We absolutely love our shelter volunteers
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By Mickey Zeldes  May 9, 2014 12:00 am

We love our volunteers and hope they know it. We try to express appreciation throughout the year, but one time annually we gather together to acknowledge all these wonderful people have done for us and the animals. This past Sunday was our yearly Volunteer Appreciation Party, and although all 165 of our active volunteers couldn’t be with us that evening, we celebrated with those that could attend.

Our volunteers do a million things for us – everything from clean the kennels and cages, assist the veterinarian and vet tech with health exams and surgeries, fold laundry, answer phones, facilitate adoptions, wash dishes, update our website, hang pictures, build shelves, pull weeds, walk dogs, staff outreach events, stuff envelopes, cuddle cats, host monthly bunny days, input data, wash out litter pans, greet the public, bunny socialize, make copies, foster kittens, paint our walls, fundraise, file paperwork, post fliers, take photos, temperament test our dogs, foster special need animals – I’ll stop here but you get the point. Volunteers are people that keep us organized, keep us sparkling clean and keep us moving forward. We absolutely couldn’t do all that we do for the animals and people in our community without all this help.

This year we recognized the contributions of 34 special volunteers based on their hours of service. Please congratulate (and thank) the following people: 1,500-plus hours – Amy Isquith, Suzy Melvin, Lara Shearer, Casey Watts; 1,000 hours – Todd Coleman; 500 hours – Debbie Ecklehoff, Diane Baglion, Nancy Gillett, Erin Thompson, Victoria Thomas, Tina Hrebick

100 hours-Katt Hess, Mayher Ratra, Nicholas Allen, Cari Most, Tamy Chichkanoff, Alisha Parkinson, Nathalie Rossi, Paula Flores, Judi Nelson, Christina Parsley, Megan Rosenberger, Amber Sharp; Junior Volunteer with 500-plus hours – Sophie Spencer; Junior Volunteers with 100-plus hours – Kacey Herrell, Sarah Ramos, Alex Palmigiano, Sarah Wood; and foster parents for more than 10 animals last year – Kayte Taylor, Helen Crosby, Cheryl Vargas, Naomi Garland, Jill Zschach and Pauline Tong.

We added up the number of hours (of those who remembered to record them, and it doesn’t include the foster parents) of all the volunteers who helped us, and in 2013 they racked up an impressive 11,571 hours, which is the equivalent of having 5.5 full-time employees every week. For a small staff that is a huge boost in  people power.

Would you like to see your name on this list? We are ever growing our volunteer corps and could always use a few more committed, good people. We ask our volunteers to pick one job and make a solid weekly commitment. There is more information and brief job descriptions as well as application forms available at our website, rpanimalshelter.org, and at the shelter. We will be holding our next adult volunteer orientation on Saturday, June 7, at 10 a.m. Join us in helping the animals in our community. We’d love to be honoring you next year.


Upcoming events


Animal License Amnesty Week runs through Sunday, May 11. Get your pets up to code (all dogs and cats are required to be licensed in Rohnert Park), and all late fees will be waived. Licenses are just $12 if the animal is fixed (altered) and $30 if intact and can be obtained by bringing proof of a current rabies vaccination and of altering to either the Animal Shelter, City Hall or 49er Pet Store. Licenses are what all well-dressed pets are wearing – don’t embarrass yours.


• Summer camp: Registration is now open for our popular Kidz ‘n Critter summer camp program. We are offering seven one-week sessions of fun for kids in grades 2-7. Check out the complete schedule and download an application at www.rpanimalshelter.org or stop by the shelter to pick one up.


Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at mzeldes@rpcity.org.

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