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Volunteer helps bring warm snuggles to humane society

Posted: December 19, 2017

by Erica Peterson


Becca Hosier’s eyes light up when she sees a dog, a cat, or even a ferret. 


The Sagamore Hills resident volunteers at the Humane Society of Summit County, and walking around the shelter with her can take some time, as she is drawn to every cage.


“I love animals,” said Hosier, 28. “I grew up around dogs and took animal fostering classes in college.”


She discovered the humane society through her job at Ohio CAT in Broadview Heights. The company encourages its staff to volunteer, she said. For every hour an employee volunteers somewhere, Ohio CAT will donate $10 – up to $100 – to the cause.


She started looking online for a place to volunteer, and when she discovered how close the Twinsburg facility was to her home, Hosier said, she knew the humane society was a perfect fit.


After a couple of years at the shelter, she introduced them to the Snuggles Project, which encourages people to make blankets for animals. The group’s website,, includes patterns for simple, no-sew fleece blankets.


“The dogs love them,” said Jamie Tavenier, adoption counselor at the shelter. “When it gets cold, they snuggle up. Some of them wrap themselves up in them.”


And all adopted dogs go home with their blankets, she said.


The blankets not only help comfort and calm the dogs and cats, they help make the shelter more homey, allowing potential adopters to feel more comfortable and more willing to stay longer to find their new pet.


Hosier donated several blankets she made, and as she got more involved with the project, she volunteered to lead groups who were interested in making them, too. 


The humane society hosts the groups in its multi-purpose room. Hosier has led Girl Scout troops, 4H Clubs and birthday parties in making blankets.


“It’s a great project for kids, because you have to be 14 to be a volunteer in the shelter,” she said. “There aren’t a lot of options for kids under age 14. With the blankets, they are able to help and make a difference.”


Hosier helps out in other ways, too. She fostered three kittens, and while she enjoyed it, she won’t be able to do that again soon, as her boyfriend is allergic to cats. 


While she understands some people might think being around so many animals looking for homes would be depressing, Hosier doesn’t see it that way. 


“For a lot of these animals, they are in a lot better place here than where they came from,” she said. 


The humane society can always use more help, Tavenier said. 


“We have so many different options to volunteer,” she said. “Some people never even see the animals. If you’re allergic, there’s always filing, always paperwork that needs to be done.”


All volunteers go though an orientation, said Volunteer Manager Tracey Duncko, and depending on what the volunteer is doing, there may be more training.


Duncko said those who want to help but don’t have time to volunteer could always donate to the Humane Society. 


“The shelter is always in need of blankets, towels, sheets, laundry detergent and food,” she said. “We keep a wish list on our website ( for things that we are in most need of, since we rely on the community to keep us going.”


To learn more about the Snuggle Project or other volunteer opportunities at the Humane Society of Summit County, contact Duncko at


Hosier said she hopes people consider volunteering. 


“This has been a great experience,” she said. “The people are great, the animals are great, and the staff here works so hard.” 

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