ARLNH names Goffstown man Volunteer of the Year
Bedford - The Animal Rescue League of New Hampshire recognized Jason Oneail as its Volunteer of the Year during its April 8 Volunteer Appreciation event.
Oneail, a Goffstown resident, volunteered 832 hours in 2013. Since joining ARLNH in 2010, he has been a faithful dog walker, coming in several mornings a week regardless of the weather. He is a leader in the Senior Dog Walking and Shelter Dog Class programs.
Oneail and his family have fostered some of the most challenging dogs. He helps with transporting dogs from out-of-state shelters, and he is one of the league's case responders when the ASPCA requests shelter assistance with large dog cases in the region.
"Walking and talking to the dogs is great therapy for whatever ails you. They come to the shelter from various situations, yet they're almost always able to bounce back and still manage to place trust in us," said Oneail.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed.
"Jason is always the first person to volunteer for any task that we may need," said Danielle Snyder, ARLNH director of behavioral health. "He often will hear a conversation and come up with a volunteer duty to assist us that we haven't even thought of yet. No matter what project he takes on, regardless of the time, effort, or disruption to his life required, he jumps in, remains cheerful, and ends the task with a smile."
The efforts of dedicated volunteers make important programs possible so the league can care for 2,500 animals in need each year. The 20 paid staff members rely heavily on the more than 400 volunteers to keep up with the feeding, cleaning and walking of the animals as well as all the laundry, property maintenance, clerical work and other things needed to be done on a daily basis to support the animals.
"We love our volunteers and are inspired by their compassion and commitment every day," said Laurie Galletta, ARLNH director of volunteer services.
Oneail is the 10th person to receive the award since it was established in 2004. This year marks the 110th birthday of the organization.