Volunteer Spotlight – January 2020

Sharon Alexander – Volunteer of the Year

Sharon

What inspired you to volunteer at DFL?
In 2012, I began watching a small herd of horses south of Castle Rock. They were a little thin and had no shelter. A neighbor in the area was also concerned, and she told me about an amazing facility over in Franktown that had recently opened that was looking for volunteers. I looked up Harmony and their association with DFL, and I thought it might be a good fit for me. I had some association with horses when I was young and have always loved them.

What’s one of the most important/surprising thing you’ve learned volunteering OR what’s the funniest thing that has happened while volunteering?
You learn something new every shift if you want to! I had not spent much time around baby horses and this past spring/early summer we had over a dozen foals. It was so interesting and fun to watch them grow and interact with each other.

Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

What do you do while you’re not volunteering at DFL?
I have nine grandchildren and two of the sweetest senior dogs in the world. Obie is a pit mix and Gracie a ridgeback mix. In our house, shelter dogs are the BEST!

Anything else you’d like to share?
I just want to say thank you to the Harmony staff for their expertise, heart for what they do and never-ending patience they have with the volunteers (particularly me). I appreciate them all!!

Michelle Chaffin – Dedicated Service Award Recipient

Michelle

What inspired you to volunteer at DLF?
I always felt that everyone should donate their time or money, and when I started here 20 years ago money wasn’t an option. My parents never allowed us to have pets, so I was excited to work with animals and prepare for my first dog adoption.

What’s the funniest thing that has happened while volunteering?
My daughter and I were team volunteering in bunny buddies. I opened the kennel door to clean just as the bunny peed…it got all over me, the wall, the floor. It was pretty funny actually.

What do you do while you’re not volunteering at DFL?
I’m self-employed as a bookkeeper for several small, family-owned businesses. The flexibility has been nice for raising my two kids. I also volunteer as treasurer for Tyler’s Boy Scout troop and as the “cookie mom” for Jamie’s Girl Scout troop.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I came to DFL to work with animals but over the years some of my most rewarding volunteer time has been working with the DFL staff. They are such a great group of people!

Amara Brueck – Youth Volunteer of the Year

Amara

What inspired you to volunteer at DFL?
I was inspired to volunteer at Dumb Friends League from the moment I adopted my two cats, when I was 6-years old! I have always loved animals, and when my parents and I came to adopt our first two cats from the shelter, I knew that I would want to volunteer as soon as I was old enough. I told my mom I wanted to become more involved, and a few years later when I was entering third grade my mom told me about Critter Camp. Critter Camp led to me wanting to become volunteer even more, but I was still not old enough. I attended critter camp every summer until I was old enough to participate in career camp. Once I turned 12, I attended Junior Volunteer Club and then was asked to be a junior mentor for the Humane Education department. I was so happy to become a junior mentor for the program. Shortly after I was accepted into the junior mentor program, I convinced my mom that we should team volunteer in addition.

What’s one of the most important/surprising thing you’ve learned volunteer here OR what’s the funniest thing that has happened while working?
The funniest thing that has happened during my time of volunteering at the League was when I was walking a high energy German Shepard dog on sunny day. The yard was hot, so I went to get the hose to spray the yard down and cool it off. As soon as I turned the water on, the dog immediately began jumping in it and trying to bite the water. It was a challenge to spray the yard, but the dog and I both had a blast during this walk (even though we both returned from the play yard soaking wet)!

Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?:
My favorite quote is, “Do everything with a good heart and expect nothing in return, and you will never be disappointed.”

What do you do while you’re not volunteering at the DFL?
When I am not at the shelter, I am at school for the majority of the week or I am doing homework. But in my free time, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and going to CycleBar. I also like to go shopping when I am not too busy.

Anything else you’d like to share:
I feel so lucky to be small part of this huge organization. I enjoy my time walking dogs, being a junior mentor and helping with transfers. I have fallen in love with volunteering here ever since my first shift, and I can’t believe how little and young I looked when I first started! I have made so many unforgettable memories while volunteering, and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world!

Kristine Clay – Employee of the Year

Kristine

What inspired you to volunteer at DFL?
I started as a volunteer at DFL with the spay/neuter team and simply fell in love with the work. I enjoyed the fast paced nature of high volume spay/neuter along with the community impact. I’m now coordinator of the Pet Resource Center and continue to enjoy bringing resources to pet owners in the community.

What’s one of the most important/surprising things you’ve learned volunteering OR what’s the funniest thing that has happened while volunteering?
The funniest thing, and one of my favorite things, about working in the community is hearing all the amazing pet names. During my five years at DFL, it’s been my privilege to meet thousands of incredible pets, including a dog called Bean Dip, a cat called Fish Stick and a barn cat simply named Judith.

Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Instead of asking “What is the right or wrong thing to do?”, ask “What is the most compassionate thing to do?”― Stephen Batchelor

What do you do while you’re not volunteering at DFL?
When not working, you will usually find me doing one of these things: volunteering at Longhopes Donkey Rescue, training in Muay Thai fighting, laughing with my family, watching PBS Masterpiece with my pets or taking a book to my favorite Mexican restaurant.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I am honored to work for the Dumb Friends League and so grateful for the donors that allow us to do this amazing work. I also need to thank some people that are essential to the success of the Pet Resource Center: Gloria Banuelos, for doing anything and everything to support the Pet Resource Center. Florence Jones, for scheduling appointments, making reminder calls and helping owners access our services. And all the volunteers who support the Pet Resource Center community events: Cameron Claussen, Nancy Fornaro, Leslie Lanier, Jessy Lien, Cindy McNair, Carol Mullins, Pam Pearson, Pam Pulley-Case, Randy Reuben, Robyn Russell, Jim Slater, Kerry Storm, Nancy White and Patty Young; you’re all making such a difference in the lives of {et Resource Center pets and owners!

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