Fantastic Friends Feature: Darius M

Darius and former shelter favorite, Peter Piper; Photo by Shannon Johnstone,  Landfill Dogs

Darius and former shelter favorite, Peter Piper; Photo by Shannon Johnstone, Landfill Dogs

Name: Darius M
Real Job: I just recently graduated college, so right now I’m job hunting.
Volunteer Position(s): Dog Walker/Cuddler, Foster Parent, Playgroup Enthusiast

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A FOSTER?

I’ve been a volunteer and foster for just over two years now. I’ve always loved animals, especially dogs, and I didn’t have any personal pets at home. So, I started to research the Wake County Animal Center, and came out to visit a couple of times. I had a great time when I visited. I got to interact with some dogs, and see the hardworking staff and volunteers in person. After some time, I decided that whenever I’m home from school I wanted to come out and spend time at the Center. I love being there and I’ve learned so much from fellow volunteers and our awesome coordinators. My time here at the Center has inspired me so much that in the future I want to open my own animal rescue or a sanctuary for dogs who have no family—where they’ll be safe, have shelter, food, and water at all times.

TELL US YOUR FAVORITE MOMENT TO DATE AS A FOSTER OR VOLUNTEER?

I have so many favorite moments here, but one that stands out for me was working Clear the Shelter Day for the first time in 2018. Seeing all those animals go to good homes, and seeing the community come out and support us and take home a new family member was beautiful. We had so many great dogs that were here at the shelter for months leave and find homes. It’s really amazing seeing all these animals you’ve built bonds with leave to start a new life with their new families.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BREED OR DOG TYPE (FLUFFY, SMALL, BIG, CHUNKY, ETC)?

I have a tie actually for my favorite dog breeds Cane Corsos and American Staffordshire Terriers. Big dogs with big hearts. I fell in love with a brother and sister pair of Cane Corso fosters I had and every since then I’ve been researching adopting one in the future.

WHAT SAGE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BECOME A FOSTER?

I love seeing dogs I’ve worked with go into good homes, and I know the shelter definitely needs the extra space [and that’s where fosters come in]. If I could give advice to potential fosters, I would definitely say never forget why you became a foster. It’s absolutely okay to fall in love with your foster—they absolutely deserve it. However, don’t forget about the plenty of other animals at the shelter who might need that same opportunity to get out. Find your foster a home you’re comfortable with and a family you trust, and let them go. For potential volunteers, I would definitely say spend time with the animals however you want to. Whether that is cuddling, walking, taking pictures, writhing bios, doing playgroups, etc. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask for advice, we’re all one big family here.

INTERESTED IN BECOMING A VOLUNTEER LIKE DARIUS?