What an amazing year for the Arlington Animal Services volunteers!The City recently hosted an appreciation lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse for more than 70 volunteers, celebrating their service and accomplishments at the Arlington Animal Services Center during the past fiscal year. Animal Services also named its Bill McCart Volunteer of the Year during the event.With such a large base of volunteers, Animal Services decided to have its appreciation event offsite this year so that more of the volunteers could attend. Mayor Jeff Williams opened the ceremonies with a brief welcome and acknowledgment of the positive impact that volunteers have on the operations of our City, and thanked each one of them for their efforts.“Being named the Volunteer of the Year was a goal that I set for myself two years ago after attending the Volunteer Appreciation event,” Volunteer Coordinator Barbara Morris said. “After my mentor Larry Glover won it, I told myself that was what I was striving to achieve.”Arlington Animal Services requires volunteers to complete an online registration and attend a two-hour volunteer orientation prior to beginning their service at the shelter. During this past fiscal year, volunteers have completed more than 14,000 hours of service. Some volunteers participated in two or more additional volunteer programs.“I think that having the appreciation event off site encourages everyone to participate in the event; it is something different!,” Volunteer Coordinator Larry Glover said.Over the past year, the volunteer program has grown to offer new areas for volunteerism for the shelter, as well as offering additional special training programs for the volunteers to become more knowledgeable about Arlington Animal Services. The newest programs added to Animal Services included Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) transports and Kiddie’s Paws to Read.Some of the volunteers spend most of their service away from the shelter taking care of adoptable cats and serving with our adoptable dogs at the PetSmart Highlands, where others come into the shelter multiple times per week to donate their time. No matter where the efforts are made, every hour is appreciated and the manager and staff at Arlington Animal Services wanted that message to be made clear.