"Kim started volunteering at the Humane Society in 2013 after seeing a bulletin board with "We Make Happy Happen" on it. She was looking for a volunteer opportunity, and after attending orientation, she knew The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County was the right place. She had every intention of working with all animals at the shelter, but once she started in cats she never left.She has a knack for connecting with cats in a positive way. It doesn't matter how friendly, shy or scared they are, Kim appreciates each one of them for their unique personalities and respects their individual differences. Because of this, Kim has become the cat program volunteer team lead and the Purrtime team lead and training coordinator which means she is here every Sunday facilitating cat enrichment! She updates volunteer training materials, facilitates cat behavior and safety training classes for staff and volunteers multiple times a month, and is fiercely dedicated! Cats need people to tell their story. Through her 1,152 hours of volunteering, Kim has been an amazing advocate for cats, and we are so fortunate she chose us!"
~ The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County
"Shelter staff is always enthusiastic about Dani’s giving spirit. “Dani is someone we can count on,” says Laurel, Homeward Pet’s Cat Foster Coordinator. “She is such a kind person and has never said no to any requests. I don’t think that word is in her vocabulary!” Dani has also taken on other vital volunteer roles, including photographing shelter animal portraits and working as a Clinic Assistant. In 2017, Dani was recognized as our top volunteer, amassing more than 1,100 volunteer hours. Her endless enthusiasm, compassion, love and commitment to animal welfare make Dani a treasured volunteer. We are honored to nominate her for the 2018 FUTY Festival Volunteer of Excellence Award."~ Homeward Pet Adoption Center
"Volunteer Janet Bircher handles multiple duties at Purrfect Pals Cat Sanctuary & Adoption Centers in Arlington, averaging 45 hours per month. She is the fill in Receptionist, an experienced adoption counselor at the shelter and offsite events, and finds time to sew fleece beds to go home with adopted kitties. She spends Tuesday afternoons at Monroe Correctional Complex working with the Kitten Connection Program foster dads and their charges. She also fosters hospice cats needing a quiet home setting for their waning hours and often drives as far as Portland to transport felines. She is thoughtful, great with customer service, dedicated and always willing to lend a helping hand."
~ Purrfect Pals
"Seattle Humane is proud to nominate Dan Bjorge as our candidate for the 2018 FUTY Volunteer Award of Excellence. Dan has been volunteering with us for 6 years and has dedicated over 1,200 hours of his time. He volunteers with our Behavior Department, where he leads a volunteer team that works with dogs on training and socialization to help prepare them for adoption, and does assessments with our dogs to help us learn more about them.In addition to the great work he does with our dogs, Dan has gone above and beyond for the humans at our shelter as well. This tech-savvy volunteer has generously offered his skills to create and improve processes that our staff and volunteers use every day. He’s completed several projects for our organization, and the most recent has been moving our dog behavior notes into the 21st century. Previously, our dog behavior volunteers were hand-writing their observations about the dogs in notebooks, which was time consuming to write (and read!) and this information did not always get passed on to other teams. Dan created a process that would allow these volunteers to add their notes electronically and link them directly to our animal database. Our volunteers can now spend less time writing and more time with the animals, and other teams like our veterinary and adoption departments can easily access this important information about our dogs. Dan even donated the laptops that volunteers are now using to record their notes, and conducted a training session to introduce our team to the new process. Thanks to Dan we can now track dogs' behavior challenges and strengths in one common place, which helps the dogs while at the shelter and helps us find them the perfect homes!Besides being a tech wiz, Dan is an overall reliable, helpful, and friendly volunteer, and Seattle Humane is so grateful to have him on our team!"~ Seattle Humane
"Sue's commitment to rescuing neglected, abused, and unwanted rabbits is unwavering and life-long. Each year, she continues to be the driving force behind Rabbit Haven, rescuing, caring for, feeding, and healing both adoptable and feral rabbits. This past year alone, Sue has brought over 150 bunnies to Rabbit Haven--some bunnies are simply no longer wanted, while others have injuries so severe that no other shelter will take them. There was Don & Carol--rescued in the dead of winter--the only 2 survivors of a meat farm gone bust; Belle, an Easter bunny, whose fur had been ripped off from more than 50% of her body at only 6 weeks old; and Lilly, who had been dumped and then mauled by a predator, causing severe necrosis on one ear. (And then there is the occasional injured squirrel, turkey, and deer that is brought to Sue's attention as well.) Sue breathes life back into these unwanted rabbits through her many years of experience and a true love for animals.With no grants or government assistance, Sue stays involved with the local Gig Harbor community and private individuals, educating and sharing her mission. Sue will help trap lost bunnies, provide hands-on education on how to care for and handle bunnies, and is partnering with a local Spay & Neuter Campaign to reduce rabbit dumping and overpopulation. As rabbits are gaining recognition as intelligent, social, and loving family pets, Sue continues to provide a safe haven and serves as a hub for bunny owners, good Samaritans, and her volunteer team. To say that Sue has made an invaluable contribution to innumerable precious lives is an understatement as 2018 marks Sue's 35th year rescuing rabbits."~ Rabbit Haven
"Jennifer steps up to any task to help save lives and is an invaluable resource for our rescue. She drives kitties regularly and is reliable for multiple weekly shifts, and always brings a smile to our faces and kindness and great care to the kitties.From leading the cat behavior team, to delivering cats to us from the airport, to getting her hands dirty in weekly cat care shifts, Jennifer does it all! She has been an excellent leader and role model for the behavior team and designed an effective orientation for how to work with our shiest kitties to help get them forever homes. And she does this all while still working a full time job! Jennifer has been with us nearly as long as our doors have been open, and since she started she has been a reliable weekly volunteer twice a week plus drives cats on a regular basis an still makes time to train new members of the behavior clicker training team. She even helps with additional (sometimes crazy) projects as needed, such as helping cats make paintings for our fundraising Gala! She always brings a positive attitude and solutions to helping make this rescue even better." ~ Seattle Area Feline Rescue
"Pam and Harry Custer are unsung shelter heroes. They have dedicated ten years and well over 16,000 hours supporting the homeless animals in our care.Whenever we need a foster family or a helping hand, they are among the first to heed the call. By the end of this year, Pam and Harry will have fostered over four-hundred kittens. They often look after more than one litter at a time, and many of their fosters have been bottle babies who’ve needed several weeks to months of round-the-clock care—food, shelter, medical aid, daily weigh-ins, etc.When Pam isn’t at home fostering, you can find her here at NOAH. She mans the reception desk every Saturday, often with a carrier of bottle babies in tow. Every two hours on the hour, she’ll feed her kittens, all while answering calls, supporting staff and helping adopters.Pam and Harry are unsung shelter heroes. They go about their day saving lives and helping those in need, never expecting or asking for anything in return. Their generosity and selflessness inspire us all, and this year, they deserve to win the 2018 Award of Excellence and Acknowledgement for their years of compassion, dedication and service.Thank you, Pam and Harry, for all that you do."~The NOAH Center
"Renee began volunteering at PAWS in the summer of 2015 as a Baby Bird Caretaker in our Wildlife Center and as a Cat Isolation Attendant in our companion animal shelter. It didn't take her long to become immersed in many areas of PAWS. With over 900 hours of service in 2017 alone, Renee is involved in almost every area of our organization from being a Foster Parent to helping out at fund raising events like PAWSwalk. She also mentors and acts as a Peer Guide to newer volunteers and isn't afraid to fill-in as a sub outside of her assigned shifts. Renee volunteers in all areas of our organization and contributed over 900 hours of service in 2017 alone."~ Progressive Animal Welfare Society
"Greg has been an active volunteer for MEOW Cat Rescue since 2014. He has been a Buddy, Adoption Counselor, Shift Lead, Ninth Life Foster, AND serves as our IT Manager. He spends countless hours caring for cats in his home and in the shelter, facilitating good adoptions, and training and supervising Adoption Counselors. On the IT front, he single-handedly updated our network, workstations, and databases, and wired our office. And he drops everything on many occasions to come in and help us with technology issues when they arise. He serves the MEOW cats and the MEOW community with great dedication."
~ MEOW Cat Rescue
"In order to properly nominate Laura G, I sought input from those who are impacted by her every day."As the Director of Cruelty Investigation, I am frequently working with animals that have endured severe damage, both physically and emotionally. When we are able to rescue these victims, they are fragile and sometimes don't have much time left. Laura Garrison has been stepping up with her gigantic open heart for these animals for years, in more ways than I can explain. Laura has opened her home to animals that need hospice care, without hesitation. She has devoted around the clock attention and care to these who she knows may not be around very long. Many people wont even consider doing something like this that could result in heartbreak, but Laura puts the animals ahead and does it anyway. She has taken on the physical and extreme emotional stresses of giving all of herself to these sweet victims and showing them the wonderful life of respect, love, joy and happiness that they so deserve. Laura has not only given her home and heart to these animals, but she devotes a tremendous amount of time to the animals at our sanctuary. She has spent countless hours with our victims of cruelty, weather it is a extremely scared cat - helping it to learn to trust, a neglected senior llama, or an emaciated dog struggling to stand or walk - Laura is there, smiling, loving on them and helping them. She has put miles in - walking the dogs, so many miles that we named our only trail after her! She has also put miles on her car, taking dogs on drives - to give them a break, and a chance to get away from things and have fun. One victim went on a weekly drive with Laura, many times they drove for hours. After spending almost a year at the sanctuary, awaiting his trial, Laura gave this dog, the joy of a car ride - something he looked so forward too all week, he soon decided he wouldn't get out of the car when she returned. Laura would drive back country roads, as this sweet dog was able to smell the fresh air and watch the world go by. Coming from years of abuse and neglect on the end of a chain, this was bliss for this boy. It wasn't only fun for him, it healed him, and helped him to trust and enjoy life again.Laura Garrison has done more than I can write about in this nomination, but I can say that she is one of the most caring, thoughtful, selfless human beings I have ever met, and I hope that she can be recognized for her phenomenal dedication to giving herself to animals in need. Thank you for the consideration!" - Director of Cruelty Investigation"One rainy, gloomy winter day Laura G. came out to our Sanctuary and one by one began to take each dog in Dog Towne for a walk — the big, the small, the jumpers, the leash pullers. I caught up on some much needed cleaning. By afternoon she was in the dog park, as if she had all the time in the world, with a dog who could play fetch forever. The sun came out and it turned into a glorious day. It felt like Laura G. had made it happen. That's pretty much how it feels every time Laura G. comes on property taking dogs for walks or car rides, playing with them in the dog park, or sitting and giving them quiet time and cuddles. She gives everyone copious time, lots of love and care, and just makes it a better day. I love that we have named our longest dog walking trail "Laura G.'s" in her honor — so appropriate." - Michele G (Dog Caregiver) "Just a few things that make me smile when I think of Laura....when she helped get German Shepherd Greta fostered with her fabulous neighbors for care pre- and post-TPLO surgery, checked in and made sure all was okay and helped me tremendously with getting Greta to and from hydrotherapy. She was a big part of making Greta's surgery and recovery possible!...when she got locked in a dog cabin and had to crawl out the dog door! This can only happen to someone if they are spending so much quality one on one time with a dog in their cabin that nobody even remembers that they are there!...listening to her assign tasks to the kids' compassion days and making sure that the job of a couple students was to go snuggle sweet Athena cat...the fact that she is ALWAYS there! In the rain, in the snow, when it is so cold you cannot feel your fingers or so hot the dogs just want to melt - she is there. And the animals are always smiling and tails wagging because of it!She is 100% genuine and sincere in her love of these animals. She has a tremendous heart and I personally feel lucky to know her!" - Stephanie Perciful (Sanctuary Director)"Over the last several years, I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing and working with Mrs. Laura Garrison who is an exceptional human, committed to the care and well-being of special needs victim animals.Laura has been a tremendous asset to me personally by her willingness to spend a significant amount of time with the victim animals I have removed from abusive homes, after arresting those who harm them. Laura's dedication to each, plays a key role in their individual recoveries, enhancing their quality of life, while they heal both physically and mentally.On one occasion, Laura opened her home to a senior dog named Sammy whom I seized, after arresting her owners for cruelty to animals. Sammy was elderly, fragile, and medically compromised, yet Laura put her own imminent sadness aside to provide much needed hospice care to ensure Sammy felt the incredible love Laura and her husband had to give her.I am forever grateful to Laura Garrison for her dedication and commitment to the innocent animals we strive to save and I believe there is no one more deserving of recognition than she." - Officer Dave Vasconi, Marysville Police Department"~ Pasado's Safe Haven
"I am nominating Ashley because she is an exceptional volunteer. She is extremely dedicated to our mission and will always find the time to help support it. Ashley volunteers at our farm facility each week helping to care for the horses & other livestock there. She mucks stalls, grooms horses, takes photos, scrubs buckets and feed troughs…whatever needs to be done! Ashley is also a foster volunteer. Having taken 2 large litters of un-weaned puppies into her home and bringing them back healthy & properly socialized, she is a hero to the shelter staff! She also helps with humane education by presenting to groups of kids at schools and kids’ camp, often bringing her own dogs to teach children about dog body language and bite prevention. On top of that, Ashley started a Girl Scout Badge Program – the first of it’s kind at WHS! She not only developed the educational material, but she handles the inquiries, sets up the events and manages the groups of Brownie & Junior girl scouts when they visit. Finally, Ashley has played a major role in our outreach department by helping us reach underserved areas of our community. She has been an integral part of expanding our reach into an area of our community that is most in need. Whether it is securing contacts, scrubbing dog houses, delivering supplies or brainstorming creative new marketing materials, she will do whatever it takes to help pets in need. With her help we have been able to assist these low-income families by providing food, shelter and supplies for their pets on a regular basis. She is also helping to create a transportation plan for folks interested but otherwise unable to bring their pets to the shelter for our low cost spay/neuter program. Ashley is one of the most dedicated, thoughtful, generous people I know. She goes above & beyond for our organization and the animals we care for every day. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award!"~Whatcom Humane Society
"Robert and Judy have been volunteers with Auburn Valley Humane Society for the past 5 years having accumulated over 500 hours each. They have rarely missed a Thursday dog walking shift and always volunteer at the large adoption events that AVHS hosts. They have been great mentors to new volunteers and to the new adoption handlers at events. The adoption team could go to an adoption event, setup and settle the dogs and Robert would have the first adoption of the event. Quick to ask questions of potential adopters and to ask the right questions for the perfect matches. It’s awesome to watch each of them work the crowd or interact with the public. Usually Robert takes the big dog to the event and finds its second home.They have also helped at the major fundraising events as the golf cart driver, the adoption handler, or the outreach sales volunteer. Robert once sold dog toys for a $1 until the box of 100 toys were SOLD. They also have rescued many a stray cats in their neighborhood and brought them to the shelter for a new home. Checking in on the cats each week to insure their adoption. Both have changed the lives of well over 150 dogs and cats that they have helped care for as volunteers and adoption counselors at events. Thanks to both of them, we have improved our dog walking program, trained lots of dog walking volunteers, as well as supporters of AVHS. Robert and Judy are a great team of caring, dedicated volunteers representing Auburn Valley Humane Society."
~ Auburn Valley Humane Society
"Kathy Mahan is truly an exemplary animal advocate, and a huge asset to the Kitsap Humane Society volunteer team. She deserves the Volunteer of Excellence Award for a myriad of reasons—too many to state in a short Google Forms response, but I will do my best to summarize them here. Kathy Mahan’s service is multifaceted: since she began volunteering at KHS, almost three and a half years (and more than 1200 hours of service) ago, she has involved herself in as many areas of the shelter as she can get her hands on. She is one of the members of our photo team, a small group of volunteers who take professional-quality pictures of shelter animals every week for usage on social media and pet adoption websites. She fosters for us, and is always looking for the saddest, most shy small dogs to give breaks at her cozy home until they are ready to find their forever families. She volunteers each year for our biggest fundraising events, taking professional photographs and even donating family property to our online auction. When she’s not doing all of those other invaluable services for the shelter, she comes in and walks dogs for us, making sure that each dog has had a chance to get some love and do their business outside of their kennel. Beyond what she does for KHS as an organization and for the animals we serve, Kathy Mahan is a woman with a heart for others, regardless of their species. She is kind before she is anything else. We are proud and so happy to have her on our team."~ Kitsap Humane SocietyPhoto Credit: Kelly Hall
"Janis is one of the hardest working and most experienced TNR rescuers in the NW. She is and has been a knowledgeable source for other trappers on trapping, spay/neuter, socialization of ferals, barn relocations, mentoring and fostering. Her compassion and work with Community Cat Coalition is acknowledged by everyone at Community Cat Coalition and beyond. Besides her active work as a trapper she has also volunteered at OutReach Events where she shares her knowledge at a public level. Janis, at any one time, fosters and cares for feral cats and kittens at her home; making sure they have been evaluated and received spay/neuter, shots and other medical needs. Without her dedication many cats would have perished without a chance."
~ Community Cat Coalition
"Hi, my name is Chewey! I'm a 6-year-old Chihuahua/Dachshund mix and I'm available for adoption at Emerald City Pet Rescue. I'm a REALLY good dog (I promise!), but no one will adopt me! Maybe it’s because my back legs don’t work very well. I have IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) and that means I need physical therapy every single day, I need help with bladder expressions, (okay, fine, I need help to pee! Don't judge me!) and sometimes I can’t control when I poop. Hey, no one’s paw-fect!After two years in a rescue I thought I was going to lose my mind. Everything felt so overwhelming! Then, something AWESOME happened... Linda took me in! Linda is my foster mom and she's the reason that I’m writing to you. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a treat than her. I’ve been with her for 11 months now (almost a WHOLE YEAR!) and I feel like a brand new dog! She gives me a reason to get out and use my legs! Sure, I still wobble, but I’ve gotten so good that I don’t even need my wheelchair anymore! She brags to everyone at the rescue about my progress, like how I can get onto and off of a curb without assistance now. (I've got SKILLZ!) She even brags about the handful of times I've been able to pee on my own! It’s a little bit embarrassing, but I know she loves me. I know I'm a little bit more "high maintenance" then your average dog, but Lucky for me, Linda is not afraid of a challenge. Before I came home with her she had no idea how to express a bladder or do my physical therapy, but she did not shy away from the challenge and she was a quick and eager learner.Linda really is the BEST foster mom! She has been a volunteer at Emerald City Pet Rescue for the last 2 years. In addition to fostering, she also comes in to the rescue regularly and works with the dogs that aren't in foster. She takes them on walks, cares for them, cleans up after them - she's A-MAY-ZING! Did I mention she also goes to events on a regular basis (especially on short notice) and helps spread the word about rescue to the public? She is a rescue machine that never stops being awesome!In addition to Emerald City Pet Rescue, Linda has also volunteered at the Humane Society for the last 7 years. She helps with something called the Pet Project where she delivers pet supplies to people with low income and so they are able to care for their pets.I really want my foster mom to win this award. She is always doing things for others (especially me right now!) so I wanted to do this one thing for her. I don’t want to get too mushy, but Linda is hands-down my favorite human being. Please help me show her how much she means to me! After everything she's done for me, she deserves this more than anyone I have ever met.Paw-somely Yours,- Chewey"
"Teresa serves as an amazing Co-Lead of RASKC’s Kirkland Team of 135 volunteers. She develops perfect harmony with staff, Co-Lead Jennifer Hunt, Lead Lucy Camelia, and many other volunteers, resulting in a super successful program. Teresa addresses the day-to-day challenges with incredible grace, humor, and aplomb. Teresa’s leadership skills are highlighted by quick and skillful responsiveness to a wide range of volunteer questions, suggestions, and concerns. She was the key point person for onboarding 65 new volunteers on the team from May 2017- May 2018. Her scheduling acumen and follow through is invaluable. Teresa also contributes at least six hours a week at the store twice each week on three weekly shifts. Plus she, along with Co-Lead Jen and Lead Lucy, often fills in to cover last-minute absences of team members. Teresa graciously agreed to help mentor two developmentally challenged students by sharing two of her weekly shifts with them and their job coach. Teresa wrote, “I love interacting with Jordan and Zoe. They're doing a great job here, very helpful.” When Teresa was asked to describe a favorite moment of RASKC volunteering, she said, “Of course facilitating adoptions is the best – getting animals into homes is what we’re all here for! – but since I volunteer outside of the hours when we’re open to the public, for me the most rewarding thing is getting through to a shy animal. That moment when a fearful cat or dog decides to trust you, and rewards you with voluntary affection – that’s such a beautiful connection.” Additionally Teresa also helps to edit the monthly RASKC Volunteer eNews. She takes fantastic photographs. She started volunteering for RASKC’s in the Bellevue Crossroads Petco cat-care program. Teresa is a skyrocketing rising star. Since she started in October 2015, she has already donated 735 hours!"~ Regional Animal Services of Kind County
"Claudia and Dwayne Seaver have provided foster and hospice care to Kindred Souls Foundation animals for 12 years. In the last year alone, they have cared for seven terminally ill cats and dogs. Caring for terminally ill pets absorbs physical and emotional energy beyond traditional fostering. We all know what is like to lose a beloved animal companion and the toll it takes. Claudia and Dwayne have decidedly embraced this pain in order to give animals in need a safe, comfortable, and loving home in which to live out their lives.The Seavers both work full time jobs in addition to being ‘on-call’ 24/7 for their KSF charges. Claudia even took a job five minutes from home so that she could check on the animals, give medications, and transport to the vet if needed.The couple works closely with doctors and specialists to ensure they understand each medical condition. Their keen observations allow the doctors to intervene in a timely manner when necessary. Quality of life is always a priority. Claudia and Dwayne do not shy away from any challenge. They have learned how to give subQ fluids, injections, and medications. They’ve made special diets, monitored seizures, provided physical therapy, and accommodated blind and/or deaf animals. As if that was not enough giving, they also volunteer for the Foundation in other ways. Every year they contribute their time networking, educating, transporting, donating, and participating in KSF events.We would love to see this deserving couple be recognized for the unlimited time they devote to the Foundation, extraordinary care they provide to the Foundation animals, and the tremendous amount of compassion they demonstrate on a daily basis."~ Kindred Souls Foundation
"Meredith came to us as a volunteer with a little bit of experience, but otherwise relatively green- however, she quickly jumped in head first and hasn't looked back! From working at our dog daycare Studio in Redmond to helping spearhead events, to fostering herself (even special needs) and helping coordinate other fosters and their animals' care, Meredith never says no and is always willing to help everyone out. Se has learned how to perform adoption meetings and has grown to be a principle, trusted volunteer in a relatively short time, considering. We know at Motley Zoo, we couldn't have gotten where we are now without Meredith's effort and dedication. It is hard to find such gems; people eager to take on more to help our mission, especially in a world where everyone is so busy all the time and can barely keep up with the bare minimum of commitments. Meredith is never too busy for the animals and our mission and she's always there to support us as individuals when we need it as well. We are so grateful to her, and she is a true friend to Motley Zoo and our animals- rescue has truly become her life. We feel she deserves acknowledgement and hope she will be considered for the FUTY Volunteer of Excellence award! Thank you for the opportunity to provide volunteers such an honor- it is a very thoughtful gesture and one we appreciate immensely no matter who wins!"
~ Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
"Don't worry, I'll call Chuck!" Chuck has been with our shelter longer than any other volunteer. For over 5 years now, he's been coming in every single day, well before staff even arrives--sometimes as early as 2 or 3AM--to help care for the critters here and keep our shelter running. He consistently has shown a reliable dedication and work ethic matched only by his compassion for the animals. He is always cheerful and friendly with everyone, puts his heart into everything he does, and is always the first to offer to help on even the most unpleasant jobs. Chuck's real passion is the kitties here, and he has tirelessly and selflessly given his time, energy, and love to every one of the thousands of cats and kittens that have passed through our doors. We are quite dependent on our large and varied crew of volunteers to keep everything running smoothly at the shelter and give the animals the best care and attention they deserve, and Chuck has been a wonderful role model for all our volunteers to aspire to."~ C.A.R.E.S
For more information about the 2018 FUTY Festival, please email email@example.com.