|All About Pets
Appreciating volunteers: for all you do, this one’s for you!
April 15-21 was National Volunteer Week this year. I’m always behind, so it’s no surprise we’re a week late in holding our volunteer appreciation event. Friday, April 27 is our annual volunteer appreciation dinner and awards ceremony. With close to 200 volunteers, we have a lot of appreciation to show.
Volunteers are really the backbone of the shelter – even before the downturn of the economy and budget cuts tightening up things and reducing staffing levels. We depended on volunteers for helping us provide all of the auxiliary programs offered. With only two full-time and six part-time employees working seven days a week (even days the shelter is closed to the public we are busy feeding, cleaning and caring for the animals here), the volunteers are heavily relied upon to give the animals quality one-on-one time so critical to keeping them sane and well-socialized, while living in a stressful caged environment.
Volunteers do everything from helping staff the busy front office, foster baby animals in their home, run adoption outreach programs, update our Web site, keep us caught up on laundry, walk our dogs, clean cages, assist with health exams, write animal description blurbs, make adoption follow-up calls, clean kennels, wash dishes, monitor surgery animals, post flyers, cuddle cats, host our monthly bunny day events, clean more cages, help run our summer camps and other children’s’ programs, do computer entry, make up surgery packs, socialize our bunnies and other little critters, and did I mention help clean cages? In other words, volunteers do a bit of everything.
Every non-profit is dependent on volunteers and having a well-trained, long-term base of people you can count on is critical for success. Training new volunteers is time intensive and can slow you down, so the goal is to train and then retain volunteers for the long haul. We are so pleased to say we have a very dedicated core group of people here as demonstrated by the number of hours they have worked. Our formal recognition is based on hours put in and this year, we are honoring 44 volunteers that have hit a new milestone.
We thank the following volunteers for their commitment to the shelter:
2500+ hours: Barbara Kohler and Cathy Rogers.
1500+ hours: Rocky Nash and Carolyn Rieschick.
1000+ hours: Nora Varadi, Marsha Blank, Casey Watts and Rachel Goldshine.
500+ hours: Sally Hinkle, Carol Kelly, Ann Phillis-Parker, Pauline Tong, Alice Zanini, Todd Coleman, Katie Fisher and Melanie Davis.
100+ hours: Rosey Gomez, Sarah Kay, Wendy Audiss, Lynn Giles, Kathy Kirk, Karen Lawler, Hollie Weathers, Chris Escamilla, Jennifer Julander, Staci Rippee, Ralph Shapiro, Chris Calderon, Greg Slingland, Jovan Vanderhurst, Lynn Dougan, Molly Heipel, Cara Keegan, Cathy Barich, Betty McKrell, Tina Hrebick and Michelle McCrea.
Junior Volunteers with 100+ hours: Riley Harrison, Alia Salomon, Sophie Spencer, Dalton Watters, Marcus Weathers, Emily Wood and Sarah Wood.
I know they would say they do it for the animals and their thank-yous are usually in the form of licks and purrs, but I do hope these people, and all our hard working volunteers, know how much the staff appreciates their help.
We try to thank them each time they come in, but it’s nice at least once a year to formally and publicly thank them for all they do for us and the animals. So here it is – we couldn’t do all we do without your help - thank you!
• Kidz ‘n Critters Summer Camp – flyer and applications are now available at the shelter or online at: rpanimalshelter.org. Camps run from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and run in seven, one-week sessions for 2nd to 7th graders. Educational and loads of fun – perfect for the little animal lover in the family.
• Foster Parent Orientation and Baby Shower: Tuesday, May 8, 6 p.m. at the shelter. Learn about what’s involved in taking temporary care of orphan kittens and puppies. Bring something off our Baby Registry (www.rpanimalshelter.org and look at the “Kitten Shower” flyer for a list) and be entered to win a prize.
• License Amnesty Week: Here’s an opportunity to get your pets “legal” by obtaining a pet license (required for both cats and dogs) without the late penalty. During “Be Kind to Animals” Week, May 6-12, the late fee will be waived. Bring proof of current rabies vaccine and regular license fee and obtain a current license. VIP will be at the shelter on Wednesday, May 9, 4:30-6:30 p.m. with a low-cost vaccine clinic – rabies will be available for just $6. Free microchips are available all week, too.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at email@example.com