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Volunteer helps local pet community

Editor’s Note: The Featured Volunteer is a new feature that will run every other week in the Suffolk News-Herald. To suggest a volunteer you love, email news@suffolknewsherald.com.

Jasmine Parham, 23, loves working with animals. But because her immediate family is allergic, she’s not allowed to own any pets at home — unless it’s a fish or a reptile, she said.

That’s partly why the Suffolk Humane Society has been such a good fit for her as a volunteer.

“For me, animals are very therapeutic,” Parham said. “I love working with them.”

Parham, a Suffolk resident, has been volunteering for the Suffolk Humane Society for nearly a year and a half. Her responsibilities at the Suffolk Humane Society started with front desk reception but have since expanded to include others, such as writing “thank you” letters for donations and taking in surrenders by pet owners.

She’s also a member of the committee for the Paws for the Arts Gala, an annual fundraiser for the Suffolk Humane Society that will be held this Saturday at the Suffolk Riverfront Hilton Garden Inn on East Constance Road.

“I just do it because I love being here,” Parham said.

According to the Suffolk Humane Society website, the society’s mission is to promote the bond between humans and animals and also to reduce pet overpopulation.

Volunteers advocate for companion animals, support programs for adoption and fostering, facilitate spay and neuter programs that are both affordable and accessible, and educate pet owners so that they’re compassionate and responsible guardians.

Parham has seen how the Suffolk Humane Society supports the community, whether it’s through their pet food pantry for owners who may struggle to afford it otherwise or by helping the pets in their care find good, loving households.

“It makes me feel good that not only am I helping out, but I’m helping out locally,” Parham said. “I’m talking to people every day. I’m calling people, I’m seeing these animals and I’m able to touch the things I’m making a difference on.”

“It’s my local community, (and) I know what I’m doing is really helping, because I see it every day.”

The Suffolk Humane Society is located at 412 Kings Fork Road. For more information, call 538-3030 or visit suffolkhumanesociety.com.