Meet a few special volunteers at our shelter
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By Mickey Zeldes  June 7, 2013 12:00 am

We have some pretty special people living in our area.  They are not only animal lovers but also willing to get involved and came up with their own creative ways to help out the shelter.  I’d like to tell you about a few of them who impressed me recently.

A teenage girl came into the shelter a couple of weeks ago and started hauling in bins of supplies for our animals.  She introduced herself as Megan Groverman and explained she had the idea to help raise awareness of the needs of the shelter animals by going to her grandfather, a well-known Cotati veterinarian, and asking if she could set up bins to collect donations of supplies for the animal shelter at his clinic, the Small Animal Hospital of Cotati.  He agreed, and she monitored the bins for weeks.  She walked in with all kinds of goodies for our animals.  Megan is not one of our junior volunteers, as we had no connection with her before this.  She just thought of a need and took it upon herself to help fill it.  Impressive!

Damajah Heinemann is one of our Junior Volunteers.  She’s been working at the shelter since June 2012, coming in regularly to help clean our kennels.  Damajah decided for her senior project at Rancho Cotate High School to use her artistic talents to help educate others about the important work the shelter does for the community.  She wrote and illustrated a graphic booklet that tells about all the things we do – adoptions, finding strays and reuniting them with their families, helping sick and injured animals and educating the public.  In addition to coming up with the idea and writing the storyboard, Damajah had to draw 210 separate cells to illustrate her message.  She figured it took more than six months from start to finish. Just creating this 26-page booklet is impressive enough, but Damajah didn’t stop there.  She then started selling her booklet and has raised more than $150 so far for the shelter.  She also has given us the rights to photocopy and use her booklet for either fundraising or educational purposes, so it’s the gift that keeps on giving.  The illustrations are black and white pen drawings, so it actually could double as a coloring book for older children and would be a great teaching tool.  Her booklets are available at the shelter for $4.

Another community member who helps us out on his own is Cotati’s George Barich. George runs karaoke at the Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park on Thursday and Friday nights. He collects money for the shelter from participants and recently walked in with well over $100 to donate to us. If you love animals and karaoke, then the Double Decker Lanes is the place for you.

We certainly appreciate the people out there willing to go out and do something to help the shelter.  I’m constantly impressed by the creativity and hard work that both young people and adults do to help us out.  Thank you.

Upcoming events

• Meet the Bunny: Second Saturday of each month (next is June 8), from1-5 p.m.  Meet our adoptable rabbits, have your care questions answered by our knowledgeable rabbit volunteers, bring your rabbit for a free nail trim and support our small animals by shopping our Bunny Boutique for fresh hay, treats and toys.  We still have a couple pairs of baby bunnies.

• Summer Camps are filling up quickly.  Check out our website for details –

Like us on Facebook and help us return stray animals home, hear about happy adoptions, and keep current on our events.  Go to

Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at

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