudder. “I especially enjoy it when one gets adopted.”
“I have been volunteering here since they opened and I volunteered for probably a year at their old facility,” said Rudder. “I enjoy it. This is like my second home. It’s like therapy for me.”