Life is a series of choices. Some of these choices are small and only affect the immediate future. Others are big and shape who and what each of us will become as we grow and move through life. For a young Allyse Nothstine, deciding to volunteer at Intermountain Humane Society turned out to be a choice like no other.
An Early Start on Her Future
Allyse was just 13 years old when she first started volunteering at the shelter. She always had a love for animals and wanted to learn more about them and care for them to the best of her young abilities. But where can someone so young gain actual experience in animal care? Who would be willing to let a minor work with animals in a capacity that even some adults struggle to achieve? Well, as the fates would have it, Sandy Dugle was willing to take a chance on a young animal lover. As the Shelter Manager for Intermountain Humane Society, Sandy laid some strict ground rules for volunteering; always show up, always give 100%, and don’t say “No” to even the smallest or smelliest of tasks. Sandy worked with Allyse and pushed her to learn more about what she wanted to do and achieve. Although Allyse was young, the guidance and support helped her to realize her goals and aspirations over the years.
Helping Out the “Undercats”
As with most people that work with homeless animals, Allyse couldn’t turn-off her desire to help the animals at the shelter even when she wasn’t onsite. Although she was young (just 16) and still lived at home, Allyse convinced her family that one cat in particular needed more than the shelter could give. Chloe, actually Cleo at IMHS, was a cat that most people had written off. Chloe was older, toothless, and didn’t take to people as quickly as some of the other cats. Allyse took a shine to the old feline and was determined to give her a better life. She got her parents approval to foster the old gal in September, thinking the cat may only be around for a few months and wanting her to know she was loved. To Allyse’s delight, the cat was still with her at Christmas and was officially adopted to Allyse on behalf of her parents. To this day, four years later, Chloe is living her best life with Allyse. Chloe now has a couple of rat friends and has even gotten a younger “sister” to cuddle, a new recruit straight from Intermountain Humane Society named Razia.
The Outlook is Bright
In a time where 67% of American households own animals, the need for excellent veterinary care is imperative. The need for exceptional veterinary technicians is even more essential. Vet techs are often the first members of the vet staff to greet customers and determine an animal’s medical history. The techs are responsible for prepping animals prior to surgery, monitoring the recovery, and explaining the requirements for a happy and healthy pet in the home. Deep down, Allyse knew that being a vet tech was exactly what she wanted to do with her life. She applied for, and was accepted to, the Community College of Denver’s Veterinary Technician Program. The highly competitive program boasts an accreditation with the American Veterinary Medical Association and works with over 75 vet practices in the Colorado region. It was no small feat that Allyse found herself in the small cohort of 24 students, and she credits her work at the shelter for giving her application that extra something that put her over-the-top. She is now 20 years old and hopes to work in a specialty practice that would still allow time to volunteer. In addition, she plans on rescuing animals and advocating for shelter animals.
In Her Heart and In Her Home
Allyse will always have a soft spot for Intermountain Humane Society. She will never forget the unwavering support of the staff that took a chance on a young kid. The shelter, that not only gave her two incredible animals to love and cherish, but also the courage to go out and chase her dreams. Allyse is one volunteer that IMHS will always remember as being one of the best!