Samantha and JuniorIt can take a village to help a rescue dog find his forever home. Fosters, volunteers, vet staff, shelter staff, supporters, donors, you name it. For this beautiful Golden Retriever mix named Junior, the help of a volunteer who donated a few hours of her weekend helped him attend an adoption event to meet dozens of potential families!

Junior has been with Gateway Pet Guardians since late October. He’s lived with his foster mom, Sara Cordevant, for the past four months. While with Sara, Junior went through heartworm treatment and recovered from wounds from a dog fight prior to rescue. But he’s finally healed, and ready to find his forever home.

On Saturday, February 4, Gateway Pet Guardians hosted an adoption event at the Petsmart in Belleville, IL. Sara wanted Junior to go, but she was unable to take him herself because she had to work. She reached out to other GPG volunteers to see if anyone could help, and Samantha Bierman didn’t hesitate. She was excited to spend the day helping Junior search for his new family.

Samantha picked Junior up from Sara, and spent the afternoon with him. Throughout the day, Junior was showered with endless belly rubs. In between belly rubs and potty breaks, Samantha and Junior took frequent walks around the store to check out new things, such as the birds and the fish. He loved it!

Thanks to Samantha donating her time to helping Junior, he was able to meet dozens of families and get the exposure to the public he needs. Junior’s foster, Sara Cordevant reflects on the importance of Samantha’s help: “I think it’s very important to give fosters exposure to other people and let them feel comfortable around other people, especially when they are so used to being with their foster all the time. In Junior’s case, he’s a little less outgoing when I’m around. He tends to be nervous when first meeting people and stays by my side instead of interacting with others. Which I think doesn’t make people want to adopt him at first. So I’m glad he could go with Samantha, without me.”

And Samantha has this advice to others considering donating their time: “JUST DO IT!!! No act of volunteering is too small. Whether you are the event lead, transporting a dog to and from the event, or simply showing up to help a foster mom or dad handle more than one dog… it all helps.  Gateway could not do what they do and could not saves the lives they save without the amazing fosters and volunteers they have. I have taken pride in wearing my GPG shirt in and out of events, because it shows that I am a part of something as amazing as Gateway Pet Guardians.”

Thank you, Samantha, for your contributions to this village dedicated to saving homeless pets in the Metro East. We truly couldn’t do it without your help, and Junior’s experience is proof!

If you would like to join the Gateway Pet Guardians Volunteer Team, fill out an application at www.gatewaypets.com/volunteer. And if you’re interested in adding Junior to your family, he is still available for adoption. Learn more about him by visiting www.gatewaypets.com/adopt.