RASKC Volunteer eNews | Issue 13 | March 2018

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                                                                                                                    March 2018

In this issue: 

Recognizing RASKC's Volunteer of the Month


Meet Kyle! Kyle is a "Renaissance man," who speaks three languages and is active in many non-profit organizations. He serves as one of RASKC’s most impressive foster volunteers, caring for a number of our pit-bull terriers, pit mixes, and other dogs. Since he started in 2013, Kyle has donated more than 1,100 foster hours to RASKC.  

When Foster Coordinator Lori Mason nominated Kyle for this honor, she wrote, “Kyle has fostered many dogs with behavioral issues- mostly Pits. He has turned them around to be suited for society! And I am pretty sure none of his dogs have been returned for behavior issues."

Lori also said, “Kyle recently took one of our dogs through two sets of obedience trainings out of his own pocket. The dog chewed siding off of his houses, and she destroyed seven leashes. And Kyle still comes back for more of our dogs. He is amazing with them.” Kyle recently took foster Diesel (pictured) to work. Kyle and his co-workers discovered that the Diesel is a mellow office dog. An interview with Kyle can be found on our website and blog. Thank you, Kyle!

Sally Halela wins Governor's Service Award!


The Sate of Washington is honoring Sally Halela with the Governor's Award - Animal Welfare! Earlier this year RASKC had nominated Sally both for this award and for the national Points of Light recognition.

Along with other award winners from throughout the state, Sally will be honored at a reception at the Governor's mansion in Olympia next month. She will also be featured at a pre-game ceremony at the Seattle Mariners' Salute to Volunteers Night on Monday, April 16. All RASKC volunteers are invited to the game; see details below. 

The Auburn Valley Humane Society also honored Sally with an award earlier this year for her incredible work in leading the South County Cats organization.

In 2017, as she has done for the past 11 years, Sally led the way for South County Cats in: (a)  fundraising to provide financial assistance for cat spay/neuter surgeries, (b) arranging for foster care for under-socialized cats and kittens to increase their adoptability, (c) assisting with the trap-neuter-return of feral cats in south King County, and (d) educating the public about feral cats and how community members can help these outdoors cats coexist in our environment.

Sally manages the daily operations of South County Cats, which includes coordinating more than 40 active volunteers, emails, phone calls, recordkeeping, networking, and providing great deal of cat-care and cat-related transportation. Last year she transported hundreds of cats to spay/neuter appointments and then back to their caretakers. She also delivered cat food to house-bound caretakers in need.

Sally contributed over 2,000 hours to South County Cats in 2017. In fact, she has donated a comparable amount of time each year from 2006- 2017. Her leadership last year resulted in spay/neuter surgeries for over 33 dogs and over 1,500 cats. Her work also resulted in over 100 animals receiving microchips. Microchips provide essential data for lost pets being returned to their owners.

Sally’s enormous dedication, phenomenal skills, and hard work have contributed significantly to South County Cats’ mission of reducing euthanasia rates at local shelters. In 2010, RASKC’s live release rate was close to 52%. In 2017 RASKC’s live-release rate was about 95%, which is amazing for a government “open admissions” shelter. The work of Sally Halela and South County Cats helped contribute to that remarkable improvement of more than 40%.

Additionally Sally is a longtime volunteer for RASKC. She has been an incredible animal-welfare volunteer for over 30 years, also helping at MEOW Cat Rescue and Seattle Humane.

Sally has also been volunteering for RASKC sometimes twice a month during 2013- 2017 to assist homeless RASKC cats temporarily residing at Covington Petco until they’re adopted.  In 2017 Sally donated an additional 166 hours as a RASKC foster volunteer. She has been taking care of RASKC foster animals in her home since at least 2008.

Sally was the catalyst for bringing Pasado Safe Haven’s mobile spay-station to south King County on a regular basis, as a partnership between RASKC, Pasado’s, and South County Cats.

Sally Halela won the Governor's Award because of her stunning commitment, outstanding accomplishments, and the prodigious impact her service has made to alleviate the suffering of cats.  

What's happening @ RASKC!

Over 100 hospice pets placed in foster homes


When Lori Mason Foster Care Coordinator began the hospice-foster program in 2013, she didn't know what the response would be. Lori can now proudly say that she has placed 106 hospice pets in foster care so far. And she's aiming for many more this year.

Lori highlights three cats for special mention- Pearl, Kiki, and Tigger. Before being placed in volunteer Valli Johansen's home in 2013, Pearl (pictured) had been waiting in a RASKC kennel for five months to be adopted. When Pearl was 16 years old, she needed to have one of her eyes removed. Pearl bounced back after surgery. Now at 18 years old, Pearl's health is declining significantly, but she nevertheless feels the love of her foster mom.

Black cat Kiki was placed in foster care in 2013 due to early kidney disease. She is now 15 years old, with care provided by volunteer Corinne Powley.

In 2013 orange tabby Tigger was struggling with a painful back condition- spondylolysis, so she was placed in foster care with volunteer Kamryn Wills in 2013. Tigger was adopted to a new family the following year.

Last year David Howerton fostered cat Felix, who had severe liver damage. David remembers that when Felix arrived, the cat could barely stand. The following summer David and Felix resided in a motor home for a few months at Mount Rainier. During that time Felix found the strength and agility to catch five mice on his own. The cat's final days, however, occurred last November.

RASKC provides free food, medication, and veterinary care for all of our animals placed in foster homes. If you would like to care for a pet in what might be its last months (or years), contact Lori Mason.

New volunteer opportunities open to help the animals


Dog Enrichment: RASKC will soon begin selecting, training, and scheduling volunteers for dog-enrichment shifts in Kent. The work involves spraying designated scents, distributing toys, and making treats. This training video (less than four minutes) vividly describes the work. If you are interested in contributing one hour on a regularly scheduled weekly shift, apply here if you have already attended a new volunteer orientation. Thanks to Animal Services Coordinator Nickie Ford and volunteer Jennie Larson (pictured) for making the

Social Media Volunteer: RASKC is looking for volunteers to help promote our adoptable pets on our various social channels, primarily Instagram. Looking for savvy social media volunteers who are well versed with Instagram. What is needed? A mobile device, Instagram account that is set up to be public, and a passion to take great pictures that help get the pets adopted into a forever home. To sign up, simply click here. Questions? Feel free to contact Lluvia Ellison-Morales, RASKC’s Communications & Community Outreach Administrator.