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Volunteer Spotlight

Bill Brown and Kitty

Bill Brown, call center volunteer, Quebec Street Shelter

by Marianne Walthier, volunteer

In April, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing volunteer Bill Brown. He has been volunteering at the Quebec Street Shelter since October 2014. The Dumb Friends League was well known to Bill ever since he moved to Denver in 1978. In fact, prior to volunteering, he and his wife set up a trust to benefit the Dumb Friends League and were surprised when they were welcomed as members of the Dr. Mary E. Bates Founders Society for those who have included the League in their estate plans.

A “cat person” his entire life, Bill decided that the Dumb Friends League might be a good fit when he was looking for volunteer opportunities. He asked the League what they needed most and became a volunteer in the Call Center. He describes this work as a “wonderful blessing” and says the best part of the job is the “behavior call-backs.” Bill calls patrons who have adopted cats, dogs and bunnies enrolled in the behavior modification program. He follows up with them at three days, three months and sometimes six months following adoption to see how they are doing. Much of the time, he is greeted by patrons laughing with joy and telling him how enriched their lives have become as a result of the addition of their new four-legged companions. There are times, however, when he finds patrons overwhelmed by frustration. This is the aspect of the job that he finds the most complicated and rewarding. He offers empathy and compassion, and either schedules an appointment for them with a League behavior specialist or tells them that a behaviorist will contact them that day.

In addition to his Call Center duties, Bill works in Cat Care, cleaning kennels and providing clean bedding and fresh food, water and litter boxes. Bill works one Cat Care and three Call Center shifts each week. He works with two wonderful people who are fellow military veterans. Bill is amazed by the amount of effort that the League puts into placing animals. He wants everyone to know about the “Working Cat Program,” which adopts out unsocialized cats to people in rural areas, where they serve as “mousers.” Bill states, “The Dumb Friends League has far exceeded my expectations. The League is good karma and has been a positive experience all the way around.”

When he is not volunteering, Bill is hanging out with Kitty Lovey, a cat he adopted from the League in 2005, or enjoying “hamming it up” on his ham radio. One of his favorite movies is “We Bought a Zoo.” Stop by and say hello to Bill!

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