CSUSM professor finds joy in volunteering

Urges other people to spend time with rescue animals

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CSUSM professor finds joy in volunteering

Suzie Rome Kaplan

Suzie Rome Kaplan

Suzie Rome Kaplan

Briana Osuna, Assistant Features Editor

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If you’ve ever driven down Twin Oaks Valley Rd., odds are, you’ve seen people walking large dogs on the side of the road. These people are volunteers for the Coastal German Shepherds Rescue, San Marcos location.

Coastal German Shepherds Rescue of San Diego is a non-profit charity that seeks to find loving homes for abandoned German Shepherds. As stated on their website, Coastal’s main mission is to “educate the public about German Shepherds.” The charity states that they are also devoted to finding nurturing, permanent homes for all dogs in their care.

Coastal volunteers take time out of their day to walk and care for the orphaned German Shepherds. Kevin Kilpatrick, a Sociology professor at CSUSM is one volunteer in particular that devotes time to spend with these fortunate dogs.

Kilpatrick has been volunteering at the kennel’s San Marcos location for about a year now.

“For months, I saw people walking German Shepherd dogs up and down Twin Oaks Valley Rd. in the mornings,” said Kilpatrick. “I finally went to the website contact page and checked it out.”

Kilpatrick volunteers to walk dogs on weekday mornings and some Saturdays.

“I could never explain to you how much I love animals and how painful it is for me to see them unloved or abused. Three dogs got adopted last weekend. Knowing they’ve found a loving family makes it all worthwhile,” said Kilpatrick.

The volunteers connect with the dogs they walk on a daily basis. One dog that Kilpatrick bonded with was Amadeus.

“What an amazing dog he is: handsome, smart, knows his commands and obeys them, and he presents a princely air that fits him perfectly. I met him maybe six months ago at the kennel and every day I had time to walk the dogs, I always arrived early to take him out,” said Kilpatrick.

Since Coastal is a kennel, the goal is to find these dogs a home. Amadeus and Kilpatrick’s time together came to a close when Amadeus was adopted by a loving family.

“We really bonded but when he got adopted, I didn’t feel sad. I knew the couple that took him home would be great for him … I miss him but that’s the point of the operation, to get magnificent animals permanent homes,” said Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick said his favorite part of being a volunteer is “when a kennel employee brings the dog that I signed for out the front door and I see its happy face. I call out its name, they run to me, all excited and ready for their walk. I know I’m making them happy. What they don’t know (or maybe they do) is how happy they’re making me.”

Kilpatrick said he plans to continue his work at the Coastal German Shepherds Rescue.

“As long as I live in North San Diego County, I will volunteer to walk these amazing dogs. Service is life’s greatest reward.”

If you are interested in volunteering, please visit http://coastalgsrsd.org/volunteer-application/

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