Helen Miles

Helen Miles, Volunteer Coordinator

Growing up on a small family farm and always seeming to find stray or injured critters, Helen always felt like the line “but he followed me home” was a constant part of her vocabulary. Desire to help less fortunate displaced animals came naturally from watching her father and his compassion for caring for several strays over the course of years. “As far back as I can remember there has always been loved pets in my life including cats, dogs, ferrets, fish, birds, rabbits, and even turkeys. Life would seem pretty boring without animals around.”

While living in Arizona, she had a desire to help animals in some way and signed up to volunteer at the county shelter and she realized that she had truly found her passion in life. During this time volunteering she saw a tiny “old man of a dog” in a cage that was likely at risk since he was black and labeled as 12 years old. A quick phone call to her husband and explaining her concerns led to adopting their first senior, Rex, the Pomeranian, opening their eyes to the joy of adopting seniors and a realization that fosters for such dogs could save lives. Avid volunteering led to becoming a member of a small team, Second Chance Dogs, which worked directly with the shelter to get second evaluations for dogs at imminent risk for euthanization due to issues such as fear, aggression, and poor health; as well as being a member of the board of directors of Panacea Animal Wellness Sanctuary.

After relocating to the Nashville, Tennessee area, she was fortunate enough to be referred to a member of Agape who needed volunteers for an event, and an instant connection was made. Helen and her family opened their home to fostering dogs for Agape, specializing in the hardest behavior cases such as puppy mill dogs or seniors, as well as volunteering at events throughout the year. “There is never a dull moment in our house with three Pomeranians (all rescues) and an Aussie-Golden mix.”

Helen welcomed the idea of being the Volunteer Coordinator, understanding that great volunteers are the backbone of any successful rescue.