Getting to Know

College grad finds her calling in animal rescue work

2013-11-29T00:00:00Z College grad finds her calling in animal rescue workKimberly Cheek-Stanley Times Corespondent
November 29, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Munster resident Julianne Watterson happened upon her position at the South Suburban Humane Society by chance, but her experience there has persuaded her to remain in animal rescue for the rest of her life.

Watterson, 24, began in May as a full-time volunteer coordinator at the shelter, 1103 West End Ave/, Chicago Heights, Ill.

“We have about 160 animals currently in the shelter. We also have close to 75 in foster care, and dozens more at offsite locations,” Watterson said.

“We have all kinds of animals – anything from cats, kittens, dogs, and puppies, to rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, and the occasional reptile.”

Watterson oversees nearly 100 volunteers and works closely with 50 foster families who partner with the shelter.

“I’ve been around animals all my life and have always considered them members of the family. I think I am most moved by how each and every person here cares so deeply for the animals,” she said.

“Although animal rescue work can be challenging and emotionally draining, I know that no one here will ever stop trying, and that in itself is hugely motivating.”

“I am also incredibly proud that SSHS is an open-admission shelter. Every animal that enters our doors, despite its age, breed, or history, has a chance at a new life,” she added.

Adoptable animals can be viewed at the shelter’s website,, or on Facebook at South Suburban Humane Society’s Adoptables.

Watterson is a 2012 graduate of Indiana University Bloomington, where she majored in journalism and Spanish. She enjoys running and sampling at local breweries.

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