“I Dare Me” Week: Kristen’s emotional and rewarding volunteer day

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Has anyone ever dared you to challenge yourself to do something you’ve always wanted to do, or have been too scared to do, or just never gotten around to doing?

The boss dared some of the NewsChannel 3 anchors to “Dare Themselves” this week.

“I Dare Me” Week: Barbara Ciara faces one of her biggest fears

“I Dare Me” Week: Kurt dares himself to encounter creepy-crawly spiders!

Barbara and Kurt face their challenges earlier in the week. This time, it was Kristen's turn...

This week our boss challenged us to dare ourselves to do something we had never done before. Being an animal lover and growing up on a farm I wanted to dare myself with something that I had always wanted to do but never thought I could handle it emotionally.

I wanted to volunteer at the Virginia Beach SPCA.

I knew going in that I was going to cry, I just didn't know when and I wasn't prepared for the emotional strain it put on me through the day. I fought back tears several times and broke down and cried with a couple of special new furry friends.

The volunteers reassured me that it would get easier and just remember you are helping them on their path to a furever home. I had to repeat that to myself the entire time I was there.

I even helped by bottle feeding newborn kittens, scrubbing kennels, drying floors, scooping cat litter, and even walking one special dog named Lady.

The Virginia Beach SPCA has a list of 2,600 volunteers. They take in 4,000 to 6,000 animals a year and they do not turn any animal away. They need all of the help they can get and my back hurt just a couple of hours in! They really do an amazing job at trying to make this temporary stop in these animals lives better.

This challenge left me sad, fulfilled, tired and happy all at the same time and all I can still think about now are those precious faces staring up at me thinking I may take them home. I know that my time there helped make their day at least a little bit easier and that is why this challenge ultimately was a success. I made myself push through and just do it and I will make myself do it again, not for me, but for them.

Feeling inspired to dare yourself? Our challenges were inspired by the book, “I Dare Me.” Click here to check it out!

If you would like to volunteer:

Amanda Panuline Dunlap

Community Outreach Director

Director of Adult Volunteers

Virginia Beach SPCA

Main Phone: 757.427.0070

Direct Line: 757.689.1934


The SPCA's next adoption event and vaccine clinic will be held May 31st.


  • Kristen

    Thank you for highlighting that vbspca will never turn an animal away! It’s so important to have high quality, open-admission shelters in our community. Kudos to you and the vbspca staff and volunteer for all you do to help the animals who need it the most.

  • Arley Edwards

    What they do there is great HOWEVER the never turning away an animal thing is BS! I had a dog that after 7 years became dog (only) aggressive. I tried everything for over a year. Trainers, behavior modification, rescues all didn’t work or turned me down. Pitt rescues didn’t want him because he didn’t look enough like a Pitt, other rescues didn’t want him because he was dog aggressive. I finally took him to vbspca hoping they could help and find him a better home where he was the only dog. They basically said no. They told me that if I surrendered him he would be transferred to a kill shelter or they would deem him unadoptable and put him down. I had to take my sweet dog next door to be put down. Roush was fantastic with cats, loved birds and small animals but couldn’t be around other dogs, including ones he’d grown up with. I was at a loss of what to do with him because we were having to move on base and he couldn’t go. Vbspca let Roush and I down. We needed help and we’re turned away.

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