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Dakota was generally a busy person, her day job was as a teacher and that was always her first love, she enjoyed coming up with lesson plans and thinking about new and interesting ways to teach the kids things, she would spend hours of her free time planning out ideas and inventing clever ideas to engage the different kids in her class. Some of them worked well with orthodox ways, some of them needed her to be more inventive. She loved her job. But it also came with a lot of downtime, considering schools weren’t always in session and there were scattered breaks throughout the year.
So in the time that she had off, she often liked to get herself involved in volunteer work. The Diviner wasn’t the kind of person who liked to stay at home all the time when she had vacation time, she preferred to spend her time keeping busy and while planning lessons for the new term always kept her pretty busy, she wanted a reason to get out of the house. She had signed up with Everheart animal shelter a few months earlier in the year and it had been a lot of fun working with them, mostly she helped with the general care of the animals and because she was a good speaker, she had worked her way into helping with the adoption pairings where potential owners were paired with dogs that fit their lifestyle.
Today was special though because the shelter was holding an adoption rally this weekend which meant several of the volunteers got to take some of the animals out to setups around the city to try and get them adopted. She had driven around to the shelter and registered before being given 3 dogs and a cat to bring out to her setting. It was a lot to handle but she’d gotten used to transporting the animals around by now so she drove them over to the parking lot where the rally was taking place and unloaded them from the car, leading the three dogs on leashes and carrying the cat in its carrier. By the time she got over to the tent she had been tied up by a leash at least three times and been pawed at by the cat but she had a smile on her face as she came to greet the other girl who would be working her on the adoption rally today.
The youngest of the Reign’s children was a lover of animals. Big or small. Jessa had love in her heart for them. Whilst the young woman was still looking for a proper job; she managed to keep herself busy in various ways; but would often be seen at the Braelynd Ranch; owned by one of her close friends. Jessalyn enjoyed helping out on the ranch/and taking care of the horses that Elias had there. Just recently, she had been taking care of the Ranch; whilst he had been out of the city for the last few months.
Due to her friendly, outgoing nature; Jessalyn was very much a social person. And always around the community spirit. Having helped out few charities; out in Evermore with different events. Jessa was fairly new to Everheart. She had visited the shelter often as she could; during the time that she volunteered there. Whether it was to take the dogs for walks, or to help feed newborn puppies and kittens, if their mother was neglecting them. Her jobs around the shelter varied. But working with adorable fluff-balls, gave her joy.
The Initia was quite excited; about this adoption rally event. Whilst Jessalyn had met a few of the other volunteers that worked for Everheart. This name in particular didn’t ring a bell with her. Which meant; she would be working with someone new to her. Having arrived earlier at the Rally set up; Jessalyn was over by the table where she and Dakota would be stationed. Sorting out the Adoption paperwork; so everything would be in order for the willing people; that wanted to take home a new puppy, or a kitten. Sorting through the last stack of paper work; to make sure it was in order. Jessalyn noticed a young woman; slightly older than her; making her way in her direction. Struggling with 3 dogs and a cat in hand.
“Do you want some help, with them?” Jessalyn offered, as she gave her a warm smile. Walking over; to help untangle Dakota from the trio of adorable dogs.
Kota had taken a lot of time off from volunteer work for personal reasons, unfortunately when things got tough one of the first things to go tended to be things you did in your spare time. She had spent the past few months trying to hold together the remnants of her relationship and wondering where all that would go. It had taken its toll on her mental health and she hadn’t felt up to making it to these kinds of events. But now that was part of her past and her future was somewhat in the balance she wanted to get back to some things which she enjoyed for herself.
And she couldn’t really complain about getting to spend all day hanging out with animals, it had been her escape to spend time with them before as her ex-husband was horribly allergic so they couldn’t have a pet of their own. Now, however, she realized that if she wanted to have a pet she actually could. But first things first, these four pets needed to find loving homes of their own. Once she managed to get out of the death trap they had set up for her. She made half an effort to wave to Jessalyn between the leashes and then laugh “Yes if you could take this little rascal I’ll figure out this knot” she held out the cat carrier towards the girl with a laugh.
Once she took the cat, Kota stepped through the maze of leashes until all three of the dogs were separated and then she offered one out to the other girl as well as her hand for a handshake “Hey I’m Dakota and I guess we are adoption rally partners today” she spoke softly, now she had one leash in each hand things were much more manageable. “Okay so we have Charlie in the cat carrier, Cassie and Brody over here and you’ve got Patch right there” she nodded a few times “Think that covers our attendance check” she smiled softly as she tied one of the leashes around the table so she could get some of the things they needed for setup.
Jess wondered how many people would turn up for the Rally. As far as she was aware of, they had quite a few Puppies and Kittens up for adoption today. And each pair would have at least 4-5 to handle. It always made Jessalyn a little sad; to see so many unwanted animals in shelters. Why did people get animals in the first place, if they would eventually abandon the poor creatures? It wasn’t fair. Her thinking was; if you cannot afford one, or wouldn’t love one; then don’t get a pet for home. As it cases like that; didn’t work out. Poor creatures were hurt, or left wandering the streets; when bad owners got sick of them.
Seeing Kota’s attempts to wave at her, made the Initia giggle. Giving her a wave back; before the two were closer enough to talk. “Of course.” Jessa smiled, taking the cat carrier from Dakota. Whilst the other brunette struggled to get untangled from the leashes. Jess felt a small paw, trying to scratch at her leg. Looking down at the cat carrier. “Well hello there cheeky kitty. You can’t go out...you’d be running off.” Of course, the cat just let out a loud meow in response and kept trying to paw at her leg, through the bars of the carrier.
When the other girl, untangled herself from the leashes. Jess caught one of the dog leashes into her hand. Aswell as Kota’s hand, giving it a shake. “Jessalyn. It’s nice to meet you.” Jessa spoke with a soft yet warm smile. “Are you new to Everheart too? I don’t think I've seen you around; any time I visited the shelter.”
Hearing her introduce their bunch, Jessalyn nodded. “I do, believe I’ve met Patch before. Not the other three.” But she was good with memory; so she would remember whom they had. That was for sure. Feeling Patch brush against her leg...she set the cat carrier down on one of the chairs. Before she leaned down, to pet the puppy. Letting her fingers brush through his fur. Patch’s tail was wagging happily at the attention. “I sorted out the adoption paperwork, before you got here. So everything should be in order.” So far, so good. They had everyone here...and seemed like they were organised, in getting things done.
She really thought the work they did at Everhart was amazing, they were a no-kill shelter which meant they tried to do everything they could to get each and every animal that came to them into loving homes. It was sad that the reality was that these animals needed new homes instead of being able to stay with their originals ones but the shelter supported a lot of people who didn’t have the financial means to care for their pets anymore or who were forced to give them up as they were moving into a place which didn’t allow animals.
Kota had to laugh when she saw the cat trying to paw at her legs from inside the box “Feisty little one in there” she spoke with a wry grin, all of the animals had personality which she liked, it made it easier to pair them with potential owners. “We’re gonna need to find a way to let him out of there without letting him run off though” she thought out loud because they could hardly expect potential owners to get a full feel for their new pet through those bars.
“You too” she responded to Jessalyn’s introduction and smiled “Not new no, but I haven’t been actively participating for a while” she gave a slightly sheepish smile in the girl’s direction and then shrugged “Personal reasons, just didn’t have the time to spare which kinda sucks because I forgot how much I loved it” there was nothing better than seeing someone finding their perfect pet and the excited looks in their eyes as they found out they got to take them home.
“These two are kinda besotted by each other” she noted from the way they stood close together and were always playing “So it would be amazing if someone wanted to take the both of them on but I know how rare that is” she pressed her lips together slightly disappointed, it was a shame that people had to be so picky about the choices they made when it came to pets but then she supposed half the reason they ended up in this situation in the first place was because people weren’t responsible with their decisions. “Great, then all we need to do is pick a good place to set up where we think lots of people will pass” she looked around for a moment noticing that the shops opened up to a small central courtyard which would work nicely, she jerked her chin towards it and smiled “Over there seems good” she nodded and started heading towards it.
Jessalyn hadn’t ever known a more Shelter dedicated to animals and former owners; than Everheart. It stunned her at first; but knowing they did care for owners whom genuinely could not afford to keep their pets; for understandable reasons was one of the appeals.
Now, it was lucky that Jessalyn was used to cats. Her elder brother Cedric had one at home; and out of the siblings; Jessa was the only one that actually liked the cat. Sierra never cared for the fluff-ball much. Cedric; well he was the cat’s owner. Of course he loved Persephone. As for Adolf? He was just back from the dead...so it was a bit strange at home. “Indeed.” Jessa said with a soft laugh. But she didn’t mind that the cat was trying to paw at her through the bars. As Dakota was thinking out loud; Jess was trying to think of a solution or two. “Did the Shelter by any chance, give you a few toys to take with Charlie?” If not. Jess hoped, that there would be a small pet shop near by; as the Initia was hoping to pull an old trick on Charlie that always worked with Cedric’s cat.
Learning why Dakota hasn’t been around, Jessalyn just nodded in understanding. “Ah, I see. Well...it’s good to have you back.” she said with a warm smile. “I am new. So I am still getting to know most of the other volunteers.” Finding it rather easy to slip into conversation with the other female; whom would be working with her. Since it’d be easier to have free hands for a few moments; Jessalyn...tied up Patch’s leash as well.
“Awweee….that’s sweet.” Jessa soppy for a good romance; even between animals.But it was cute, when two animals were as close as the pair. “Let’s hope we’ll be in luck.” If they could find an owner that was after 2 pets; it’d be their lucky day. When Dakota pointed out the small courtyard between shops. It seemed like the perfect spot. Heading over with Kota to investigate; she smiled. “This looks perfect.” It was central enough; that people would be passing by; but it also seemed safe enough to have the animals roaming; especially Charlie. And to her luck, Jessalyn spotted a small pet store, a few shops to her right. That would come in handy, for finding what she needed to keep Charlie near them.
Once the girls decided on the exact spot where to set up, in the courtyard; they began to get to work. Moving what they needed; to set up an adoption station here for their furry friends.
Now that Kota was thinking about it, she actually wondered what was stopping her from getting a pet of her own, there had always been a pet in her home when she was growing up and when she moved in with Bradyn she had wanted one but it never worked out because of his allergies, coming to the shelter had been her animal fix back then but now there was no reason not to have the real thing too. “Mmm nope, but that’s good thinking, if we get some catnip toys then we should be able to keep his attention pretty well” she nodded slightly “Plus we’ll probably wanna get some water bowls and treats in case we’re here a little longer than expected” they had no idea who was going to come by after all.
She nodded a few times when the other girl welcomed her back to the charity, it felt nice to be back out here and doing something important, helping animals was an important cause for her, especially because so many of them got left behind and neglected which made her sad “Well then welcome to the crew” she responded with a gentle grin “How are you finding it all so far?” she noted the other girl was very young so she wondered if she was doing the work to help add to her resume “What got you into volunteering?” she asked wanting to keep the conversation flowing if they were going to spend the whole day together.
“I thought so” she spoke softly when she mentioned the sweet bond that the two dogs shared “I guess they’ve been together in the shelter for a while now” which was both sad and happy because they had this very unique connection but also she was sure the shelter wanted them to get happy homes by now. “Now we just have to hope the cuteness factor is enough to stop people from their busy Christmas shopping” she looked around to notice it was quiet right now but then it was still early and the shops weren’t open yet which gave them time to get everything set up.
She set up the makeshift table they needed and started laying out the paperwork and flyers along with a few of the items the shelter had provided to give to people who made donations to the charity rather than consider adoption. Of course, they would prefer to find each animal their new forever home but the donation collection was important too. “Do you wanna head into the store and grab a few bits” she looked down at her watch “They should be open in about 5 minutes and now we have these guys in places they aren’t going to do any more tangling menace” she grinned slightly arranging the presentation of the desk.
It seemed like Dakota got her trail of thinking; when she mentioned the toys. As the old saying goes; Great minds think alike.”Seems like you figured out what I was aiming for.” Jessa said with a soft laugh. “But, I was also thinking of stuffing a few treats into a toy or two. It always works with my brother’s cat. Persephone spends ages trying to get them out.” Plus it was a good reward for the cat too; if it could succeed in getting some treats out of the toy. Would keep Charlie distracted; and occupied so it wouldn’t think of running off. When Kota suggested water bowls and treats in general; Jessalyn nodded. “Good thinking.” It was a busy time of the year; they could be here for the entire day. They had to keep the fluffy adorable creatures, happy somehow.
When Dakota welcomed her to the crew in return; Jessa just smiled warmly. “I love it so far; it’s been quite exciting seeing some of the things that goes around at the Shelter.” Not to mention, people had been pretty welcoming; to newcomers such as herself. “Everheart really does some wonderful work. I don’t think I’ve ever known a shelter quiet like theirs.” she said honestly. Hearing her question, Jessalyn smiled softly. “I’ve always loved animals. Big or small. So I got into it; to help the poor creatures that don’t have a home. I’ve been fortunate enough to help look after my friend’s ranch the last few months; as he went on holiday. Since I am still job hunting...it helps keep me busy and improves me resume.” So it was a win win really. Her CV looked bit...bland at one point. So she needed to get into doing more things,to help improve it. But she was working with animals; so it was something fun and something she loved. Couldn’t complain really. “What about you? I take it you’re a big animal lover too?”
“Must have be.” Jessa nodded. Not sure how long Cassie and Brody had been at the shelter;but some animals had been there for a few years. “Hopefully, I mean….who could resist these cuties?” People would have to be really against animals; to just walk past these adorable fluff-balls and not want to take one home.
Doing a double check, that they had everything. Glancing around; it was still quiet. Hopefully people would be flooding in soon enough. Nodding softly. “I’ll grab what we need to keep them happy.” Jess smiled. Heading over to the small pet shop, a few doors away. The young Initia was there about 5-10 minutes; until she had found the catnip toys she was looking for. Along with a few treats for the doggies and Charlie. Jessalyn had also picked up a few water bowls; and some cushions for the animals to sit on. The bigger one was suitable enough for the three dogs...the second one, would suit Charlie. The store owner had been surprised, at the bunch of things; Jessalyn brought. So Jessa explained; what was going on in the courtyard. Encouraging the older lady to come and look at the four animals; when she had a few moments to spare. Leaving an Everheart flier for her on the desk.
After paying for her load; Jessalyn exited the pet shop. Making her way back to their little station. After she set her bags down. Jessalyn had set out the cushion beds. Leaving the bag of treats and water bowls on the table. Jessalyn grabbed the two balls; that were joined with thick strings. Opening them up. She stuffed a few cat treats into them. Before clasping them fully shut again. Setting the toy on the cat bed. “The lady at the store, promised to come and look at these four.” Jessa told Kota with a smile. At least; they knew one person that couldn’t resist cute animals, already.
“That’s good, you know when I first started I literally took on every shift I could, you could say I got a little hooked” which is why she had kept doing it over many different years, she had seen so many animals at the shelter come in, get their training and treatment and then eventually go off to their new homes. It was a good feeling, following their journeys and seeing how they got stronger and more confident, developed bonds with the carers and generally started loving again. And then more often than not, someone would come along, see their perfect pat and take them home. “Oh yeah I’ve always loved animals, when I was younger we always had a dog in the house growing up” so much so that it felt empty in her home without one “But unfortunately my husband was allergic so I decided volunteering would be how I got my one on one time with the animals” and she had definitely snuck in a few cuddles here and there.
“What are you hoping to do?” she asked curiously, Jessalyn seemed around the age where she would either be going to or just finished college so she imagined she had an idea by now of what she wanted to do in her future. “I definitely can’t” she admitted with a laugh, she had been lucky in some senses that having someone allergic at home meant she couldn’t bring every pet home with her. If she was going to get one, she wanted to make sure it was the right one for her though and figured she should probably talk to Austin too since they were roommates now.
“Great, I’ll make sure everything is set up then” setting up wasn’t too hard because she had done a few of these adoption rallies before and the main aim of them was to get the pets adopted, so playing with them and showing them off was the best way to get someone interested. She came around to check on Charlie, he was a very playful and energetic kitty who could be mischievous but very loving, Kota imagined he’d fit well with a young couple who had time to play with him but that he might be a handful for someone with kids. Brody and Cassie, however, were slightly older and more mature dogs, so she imagined they might make better family pets thanks to how well behaved and patient they seemed to be, plus they kept one another occupied most of the time.
Patch though, he was the kind to bond really closely with one person which made her think he might be better suited to someone who was looking for a pet to keep them company, whether that be someone retired who spent a lot of time at home or maybe even a student who only worked part-time. When Jessalyn came back she helped to unpack all the things she had brought and set up the makeshift pen on the floor which they could use to keep most of the animals in one place while they were talking with people “Well that’s a good start, you should familiarize yourselves with the animals for a bit to make sure you’re getting the same vibe from them I am” she spoke it softly as she saw a child running by who quickly came over to investigate the animals and asked kindly if she could pet one of the dogs.
It seemed like Dakota knew the Shelter much better than Jessalyn did. So it was nice to hear someone’s perspective about the shelter. “I imagine, lot of animals got rehomed in the time you have been helping out.” As Dakota told her, that her husband had been allergic. Jessa noticed the use of the past tense there; which made her wonder what happened between the couple. But of course; she didn’t pry. It was not her business. “That’s a shame...it always sucks, if someone’s allergic and you can’t get a pet because of it.” Who knows, maybe one day she’d get herself a pet.
Jessalyn couldn’t remember the last time someone had asked her that question. And in all honesty; over the time she lived in Evermore; her ideas of what she wanted to do changed. “Well, I did get my degree in History and English Lit and Languages. I think ages ago...I was hoping to work somewhere along in that area. But after some family...issues.” Jessa made a slight face at the thought of the past; she and her siblings had and how it had changed. “I guess, I kind of lost track of things for a while. Focused on my family more; and being around animals more...kind of opened up new opportunities and love for me. So I think right now, I am more leaning towards working with animals.” Jessa said honestly. Which would also mean some extra studies; depending on what route she’d go in. But she was smart; she’d handle it.
She couldn’t resist the cute fluff balls either; if she could take one home. She would. But Jessalyn didn’t think the Volunteers could take any of the animals home; not from their own rally at least. But at a later date; she’d definitely try and find one for herself; maybe the shelter itself.
Once Dakota helped her set things up; they were all good to go. Opening up Charlie’s cage; Jessalyn let the playful kitty out of there. And instantly; Charlie seemed to be trying to get into the toy she left on the pillow like cat-bed. “Sounds like a plan, no one’s around at the moment.” Things were still quiet. Getting into a position; where she could get to know the animals a bit more. Just then; they had the attention of a young child.”Of course.” Jessalyn said with a nod. Hopefully, if the child’s parents turned up. Then they would have their first potential family. Fingers crossed.
Charlie was definitely cheeky. At one point; the cat climbed onto her lap and tried to climb up onto her shoulders. Making her laugh; as she felt it’s paws in her face. Jessalyn leaned her back slightly, to stop Charlie scratching at her. Only to be met my licks from Cassie and Brody. Definitely, getting attacked by a dog and kitty love.