Amy Lindsey | GC News-Gazette Carissa Stanton (left) and Kyra Grant prepare to walk their first dog of the day.

Amy Lindsey | GC News-Gazette

Carissa Stanton (left) and Kyra Grant prepare to walk their first dog of the day.

The Grayson County Middle School's Mentorship program has begun job shadowing.

Last weekend, four students and three mentors visited the Leitchfield Animal Shelter to learn how the shelter works and to help with the animals. The students were able to do the most important jobs, walking dogs and playing with cats.

According to LAS director Jessica Williams, the best part of the animals' day is when they are able to leave the confines of their kennels and visit with loving humans.

Before the students started job shadowing, Williams explained how the animals come to be at the shelter.

She said that stray cats and dogs in the city of Leitchfield are picked up by animal control, some animals are surrendered by their owners, and some are confiscated from owners if they are abused or neglected.

Williams then explained the laws in Kentucky. She stated that stray animals are kept for five days and are put up for adoption on day six after being fixed microchipped and vaccinated.

According to Williams, only 30 percent of the strays taken in are reclaimed by their owners and kennels and the cat room are nearly always full.

She then explained the daily routines of shelter employees and volunteers. Cat cages are cleaned from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. Dog kennels are cleaned throughout the day. Tuesdays are spay and neuter days.

According to Williams, the shelter relies heavily on volunteers. With all of the cleaning and vetting, it is difficult to have time to walk every dog and play with every cat. They are looking for volunteers who are 18 or older. She said they are also looking for a paid part-time employee. Volunteers can also help on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. even though the shelter isn't open that day.

She also explained that the Leitchfield animal Shelter works closely with Twin Lakes Humane Society and TLHS often gives the shelter supplies and money when it is needed.

After learning about the shelter, the students were able to go to the dog room and pick out a dog to take for a walk. They put leashes on the dogs and took them outside to the play areas.

They also followed the directions given to them by Williams: two people per dog, only dogs who are roomates can walk together, all others must stay 10 feet apart just in case they didn't like each other. She also told them that if a dog gets loose, don't chase it, but get down low and yell for it.

These students were able to job shadow at a place they are interested in to explore potential careers. Job shadowing allows students to get hands-on experience with potential careers.

If you or you company are interested in providing a job shadowing opportunity for GCMS students, contact Amber Phillips at (270) 259-4175.