Volunteer Appreciation

As Many of you many know THS has partnered with The Animal Pad as well as Helen Woodward Animal Center in the SoCal/San Diego area. The Animal Pad is completely volunteer run and donation based animal rescue. The work they do to save countless lives of beautiful animals in the Mexi-Cali region would bring the most cold hearted to tears. The Helen WoodWard Animal Center has now been around for 50 years and has continued to stick to its mission of saving the lives of pets near and far.

These are two rescues that have been such a pleasure to work with this past year! As our THS community is all based on the love and care of animals/pets I wanted to take a moment to share and thank some of our volunteers that have joined @Angela-HeadOfCommunity @Julie-Moderator and I this past year at our events. These events are so much fun but do take a bit of work and we really couldn’t do it without our member volunteers! While they are fun, they are also all about the animals and saving as many as we possibly can. A win win in my book!

  • Janie is a new sitter to TrustedHousesitters but has been housesitting for almost a decade. She has volunteered with us at more than four events in the San Diego area always bringing her positive attitude and is a wealth of travel knowledge. She recently returned from a trip of a lifetime to the Arctic where she was extremely lucky seeing over a dozen polar bears in their natural habitat up close and personal.
    I’ve really enjoyed volunteering at events with THS - it’s fun to explain the concept to people and see the “lightbulb” go on in their eyes when they understand and see what a great idea it is! Almost everyone either has a pet or knows someone who does, so it’s really easy to engage and talk with people about THS.

  • Stacy and Dave are very active sitter members in the San Diego area. If you don’t see them at our events they are probably off traveling enjoying a sit and out on their E-bikes.
    I have been lucky enough to be invited to volunteer at local events sharing information about THS. It is really fun talking to people about this great service. When chatting with potential members, their eyes light up when they realize that they can get a trusted petsitter, in their own home, to care for their fur family. An instant relief comes across their face as they realize the struggle of finding quality care is no longer a struggle.

  • Mary has been an active volunteer sitter member at our events for over two years. This past year while volunteering at the THS booth at the Helen Woodward Animal Center Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon event she met an older dog named Motek that was in need of a new home. Mary fell in love and is now the proud pet parent of Motek in the photo Below. This is how Mary tells the story of their meeting.
    Little Motek (Hebrew slang for “Sweetheart”) came into my life on September 21 three days after meeting Robyn at the Surf Dog event at Del Mar on September 18, 2022. Robyn came to the Trusted Housesitters’ tent wondering if we could help her in any way. Her mother-in-law had just turned 90 and was having difficulty taking care of her sweet senior dog, Motek. The assisted living facility gave the family a deadline to find a new home for the dog. I told her Helen Woodward or Frosted Faces would be happy to accept a senior dog and give him the best opportunity for a new home. She said she didn’t want/couldn’t just give him to anyone. He had been part of the family for the past 12 years.
    I was thinking about getting a small dog to keep me company while my husband and two large dogs, The Dude and Walter, are at our ranch in Arizona working on renovations. I asked her to tell me about the pup. She said that Motek was a very sweet little bichon mix. Two years ago, we lost our senior bichon, Buddy. We showed each other pictures of our pups and I agreed to meet Motek the following Wednesday at the assisted living facility.
    On Wednesday, September 21, I met Robyn and her husband at the facility and they brought Motek out to meet me. We hit it off right away and now we’ve become fast friends. Robyn and I text occasionally and I send pictures and videos of Moket living his best life.
    The funny thing is I wasn’t supposed to be volunteering that day. Some things are just meant to be.

  • Karen & Jay have been a combined sitter/owner member for years now. They have a beautiful Australian shepherd named Ellie and live in the Rosarito/Ensenada area of Baja California. Although they live father away from San Diego that hasn’t stopped Karen & Jay from being a frequent volunteers at our events. If you ever have the time to come to one of our events and @KarenS is there then you know she’s the life of the party, always eager to give affection to visiting pets and knows the best recipes and places to eat in SoCal.
    I love to watch prospective members light up when I share stories of pets and homes we’ve cared for all over the world. And because I’m so passionate about the program, it’s such a great feeling when they join the THS community.

  • Sarah and her husband are new sitter members in the San Diego area, after finding us at the Helen Woodward Paw-Micon event Sarah continued to volunteer many more of our events this past year. Sarah has been an absolute asset to our San Diego TrustedHousesitters community and as a professional organizer always helping us stay tidy for our next event.
    "As a couple, we enjoy spreading the word about how home and pet owners can now experience their vacations with relief (stress-free), knowing they can travel and their pets are comfortable at home with a caring sitter. We always have a great time at the THS events because everyone is so friendly and happy! It is so easy!
    We love hearing stories and having conversations with pet owners and other sitters when our community showcases in San Diego. So many owners are relieved to hear about how we unconditionally care for their pets and not how we are paid to house-sit with their pets."

If you are interested in volunteering in San Diego this next year please reach out to myself or @Julie-Moderator


I am sorry if I sound like an old cynic but the pics give the impression that everyone is there to promote THS.

As we all know THS is not a charity but a very successful and profitable business.

Volunteering to help raise money for an animal shelter is commendable and a great way to spend any spare time you may have but surely THS should be paying people to promote their business and not be expecting volunteers to do that work for them for free.

Hi @Colin Firstly we value and reward our volunteers, even when they say “No thank you, we simply love what we do!!”

These events are sponsored by TrustedHousesitters everything raised goes back to the charities and yes we are there to promote the unique pet care TrustedHousesitters provides for our furry members and why? Because this often helps prospective adopters with their decision making which in turn helps the rescue centers re-home more animals.

When adopting or fostering an animal one consideration is what happens when we have to leave our new family member for whatever reason be it vacation, emergency trips, hospitilizations etc., as these animals often cannot go back into a boarding environment, neither would pet parents want them to.

Boarding is expensive and certainly not the place for many especially elderly pets who may have found their new homes.

Informing visitors about TrustedHousesitters, that it is the very best pet care solution, one that keeps pet family members safe and happy at home, can and does affect prospective adopter’s and fosterer’s decision making, we know because we care for many rescue pets. Knowing and understanding how TrustedHousesitters works needs explaining and our volunteer members help do this brilliantly.

Working together with charities and promoting events through PR and Social channels we help organizations reach more animal lovers, new potential supporters and patrons by increasing attendance at events, raising awareness and helping pets find new homes.

When you have the opportunity please join us at an event to discover just how they really work to everyone’s benefit, mainly for homeless animals and the charities who work tirelessly to help them live their best lives.

Our team and volunteers are building trust and bringing TrustedHousesitters, the digital online business, into the community with our “Pets First” message.

We are looking forward to 2023 and meeting even more of our community volunteers in more locations.


I volunteered at many charity events on behalf of TrustedHousesitters before starting my role here in the forum, and I loved it. I will do it again, every chance I get. Here’s why.

Volunteering at these events provides the opportunity to

  • Become a member of a community where I pet sit. It feels great to give back to the community and help others in need, in this case dogs and cats looking for forever homes.
  • Support the great THS partner organizations. I believe in what they do and how important it is, and THS only partners with organizations with top-notch track records.
  • Chat with lots of people about the things we have in common, specifically a love of pets and travel.
  • Shower love on lots of visiting pets.
  • Meet and become friends with other people who have also found a way to have pet loving in their lives while fulfilling their yearnings to see the world and experience new things and places.
  • See the lightbulb go off in people’s heads when I explain why mutual-exchange pet sitting is so great for pet sitters. It feels like I’m opening a door to new possibilities for folks by giving them a new way to think about pet sitting.
  • I’ve even been able to watch costumed dogs surf real waves! How fun is that? :rofl:

I’m sure there are lots of folks who may feel the way you do, @Colin, but there are also lots of folks who jump at the opportunity to volunteer at these events. I know there are, because I’ve met quite a few of them.


@Angela-HeadOfCommunity , @Karen-Moderator

Thank you for your replies. Obviously, it is up to each individual which causes they choose to volunteer their time to help and I am a great advocate for volunteering, there has rarely been a time in my life when I have not been volunteering to help one charity or another.

My question here was that THS is not a charity, it is a successful, profitable business and this is the first time that I have come across a business that uses volunteers for their promotional activities.

Maybe, I have misunderstood what goes on at these events and do, as @Angela-HeadOfCommunity suggests need to come along to experience it myself.

If, as @Karen-Moderator says, the day is all about helping dogs and cats find a new home by giving out information on the process of how to do that, shaking a bucket to raise money, or selling general tat to raise money, sitting in a bath of beans to raise money or whatever other ways or means there may be to raise money for the charities then I am all for it and would happily give my time freely to help out.

The pictures, however, (maybe wrongly?), gave me the impression that the day was about promoting THS and signing up new home hosts and sitters. If this is the case, personally I don’t think that this is a job that THS should be asking volunteers to do

If I volunteered at a charity event on behalf of TrustedHousesitters I would be more than happy to wear a THS tee shirt whilst raising money for the particular chosen charity but I would feel uncomfortable if my main purpose for being there was to promote THS as a buisiness

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Hi @Colin,

I echo what Karen has said about why we volunteer for and with THS/the rescues we partner with and I did so too before working here on the forum. The reason I chose the photos I did are to highlight these caring and hard working volunteers that have gone above and beyond for the rescues we work with. I find that often times when volunteers donate their time to various causes they don’t get recognition for the work that they have done. My purpose in making this post was to give them that recognition. Our main goal when we work these events isn’t to promote THS it’s to save animals and raise as much money as we possibly can for the rescues that we have partnered with. It’s really that simple.

I cannot tell you how many people I have met at these events who have now decided to keep their pet instead of rehoming them because they became members of THS and now have found someone to care for their pet when they have to go away.

I have also lost count on the amount of individuals and families that have adopted pets at these events and one of the main reasons they decided to finally adopt a pet was because they learned they didn’t have to put their pet in a kennel. We have given out free memberships to these individuals that do adopt pets so that when they have to leave town they can have the peace of mind knowing that their pet is well cared for. So you see these volunteers are dressed up in THS shirts standing at a THS booth…it’s also so we can educate people on how this system works…because I am sure as you’ve tried letting your own family and friends know about THS and what it is, it takes some time. That’s why we are there.

  • Do we end up getting new members joining THS from doing these events? Yes some absolutely.

  • Are more people interested in adopting a pet because they learned about THS? Yes, absolutely!

  • Has every single one of these events generated and increased donations for the rescues we work with absolutely! I’ve seen it and as a direct result more animals have been saved and are in loving, safe homes.

  • I think what you’re also trying to ask is do these events generate even more profit for THS? Hopefully I won’t lose my job here for saying…but I doubt that it does. THS has donated generous amounts to each one of these rescues in addition to covering the cost of holding the event (this is all so that money doesn’t leave the pockets of the rescues so that they can continue to use their donations to care & save more animals.)

  • Does THS have a presence at these events? Absolutely we’re there to answer questions about what THS is and about the rescues we partner with.

  • Are we the only organization/business/charity with a presence at these events? Not at all. Sometimes it is other national brands but more often than not it has been regional Vet practices so that prospective pet owners can get information about care. Sometimes it is pet grooming/dog food so that pet owners can learn about that as well…but we are all there giving items away for any kind of donation to the rescue.

  • Have I posted photos of these other brands at these events? No, because this is the THS community forum and I wanted to keep this post on recognizing OUR volunteers and they good work they have done this year all in the name of helping save animals.

I hope the joy of this season brings good will to you and your family.

Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.” –Kahlil Gibran