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Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire announces Volunteer of the Year, Jason Oneail

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bedford – “Walking and talking to the dogs is great therapy for whatever ails you. They come to the shelter from various situations, yet they’re almost always able to bounce back and still manage to place trust in us,” said Jason Oneail, volunteer with the Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire.

Oneail’s dedication and service to the league was recognized with the honor of Volunteer of the Year presented during the annual Volunteer Appreciation event on April 8.

The efforts of dedicated volunteers make important programs possible so the League can care for 2,500 animals in need each year.

Volunteers essential

With just 20 paid staff members, they rely heavily on the more than 400 volunteers to keep up with the feeding, cleaning and walking of the animals as well as all the laundry, property maintenance, clerical work and other tasks.

Each year, the league selects one person to honor with the Volunteer of the Year award.

Oneail volunteered 832 hours in 2013. Since joining the league in 2010, he has been a faithful dog walker, coming in several mornings a week regardless of the weather.

He is a leader in the Senior Dog Walking and Shelter Dog Class programs. Oneail and his supportive family have fostered some of the most challenging dogs. He helps with transporting dogs from out-of-state shelters and he is one of the case responders when the ASPCA requests shelter assistance with large dog cases in the region.

“Jason is always the first person to volunteer for any task that we may need,” said Danielle Snyder, ARLNH director of behavioral health. “He often will hear a conversation and come up with a volunteer duty to assist us that we haven’t even thought of yet. No matter what project he takes on, regardless of the time, effort or disruption to his life required, he jumps in, remains cheerful, and ends the task with a smile.”

“I believe it is the staff and other volunteers at the league that keep me personally wanting to return,” Oneail said. “The staff is always there to help and offer words of encouragement. The other volunteers’ dedication and willingness to go the extra mile to make the animals comfortable is awe-inspiring.”

“We love our volunteers and are inspired by their compassion and commitment every day,” said Laurie Galletta, ARLNH director of volunteer services. “The Volunteer of the Year award goes to a particular individual who demonstrates above and beyond dedication to the mission of ARLNH. We are continually grateful for Jason’s outstanding service. He’s making a true difference in the lives of hundreds of dogs.”

Oneail is the 10th person to receive the award since it was established in 2004. This year marks the 110th birthday of the organization.

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