Honoring Westport Volunteer Eileen Schaney
Dogs at the Connecticut Humane Society have to give credit to a fellow pooch: Ronan, a black lab mix.
He inspired mom Eileen Schaney to become a volunteer dog walker at CHS’ Westport Pet Wellness and Adoption Center over three years ago. The rescue dog helped Eileen and her family heal from the passing of a golden retriever that loved them for all 14 of his years. Today, she honors that special connection with him through volunteering.
“I'm happy for the opportunity to give back and to play a small part in providing others, both human and canine, with the same chance for happy lives together,” she says.
Eileen has dedicated over 300 hours of her time to help keep CHS pups social and happy. “The thing that I enjoy most about volunteering at CHS is feeling that the time I spend with the dogs is meaningful, both on its own and for achieving the goal of finding their forever home,” she explains.
The CHS team appreciates Eileen for many qualities. She is friendly, observant, generous and always dependable—like the Post Office, neither snow, nor rain, nor heat can keep her away! She knows the dogs are counting on her.
One of her most valuable skills is her understanding of the human/animal bond that connects so many animal lovers working with pets in need. Eileen says she knows simple pleasures of walks and playing ball with a canine friend while “soaking up some fresh air and sunshine, and giving butt scratches, makes the dogs, and me, happier and healthier."
Aside from her volunteer work in the shelter, Eileen’s love of dogs shines through in her art as a photographer and a painter. She paints the beloved pets of friends and family members, and represents her love of dogs in her annual family holiday card. Her cards range from traditional to whimsical, always featuring a four-legged friend.
The pets are so grateful to have Eileen on the dog walking team, and thank Ronan, the dog she calls “a man among men” for bringing her heart to the rescued dog community.