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Our Volunteer of the Month: June 2017

Thank you for all you do! ~RASKC


6._VolunteroftheMonth_June2017_VoMpageFeatured: David Howerton

Meet David! David Howerton has impressed so many RASKC staff, volunteers, and customers with his amazing dedication and gentle disposition. While a great many RASKC volunteers are extraordinarily dedicated, not many can match the number of hours and shifts that David has contributed in a relatively brief period of time. From the time that he started seven months ago as a Cat Meet and Greet volunteer, he has worked more than 412 hours over 190 shifts. While this includes the time he has contributed with RASKC pet visits to a local retirement home, it does not include additional foster hours that he has given. Simply amazing. Not only is David extremely generous with his time, his affable and helpful nature makes everyone want to spend more time with him. Thank you, David!

Q: How did you hear about RASKC?

A: I came down last fall to do what I did in 1991 when I adopted a cat. I discovered that the shelter is a far different place than what it was 26 years ago. So I decided to volunteer.

Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?

A:  I’ve always liked animals. I’ve had cats or a dog most of my life. Now that I’m retired, I like to spend my time being useful.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?

A: I walk four to eight miles every day.  In the summers I volunteer full time at Mount Rainer as a Meadow Rover. I hike, talk with people, handout maps, and educate other hikers about the mountain.

Q: What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?

A: To help animals and stay busy.

Q: Describe your cats at home.

A: I’ve had cats for the past quarter of a century or so. I fostered cats over a decade with the Equal Animal Rights Society. It’s now called the Evergreen Animal Rescue Society. When my own cat died after 21 years and nine months, I decided to adopt an older cat. I also began fostering for RASKC.

Q: What is the best advice you would give people who want pets?

A: Come on down to RASKC to adopt! Try to know what you’re doing before you adopt. Make sure you have the time availability to match your pets’ needs. Cats have a hard time adjusting to new circumstances, so be patient with any cat you’ve just adopted.

Q: Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with an animal.

A: Many years ago, I used to take long bike rides. One time when I was biking through Yellowstone on my way across the country, I was suddenly charged upon by an elk with very large antlers. Thank goodness those antlers slowed him down enough so that he couldn’t catch up with my high-adrenaline pedaling. Another time I was bicycling from here to Alaska. When I arrived, I was biking down a highway when some line workers frantically waved me over. I wondered why they wanted me to pull over. They pointed out an enormous grizzly bear right behind the edge of a nearby fence. Had I continued down the lane in that road, I would’ve been that bear’s lunch!

Q: You’ve mentioned that you have a disability called prosopagnosia. That’s one of the characteristics that you and actor Brad Pitt have in common. Would you like to share a little bit about that with RASKC readers?

A: I have a hard time recognizing faces, even faces that are very familiar to me. Jane Goodall, who also has it,  was the first person I ever heard of speak of prosopagnosia - what I had been dealing with for so many years. On one hand, it doesn’t afflict me too much, since we don’t have a lot of frequent repeat customers at RASKC. On the other hand, sometimes I don’t always recognize staff or volunteers or their spouses whom I have worked with quite a bit.

List of Lead Volunteers

Lucy Camelia: Lead Volunteer, Kirkland Petco Team. Works six shifts per week since the Kirkland program began in 2014. Was named Volunteer of the Month (July 2016). Donated over 1,700 hours since 2014.

Natsiri Christy: Scheduler, Covington Petco Team. Also volunteers on Early Morning Cat Crew. Contributed over 100 hours since 2016.

Barbra Feldbusch, Leadership Team, Tukwila Petco Team. Also contributed the most foster hours in 2015. Also serves on the Early Morning Cat Crew, Cat Meet-&-Greet, and Reber Ranch Teams. Donated over 8,600 hours since 2012.

Pia Gerholt: Co-Lead Volunteer, Kirkland Petco Team. Responsible for maintaining the schedules for over 85 volunteers in any given month and for guiding new volunteers in the on-boarding process on this team. Donated over 230 hours since 2015.

Melodye Johnson: Lead Volunteer, Reber Ranch Team. Also one of RASKC’s top foster volunteers (over 1,640 foster hours donated in 2015). She also transports animals and works special adoption events. Contributed over 5,000 hours since 2013.

Marcia Klein-Horsham: Lead Volunteer, Cat Special Adoption Events. Also fosters. Donated over 8,000 hours in a recent five-year period.

Denise Kovecs: Lead Volunteer, Covington Petco Team. Also serves on the Reber Ranch Team, Cat Meet-and-Greet, cat brushing/grooming, special adoption events, and Comcast filming. Denise also transports many animals and is active in South County Cats. Contributed over 1,000 hours since 2012.

Lori Middleton: Lead Volunteer, Reber Ranch Team. Also serves as Co-Lead on Comcast filming. Named Volunteer of the Month (March 2016) Works on the cat brushing/ grooming team and as a Shelter Helper and previously in other roles. Donated over 2,000 hours in a recent five-year period.

Leisa Murray: Lead Volunteer, Early Morning Cat Crew. One of RASKC’s longest serving volunteers who works a weekly schedule—over nine years. Contributed over 650 shifts in a recent five-year period.

Jayne Roddy: Lead Volunteer, Tukwila Petco Team. One of RASKC’s longest serving volunteers, she began fostering almost 20 years ago. Has served in various roles. Donated over 1,600 hours during a recent six-year period.

Ruth Schaeffer: Lead Volunteer, Barn Cats R Us. One of RASKC’s longest serving volunteers, she also is a foster volunteer. Has placed about __ feral cats in new homes over __ years. Donated more than 3,325 hours in a recent six-year period.

Gayle Stanley: Co-Lead Volunteer, Reber Ranch. Also a foster. Contributed over 2,000 hours since 2010.

Sarah Stolberg: Cat Meet-&-Greet Coordinator, Shelter Helper Coordinator, and Scheduler for Community Booths and Special Adoption Events Responsible for maintain the schedules of 87 or more volunteers in any given month and oversees the onboarding process for new volunteers on these teams. Also serves on the Covington Petco Team and the social media team. Named Volunteer of the Month (January 2016). Contributed over 800 hours since 2014.

Candi Wallace: Scheduler, Early Morning Cat Crew. Also serves on Tukwila Petco Team. Contributed over 155 hours since 2015.

Marilyn Wallace: Leadership Team, Tukwila Petco Team. Also serves on Early Morning Cat Crew. Donated over 355 hours since 2015.

Former Cat Team Leadership Emerita @RASKC Cat Meet & Greet: Lisa Peter

Former Cat Team Leadership Emerita @Partner Stores Bellevue Crossroads Team: Rita Bout, 2008- 2013; Corinne Powley, 2013- 2016; Denise Sheheen, 2008- 2016.// Covington Petco Team: Laura Lynch-Miller, 2013-2015.//Federal Way PetSmart Team: Chris Duvall, 2008- 2013; Jennifer Schroeder, 2008- 2013; Gaye Lubeke, 2008-2013.//Kirkland Team: Diana Barrett, 2014- 2015. Shoreline Aurora Village Petco: Barb Levy, 2012- 2014. // Tukwila Petco Team: Pam Gibbons, 2013- 2015.

Christina Haines, Scheduler, Dog Team (Kent). Maintains the schedules for about 75 volunteers in any given month. Also serves as a classroom instructor. Donated over 300 hours since 2014.

Pat Wynn, Trainer, Dog Team (Kent). A professional dog trainer, Pat designed the curriculum for all Dog Team volunteers who have started since 2014. She leads monthly classroom sessions and monthly coaching sessions in the dog yards. Contributed over 200 hours since 2013.

Derek Yoshinaka, Premier Volunteer, Dog Team (Kent). Also is the Dog Team photographer and helps with special adoption events. Formerly a foster and an instructor. In a recent five year period, he has contributed over 1,000 hours.

Former Dog Team Leadership Emerita Lenda Johnson: 2014-2015//Sheryl Schopfer: 2010-1014.

Luis Blanco: Longtime member of the Dog Team. One of the longest serving members on this team. Has been working a weekly shift since 2007. Contributed over 300 hours in a recent five-year period.

Lucy Camelia: Volunteer of the Month (July 2016). Serves as Lead Volunteer, Kirkland Petco Team as lead trainer of this team. Works six shifts per week since the Kirkland program began in 2014. Donated over 1,700 hours since 2014.

Melissa Blake: Volunteer of the Month (May 2016) Pet photographer and foster volunteer. Former chair of RASKC Appreciation Banquet for several years. Donated over 4,100 hours since 2012.

Linda Bowen: Prolific Foster. Donated over 1,580 foster hours in 2015. Worked assiduously on RASKC’s rummage sales to raise funds for our catio. Contributed over 5,350 hours since 2012.

Shannon Carlson: Longtime Front Counter Meet & Greet. Working one or two shifts each week in this role since 2008. Also has served on the Dog Team for eight years. Donated over 1,500 hours over eight years.

Pat Davis: Catalyst for the Cat Brushing/ Grooming Team. and serves as a foster. Has worked in many roles. Contributed over 8,400 hours in a recent six-year period.

Amy Devore: Volunteer of the Month (Nov 2015). Consistently among the top foster volunteers every year for several years. Contributed over 1,250 foster hours in 2015. Donated over 13,000 hours in a recent six-year period.

Carolyn Dunstone: Volunteer of the Month (Ap 2016). Lead Shelter Helper Instructor, LEAN expert, and Early Morning Cat Crew volunteer. Donated over 800 hours since 2013.

Barbra Feldbusch: Prolific foster who donated about 2,000 foster hours in 2015. Serves in a great many roles. Donated over 8,600 hours since 2012.

Jennifer French: Volunteer of the Month (June 2016). The longest serving cat meet-and-greet volunteer, who has been working a weekly shift since before 2008. Donates her professional graphic arts skills on many projects. Is a foster and has worked in many roles. Contributed over 1,100 hours in a recent four-year period.

Dawn Gerken: Longtime volunteer. Since 2008 has been key photographer of RASKC animals for Petfinder.com and our website. Also drafts Pet of the Week submissions for local media for many years. Has worked in several roles. Contributed over 650 hours in a recent five-year period.

Marie Gerken: Longtime volunteer. Since 2008 has worked many roles including cat meet-and-greet, special adoption events, and Barnes & Noble gift wrapping fundraisers for the Angel Fund. Has been key volunteer to procure door prizes for volunteer appreciation events. Donated over 1,750 hours in a recent five-year period.

Wendy Hester: Shift Comptroller, office assistant, and prolific foster volunteer. Has worked at least two shifts per week since 2010 in various roles. Donated 930 foster hours in 2015. Contributed over 6,100 hours in a recent five-year period.

Melodye Johnson: Prolific foster and Lead Volunteer, Reber Ranch Team. Donated over 1,640 foster hours donated in 2015. Contributed over 5,000 hours since 2013.

Heidi Linnebar: Prolific foster and works on Covington Petco Team. Has served on Early Morning Cat Crew Donated over 1,500 foster hours in 2015. Contributed over 1,900 hours since 2014.

Vyrna Layton: Volunteer of the Month (Oct 2016). Has made and contributed over 1,300 cat cozy blankets (and many cat toys) to RASKC. Works cat meet-and-greet since 2010, serves as a foster and in other roles. Donated over 3,500 hours in a recent five-year period.

Angela Loeks: Volunteer of the Month (Sept 2016). Works two Dog Team shifts each week since 2008. Donated over 500 hours in a recent five-year period.

Lori Middleton: Volunteer of the Month (March 2016). Serves as Lead Volunteer, Reber Ranch Team. Also serves as Co-Lead on Comcast filming. Works on the cat brushing/ grooming team and as a Shelter Helper and previously in other roles. Donated over 2,000 hours in a recent five-year period.

Taralee Muhli: Prolific foster, who contributed over 1,850 foster hours in 2015. Donated over 3,350 hours since 2014.

Pam O’Brien, Volunteer of the Month (August 2016). Consistently among the top foster volunteers every year for several years. Donated over 1,675 foster hours in 2015. Contributed over 8,250 hours in a recent six-year period.

Jayne Roddy: Longtime volunteer. Began fostering almost 20 years ago. Lead/ Co-Lead Volunteer, Tukwila Petco Team, since that program began in 2013. Has served in various roles. Donated over 1,600 hours during a recent six-year period.

Becky Rubeck, Prolific foster, who contributed over 1,825 foster hours in 2015. Helped to organize several RASKC Volunteer Appreciation Banquets. Donated over 15,475 hours in a recent six-year period.

Ruth Schaeffer: Volunteer of the Month (Dec 2016) Lead Volunteer, Barn Cats R Us for more than 10 years. She also is a foster volunteer. Has placed a number of feral cats in new homes over the past years. Donated more than 3,325 hours in a recent six-year period.

Sarah Stolberg: Volunteer of the Month (Jan 2016). Serves as the leader for two very large volunteer teams since 2014 and serves as the scheduler for two other teams. Contributed over 800 hours since 2014.

Valli Johansen: Volunteer of the Month (Dec 2015). Consistently among the top foster volunteers every year for several years. Contributed over 1,400 foster hours in 2015. Serves on the Tukwila Petco Team. Donated more than 6,600 hours since 2011.

Corinne Powley: Volunteer of the Month (Feb 2016). Former Co-Lead, Bellevue Crossroads Petco Team and prolific foster. Contributed over 5,100 hours in a recent four-year period.

Denise Sheheen: Volunteer of the Month (Nov 2016). Former Lead/ Co-Lead Volunteer, Bellevue Crossroads Petco Team, for eight years. Serves as a foster, works special adoption events, provides animal transport, and helps to organize special adoption events. Contributed over 725 hours in a recent six-year period.

Linda Sutherland: Lead Volunteer, Vet Clinic. Also fosters and has worked in several roles. Contributed over 3,700 hours since 2013.

Diane Teranishi: Longtime Dog Team member. One of the longest serving members on the Dog Team working weekly shifts since 2007.

Lilian Yetter: Volunteer of the Month (Oct 2015). One of the longest serving foster volunteers, since 1999. Has organized several RASKC volunteer appreciation events. Donated over 4,200 hours since 2010.

Derek Yoshinaka, Premier Volunteer, Dog Team (Kent). Also serves as the primary photographer of RASKC dogs for RASKC’s website and Petfinder.com. Has served in various roles. In a recent five-year period, he has contributed over 1,250 hours





Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.

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