Can you believe this is the first year we managed to hold our volunteer appreciation party during the official national volunteer appreciation week?! Of course, my philosophy is every week is volunteer appreciation week, as I know full well how much our volunteers contribute to our success. We could not offer all the programs we do, provide all the socializing and enrichment to the animal, give the kind of customer service that we feel is important and more, were it not for our wonderful corps of nearly 200 volunteers.
We were so pleased to be able to recognize 38 of our volunteers for reaching special hour milestones. If you know any of these people, congratulate them – then ask about their volunteer experience and see if you might want to join in the fun!
100 hours – Arianna Barrett, Ashley Boerner, Nora Bruemmer, Nancy Degenkolb, Cindy Fields, Megan Harris, Noah Infanger, Blake Keeler, Susan Kelley, Betty McKinnie, Debbie Muniz, Diana Rippey, Nicole Sewell, Ann Thorson and Eliana Wong
500 hours – Janet Lowery, Linda Walstrom and Steve Watrous
1,000 hours – Nick Allen and Nancy Gillett
2,000 hours – Lynn Dougan, Carol Kelly, Lou Ann Seaman and Alice Zanini
3000 hours – Nora Varadi
Top five fosters – Kendra Chatfield, Amy Isquith, Stacey Maynard, Denise Bligh and Helen Crosby
Special Acknowledgements – Lotta Black, Kat Hess, ASL Board of Directors: Helene Blazier, Todd Coleman, Cheryll Currier, Robin Foutz, Barbara Kohler and Lou Ann Seaman
The volunteers honored cross all the various departments and jobs. Included in this list are dog handlers, cat cuddlers, office assistants, kennel assistants, outreach helpers, photographers, vet assistants and more. Some are just hitting the first honorary marker while others have been with us over 20 years! They range in age from early tweens to mid 70s; we have many retirees and an active Junior Volunteer program.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our agency and do a wide variety of duties. We have animal socializers who give some much needed one-on-one time and attention to the animals in our adoption area to help relieve the stress of being caged. They brush and play and love them up – a super hard job but one that has to get done! As you can imagine that is the most popular position.
Most important though, and most appreciated by the staff, is the help with the cleaning. When you have a shelter full of animals all hungry for breakfast, needing to go potty, medications to dispense and cleaning to do, any help is welcomed! The same in the evening when we do second feedings, medications and potty breaks. A helping hand is very much appreciated! It takes someone with some animal skills and who is not afraid to get dirty and do the hard work.
Our office and event volunteers are the face of the shelter. The friendly smile and cheerful greeting the public receives from the first person they meet when they come through our door can make or break our reputation. Office volunteers assist with adoptions, answer the phones and do data entry for us among a hundred other duties.
We have people who have created special positions – our web mistress, graphic designer and photographer come to mind. There are so many ways to help out and so many wonderful people that do just that. Clearly we are not listing all of our volunteers or positions. If you are thinking about where you want to give your time and energy, check out our website for more information about our volunteer program. And next time you visit, please thank the volunteers that assist you!!
“Get Them Back Home” Campaign – Every lost pet should have a way to get back home. FREE pet ID tag and a back-up microchip are available to all residents of Rohnert Park and Cotati. No appointment necessary, just come by the shelter during our regular open hours: Wed. 1-6:30; Thurs.-Fri.-Sat. 1-5:30; Sun. 1-4:30.
Fix-it Clinics – Free spay and neuters for cats; and $60 dog surgeries (up to 80 lbs.) for low-income Rohnert Park and Cotati residents. Call 588-3531 for an appointment.
Mickey Zeldes is the supervisor at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.