Bastrop County breast cancer survivor says animal shelter volunteer work saved her life

Clear the Shelters

BASTROP COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — When residents of Bastrop County see the silver Ford Escape with a sticker on the door reading “Volunteers Always Needed,” they know who’s inside.

It’s Bastrop County Animal Services’ Deanna Montgomery, and most likely her daughter, Amy.

Sticker on the side of Deanna Montgomery’s car (Courtesy of Deanna Montgomery)

“We gotta do what we can to get ’em in here,” said Montgomery, who helps coordinate volunteers for the shelter.

She helps field applications when they come in, gives training and matches people to the most applicable task.

Her team is made up of about 175 volunteers, but she’s got her regular 20 to 25 who help with things like dog walking, medical assistance, playing with the cats and grooming.

Photo of Amy Montgomery. (Photo Courtesy: Deanna Montgomery)

Amy has her routine as soon as she arrives at the shelter as well.

“She walks through the kennels and she gives every single one of ’em a treat,” said Montgomery. “You don’t see me without her, that’s how this team goes.”

Amy saves each animal’s kennel card after they get adopted and makes photo albums with them. That’s because she has a special connection with the fur babies she takes care of — she herself was adopted 13 years ago.

“She latched onto it,” added Montgomery. “She just had a heart for it.”

But that’s not all.

“Amy was born with what was called microcephaly,” explained Montgomery, a condition which could impair brain growth and development. “When we adopted her, we knew we would be in it for life and we love it, me and my husband both. We’re so happy that she’s part of our family.”

Now in turn, Amy dedicates her time to giving love to the animals they take in to try and help find them their forever home.

“I love the shelter,” said Amy. “The ones that need that special attention she will sit and just love on ’em, she will pet ’em, she will brush ’em,” Montgomery added.

Since 2016, she and Amy have helped save hundreds of lives, but it’s what the shelter has done for her that keeps her coming back.

“I’ve had breast cancer twice and I wasn’t supposed to survive. I was sitting at home depressed, but came out here and started volunteering. Basically the shelter saved my life,” explained Montgomery. “It has given us drive.”

KXAN is working to Clear the Shelters throughout the month of August. Join us as we help you find your furever best friend. For more information about how to adopt from the Bastrop County Animal Shelter, visit their website.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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