Like their charges, volunteers at Cape Ann Animal Aid lived in kennels, if only for 24 hours.

Three volunteers — staff animal caretaker Christina Lewis of Gloucester and regular volunteers Andrea Minnick of Beverly and Jen Schmorrow of Gloucester — spent the 24 hours at the shelter as part of a “Giving Tuesday” project to raise awareness and money for Cape Ann Animal Aid’s pet adoption program.

The GivingTuesday movement, a national event held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a kick-off to the holiday giving season which hopefully inspires people to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support. 

“I’m doing it because I really wanted to put myself in the shoes of an animal,” Lewis said Tuesday. “For an animal specialist, it’s important to know where they’re coming from.”

The three women spent the day without the comforts of home, family, or a cell phone. Besides being confined to their kennels for the day, they had meal times, play times, and socialization like the canines waiting for adoption in the shelter. 

The volunteers were released at 8 this morning, Dec. 2, from the kennels at the Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter on 4 Paws Lane. But their kennel mates remain, awaiting adoption. 

Despite appearances, Lewis said the experience wasn’t bad. “I might be biased,” she said, “but I do think we do a fabulous job of taking care of these animals. There have been various things to do during the day, so it’s actually kind of fun.”

“If people feel moved by the efforts of these fantastic individuals, we hope they will consider making a donation in their honor,” said Cape Ann Animal Aid Executive Director Sunniva Buck said in a statement. “Our goal is to raise $5,000 over the course of #GivingTuesday. These funds will help more animals find loving homes before the holidays, covering expenses for vet care, food, shelter and animal care.”

More information about Cape Ann Animal Aid, the shelter, and adoptable animals is available by visiting www.capeannanimalaid.org

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