Boys lend sympathetic hands to furry paws

The love keeps them coming back - puppy love that is.

For the Sanders boys, Jacob and Joseph, sharing a little of their love is as easy as sharing a few steps.
Jacob and Joseph started coming to the Barnwell County animal shelter several months ago to help walk the dogs.

Jacob, 13, said he liked, "seeing the cute dogs."

Joseph, 11, said he liked, "playing with them."

The Sanders adopted a dog, "Lucky" from the shelter and now they come back each week to spend some quality time with the pets which have yet to find a home.

On this day, there were plenty of dogs to walk - from puppies to large sheep dogs.

Jacob and Joseph's mom, Vanna Sanders, joined in with the boys to walk the dogs.

She said she was surprised to learn that the shelter constantly needs volunteers. She thought the shelter would be overrun with children wanting to walk the dogs.

Vanna Sanders said she brings the boys at least once a week to walk the dogs.

She noted only one draw back - leaving the dogs behind.

"You feel so guilty when you leave," she said.

The Sanders boys, like most other children, tried to convince their mother to take at least one dog home on this visit.

But Mom won out - this time.

Anyone who can spare a few minutes a week is asked to fill out an application for volunteering at the shelter.

Shelter employees need volunteers to walk dogs, play with puppies, feed animals, give baths and help take pictures of adoptable animals.

Tammay Bolen said these volunteers mean so much to the employees, but they mean the most to the lovable animals at the shelter.

"It helps us out a great deal," Bolen said of the volunteers.

It gives the workers time to help other dogs and cats who may need extra attention, she said.

Bolen is a vet tech and the manager of the Barnwell County Animal Shelter.

Children, under 18, may volunteer with a participating parent, she said.

Anyone with questions can contact Bolen at the shelter (803) 259-1656.