Volunteer Spotlight: Sue A.

IMG_2372Sue has been dedicating her time to Butte Humane Society since May of 2009. She is our resident cat photographer and has almost 2,400 hours of service! Sue is an active figure in Chico. She works as the assistant Vice President for Alumni and Parent Engagement at CSU Chico, and is on several boards like the Stansbury Home and DCBA and volunteer photography services for Chico Theater Company.

Sue first began volunteering when Butte Humane Society was involved in the ZooToo campaign. The enthusiasm of BHS staff members encouraged Sue to try out volunteering, something she had not really done before. At first, she was not sure what she wanted to do at the shelter, but after she did a photoshoot for the cats Sue was hooked. The Shelter Art Foundation, which provides advice and training for how to take quality photos of shelter animals, helped Sue improve her photography skills and learn how to capture each cat’s individual personality. On top of her regular visits to the BHS catteries, Sue does special event photography such as Pet Photos with Santa and Christmas Preview.

It is easy to see Sue is a cat person from her dedication here, but she does admit she would not mind having a dog sometime in the future. Roughly 700+ animals are photographed by Sue annually, so it is difficult for her to choose a favorite. Some have stood out to her, like BHS alumni Rocky, Thora, Honeysuckle, and Sophie. Several BHS cats have made a deeper connection with Sue and have found a furrever home with her. Currently, Sue is parent to five cats, and has adopted four cats she fostered in the past. She understands how much difference a comfortable bed can make, so she makes cat cage pads and dog coats in her spare time.

Without hesitation, Sue says the best part about volunteering at BHS is seeing the homeless pets find their forever homes and become part of the family. By taking professional photos of BHS animals, Sue can capture their personalities and show them to the public. Hearing someone say they came to see a specific animal because of Sue’s photography really makes her feel like her work is helping the animals find great homes. She is a very active volunteer at BHS, working with animals, staff, and other volunteers. BHS is grateful to have her here.

Volunteer Spotlight: Sara M.

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Sara is volunteering at Butte Humane Society through the CSU Chico program CAVE. She grew up and worked with dogs her whole life, but doesn’t own a dog here in Chico. Sara has three dogs back home, so to get her dog fix she walks, plays and socializes with BHS dogs as often as she can. Although CAVE only requires 30 hours per semester, Sara has almost hit that mark and it is only November!

Sara is originally from Santa Rosa. Her neighborhood was caught in the terrible fires that destroyed many homes. Luckily, her house still stands. Sara overnight fostered BHS dog Marley who has since been adopted! Marley offered Sara and her roommates, who are also from Santa Rosa, emotional support and comfort during that stressful week. Sara plans to do more Dog-on-the-Go and overnight fostering to help BHS dogs get more publicity and time to explore.

Back in Santa Rosa, Sara worked at doggy daycares for four years starting her senior year in high school. She also worked with Canine Companions for Independence, which is a company that provides assistance dogs free of charge to those with disabilities. As a psychology major Sara hopes to work with Doctors Without Borders, or help to train therapy and emotional support dogs.

Her favorite BHS dog, Pearl, recently got adopted. It is a very bittersweet moment, but finding a forever home is the goal for staff and volunteers at Butte Humane Society. Seeing how happy dogs become when taken out on a walk or to the play yard is very humbling for her. Sara plans to continue volunteering here even after her semester with CAVE is complete.

Volunteer Spotlight: Janie K.

22070148_1836931249655054_113827_oJanie has been volunteering at Butte Humane Society in the catteries since May of this year. Although she has only been with us for five months she is almost at 100 hours and has already been running Cat Shadow Shifts as well as helping out at our Mobile Adoption events! Originally from New Jersey, Janie moved to Chico in 2002 and continued her career as a nurse at Enloe. Although she claims no pizza, soft pretzels, or cheesesteak sandwiches here can compare to the East Coast’s, she did admit Celestino’s downtown is very close in quality.

Janie retired after working as a nurse for 40 years early this year and decided to start volunteering at BHS in the catteries. More recently, she has started acting as a mentor/leader for cat shadow shifts. Adult cats are often passed over in shelters for kittens, so Janie tries to really talk with potential adopters about what they are looking for in a cat to steer them toward adopting older cats. They deserve love too!

Janie recently just adopted one of BHS’s cats, Theodore, who has been settling into his new life with two feline sisters and a canine brother. The most rewarding part of volunteering, for her, is making connections with the cats, especially the shy cats who need a little extra love to come out of their shells. Her grandson, Elyjah, is a current Junior Volunteer at BHS. Janie brought him into the catteries over the summer to see if he would be interested in volunteering. Elyjah was immediately hooked and has been volunteering with Janie as well. Being able to have her grandson volunteer with her has been a great bonding experience between the two.

Janie K. loves to be able to help the staff out and help find furrever homes for each cat.

Volunteer Spotlight: Amanda G.

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Our latest Volunteer of the Month is the marvelous Amanda G.!

Amanda is a valued member of our volunteer community. She started volunteering in April of 2016 and has graciously shared over 285 hours of her time. She quickly joined the team of Level 2 Dog volunteers. This means that she takes on the more challenging dogs and helps them to become better behaved and more adoptable.

She understands that while Level 2 dogs require more work and attention, the dogs have great personalities and are just as deserving of attention as the others. She gives each dog, no matter what level they are, her full attention. Anybody can tell how much the dogs, like Cyndi Lauper, adore her.

What makes her stand out is how consistently she volunteered during the recent hot months and how she welcomed more new volunteers through Mentor Walks than any other Mentor during that time. Due to the heat, Chico State being out, and family vacations, summer brings BHS a significantly reduced volunteer count, but Amanda was here.

We truly appreciate Amanda’s dedication to the animals at BHS!

Volunteer Spotlight: Megan M.

IMG_0460Our latest Volunteer of the month is the outstanding Megan M!

Megan is a college student who started working with BHS after her dog passed away. She really missed having an animal friend but wasn’t ready to make the commitment quite yet. So, when she saw that her friend adopted a dog from BHS, she knew that this would be the perfect place to volunteer!

Megan became an amazing addition to the volunteer staff the moment she started working with the dogs. She works incredibly hard to give the dogs all of the love they deserve. She said her favorite part of volunteering is seeing how much the dogs appreciate a little play time and attention. Another thing Megan fell in love with about BHS is how much the staff and other volunteers care about each individual animal.

After volunteering for only a short while, Megan fell in love with a dog named Dyson. She didn’t know if she was ready to adopt him so she decided to be a foster. She said it was amazing to see Dyson grow from shy and scared to an outgoing and loving dog. The BHS staff really appreciated Megan working with Dyson and credit her for getting him adopted after only a couple of weeks in her home after having lived months and months in the shelter.  For this, we are so appreciative.

Megan has continued to foster dogs and isn’t deterred if a dog doesn’t work out well in her home. She loves it so much that she tries again. She loves to take the dogs swimming or on hikes and can not get enough of all the cuddles!

As a busy college student, it is wonderful that Megan makes the time to visit with our animals. We are so lucky to have incredibly dedicated volunteers like Megan!