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16 Salutes: Former Teacher Spends Retirement Helping Refuge Animals

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP — Many of us just want to relax in our retirement, but not one volunteer in Luzerne County. She spends more than 40 hours a week helping...

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP -- Many of us just want to relax in our retirement, but not one volunteer in Luzerne County. She spends more than 40 hours a week helping animals of all kinds at a refuge in Franklin Township.

After 32 years as an elementary school teacher in Luzerne County, you’d think Carol Wills would want to stop chasing around tiny tuchuses in her retirement. But apparently, she hasn’t had enough! Her volunteer work at Blue Chip Animal Refuge in Franklin Township is basically a full-time job.

“Part of that is my personality though. I just can't sit still,” Carol said.

She started volunteering 10 years ago. That year, she said the refuge found homes for 60 dogs. Last year, they were up to 600.

Part of the reason for all that success is Carol’s patience, pointing more than 200 volunteers at the refuge of all ages in the right direction.

“They laugh at me because even when adults groups come through I have the jobs that they can do hanging up in front of them, just very teacherly,” Carol said.

Carol helps animals of all kinds at Blue Chip like dogs and even miniature horses.

“Without volunteers like Carol and a whole list of others, we couldn't survive. We only have one paid employee and obviously taking care of thousands of animals in a year, we just couldn't do it without people like Carol,” Blue Chip Animal Refuge Founder Marge Bart said.

In her retirement, Carol said she does a lot less teaching and a lot more learning.

“There's so much love for all of them to give and it really is, I learn from them all the time,” Carol said.