Volunteer Spotlight – April 2020

Ed Dash – Buddy Center


Inspiration for Volunteering at DFL
I’ve always loved animals, and I enjoy working with people, which I did all my professional life, whether in higher education, industry or the field of counseling psychology. About the time I retired from the aerospace industry and we moved to Castle Rock, the Dumb Friends League had just opened the Buddy Center. I found it to be just the right place to sustain my love for animals as a volunteer. I could draw from my professional background and apply my experience serving in a different environment with a new and unique set of tasks and requirements.

Most Surprising / Important Thing Learned Volunteering
From the beginning, I was inspired by the commitment of staff and volunteers I met, whether I was working in the kennels or yards, cleaning pens and playing ball, etc. The courage and resilience of the animals also inspired me, especially those coping with physical limitations like the three-legged Dalmatian whose handicap didn’t stop him when he fell navigating a corner in the yard, only to recover and continue playing as if nothing happened. These wonderful animals gave me hope and happiness that a good life was within reach and a forever home a likely outcome for them.

The years have passed quickly as I’ve learned the nuances of shelter life and animal welfare. My work has evolved and my focus has become the adoption process. I serve on the front adoption desk and take responsibility for the Buddy Center’s appearance to prepare it for counseling with patrons. It is so rewarding to watch animals find forever homes with the help of all the Buddy Center professionals–counselors, behaviorists, veterinary staff and many others, as well as volunteers who care for the animals and the facility. I continue to be grateful for the opportunities I have as a member of the team.

Favorite Quotes
I have two favorite quotes: “It’s a small world” because of all the surprising connecting points we discover with people we meet and “Leave the world a better place,” which drives my motivation to serve in meaningful volunteer work.

What do you do while you’re not volunteering at DFL?
My wife and I continue to enjoy visiting new places, having new experiences and making enduring new friendships through our travels. We also enjoy musical productions and art exhibits. And for nearly as long as I’ve volunteered at the Buddy Center, I have also volunteered at the Douglas County Libraries History Research Center.

Sandy McGarity – Harmony Equine Center


Inspiration for Volunteering at DFL
I work from home, and I wanted a reason to get out of the house and be active once a week. Helping the horses and getting outside sounded like a great option. Plus, I knew I wouldn’t wind up taking home a horse (like I might if I worked with the cats)—my backyard is too small!

Most Surprising / Important Thing Learned Volunteering
My friends and family are solidly divided into two camps when I tell them I scoop horse poo three hours a week: half of them say, “I would totally do that!” and the other half say, “What sins did you commit in a past life??”

Favorite Quotes
There are a LOT of quotes that I love. Right now, my favorite is this one from Mark Twain: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

While Not Volunteering at DFL
I work as an editor, read a lot of mystery/suspense novels, watch TV and movies, hang out with my husband, play with my two cats, scrapbook and quilt.

Janice Morrato – Leslie A Malone Center


Inspiration for Volunteering at DFL
I’ve always loved animals! I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico with a family that loved a variety of pets! Over the years, we grew up with cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, mice and horses!

When I found out about DFL, I knew it was a good fit. I think I’ve been volunteering since 1998.

Most Surprising / Important Thing Learned Volunteering
One day, we had a group of six pit bull puppies that had been cooped up waiting to be spayed or neutered in surgery. They were very frisky and cute! Surgery was slow, and we decided to have a pit bull puppy race in the hall. Puppies and people enjoyed the fun, and all the puppies came out of surgery happy and healthy!

While Not Volunteering at DFL
When I’m not volunteering, I enjoy walking with my neighbors and Fergie, our golden retriever. In warmer weather, I love cycling! We have many good trails to ride. We also enjoy playing with Luna, our one-eyed kitty, and Trey, our three-legged kitty. Both kitties are DFL alumni!

This past year, we did two big trips! We went to France and Galapagos. I enjoyed France, but my favorite trip was the Galapagos. We loved the hiking, snorkeling with sea lions and watching crazy blue-footed birds and giant tortoises!

Anything else you’d like to share?
I would just like to say the DFL staff I volunteer with in Health Care and Surgery Recovery are amazing! They do a great job with the animals and are always kind and compassionate!

Pam and Olivia Baptiste

Pam and Olivia

Inspiration for Volunteering at DFL
Olivia: I attended the youth camps at the Dumb Friends League and loved the organization and its mission. I love animals and thought it would be a great way to learn about and help animals in my community. My mom volunteered alongside me since I was too young to volunteer on my own

Most Surprising / Important Thing Learned Volunteering
Olivia: We were in the car with two of our foster kittens, Ernie and Lolly. Ernie went to see what was in the Starbucks cup and it got stuck on his head and for a second he was walking around with a Starbucks cup on his head.

Favorite Quotes
Olivia and Pam: “Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in our hearts.”

While Not Volunteering at DFL
Olivia: I am a junior in high school so that keeps me busy. I am a diver and pole vaulter and show my two English Setters, Nellie and Jackson, in Douglas County 4-H. I also love everything country music, dancing, etc.

Pam: Taking walks, going to country concerts, and volunteering at the kids’ school.

Anything Else You’d Like to Share?
Olivia and Pam: We would like to give a shout out and thank all the volunteers and staff at the Dumb Friend League who through their dedication and compassionate have helped to improve the lives of a countless number of animals and people.

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