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Our SPCA of Texas January Volunteer of the Month, Hanaya Davi’d has gone to the dogs! Literally.
Since becoming a volunteer in June of 2018, Hanaya has soaked up everything she can about dogs, just like a sponge. “Hanaya has gone above and beyond for our staff and our dogs,” wrote one nominator. “Lately, she has been expanding her work at the Russell E. Dealey Animal Rescue Center and is always so receptive when learning about the dogs.”
And that’s exactly why Hanaya volunteers for the SPCA of Texas. “I started volunteering to learn more about dogs and how to train them,” she said. “Our dogs have so much to teach us. Five years later I am still learning and still enjoying all our dogs.”
Out of all the volunteer work Hanaya has done with the SPCA of Texas, she said some of her favorite memories are of timid, scared pups who have done complete 180s to become playful, trusting dogs. “It was amazing watching Jango, a German Shepherd rescued from an abuse situation, playing fetch with an “all-in” kind of play style,” Hanaya smiled. “And witnessing several other dogs including Powder, Fabio and Mickey coming out of their shells learning that touch is okay, or the joy that Becky has when she sees you, after having been so fearful.
“Seeing Becky play for one of the first times in her life was unbelievable. I love seeing our dogs become their best selves,” Hanaya added. “To me, that is what behavior is all about.”
“Hanaya is always willing to work with our behavior dogs and is always willing to give TLC to our shy and less social dogs,” wrote another nominator. “She also gives good information on how those said dogs acted for their records.”
Pictured with Hanaya are: (L-R) Powder, Fabio and Mickey. “This trio has given me so much joy,” smiled Hanaya. “They always make me laugh. They will crawl right into my lap to see who can get the most treats. They were shy and fearful with me at first and now they are in my lap letting me touch them. Mickey also enjoys agility going up and down the tall agility ladder.”
These pups made a lasting impact on Hanaya. They were part of 87 dogs that were seized by the SPCA of Texas Animal Cruelty Investigations Unit from a hoarding case in 2023.
“These three have come so far in their time with us,” Hanaya said. “It’s time all their hard work paid off with a furever home because they would really like to know what a real home is like. Although they are shy and fearful when meeting new people, with some good treats and some patience these pups will be in your lap,” Hayana added.*
“Hanaya not only supports our Behavior team through the Behavior Modification Squad, but she also assists with our animal handling trainings to help us level up our new volunteers,” wrote a different nominator. “Hanaya is also a member of our Shelter Success Squad where she brings innovative ideas to help us get more of our animals adopted.”
Hanaya firmly believes that anyone can volunteer with the SPCA of Texas, and she encourages anyone to get involved.
“At the SPCA there is a niche for everyone whether it is media and marketing (we need help getting our dogs seen by the public in new and different ways), sewing, behavior or veterinary,” she said. “If you have a skill that you want to use, but you haven’t seen an opportunity for it, talk to our volunteer staff about how you can use your talent.
“The Behavior department is one of our newer volunteer opportunities that needs your help by becoming a behavior assistant, working with some of our “staff only” animals; the most vulnerable and needy of our shelter pets.”
*As of this publication, Powder and Fabio have been adopted. Mickey is still looking for a loving, forever home.
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