The RASKCAL Reporter| Issue # 42| August 2020

The RASKCAL Reporter

In this Issue:                                                                                            August 2020

RASKC honors Volunteer of the Month: Marc Whitely


Meet Marc! RASKC is super happy to honor Marc Whitely who- during normal times- contributes regular weekly shifts on three teams at the shelter- as a “red” Dog Walker, on the Cat Meet & Greet Team, and on the Cat Area Stray Team. Marc also serves as a mentor on two of these teams. And he had helped RASKC with “Wet Nose Wednesday” promotions with Warm 106.9. Marc has contributed about 625 hours so far since he started in 2017. He is very skilled and so easy to work with.

To read an interview with Marc, go to our website or blog.

If you are interested in becoming a foster volunteer, RASKC is ready to onboard you. Click here and scroll down to the Getting Started section. Click on the plus sign, then watch training modules #1, #2, and #4 and answer the quiz questions. Complete an online application. If you are an adult, complete RASKC’s liability waiver, then send as an attachment to We look forward to working with you!

Spotlight shines on Outstanding New Volunteer Cynthia Kelly

Cynthia Kelly

Meet Cynthia! RASKC is very pleased to award Outstanding New Volunteer recognition to Cynthia Kelly. Since she began with RASKC last year, she has contributed over 400 hours. In pre-COVID times Cynthia worked regular shifts as a top-notch “red” Dog Walker and on our Cat Meet & Greet Team. Additionally Cynthia serves as a Dog Walker mentor, RASKC Pet Publicist, and as a foster volunteer.

“I started volunteering at RASKC exactly a month after my dog Sammy passed away,” said Cynthia. “I volunteer in his memory and hope that others can also find a new best friend. I feel at home when I'm helping and taking care of animals, and I absolutely love seeing someone adopt their new best friend. With the huge variety of different animal personalities, every day is an adventure!”

Cynthia’s pets include cat Sumo and dog Rocky. Sumo was originally adopted from RASKC as a barn cat. Then he became more friendly than expected and worked his way into Cynthia’s home and heart. “He will wake us up by head-butting our faces, and he likes to be close to us no matter where we are,” said Cynthia. “Sumo does not like our dog, Rocky, but they've come to an understanding. Rocky is a 100 lb Shiloh Shepherd and a big goofball. He makes us smile on a daily basis.”

Cynthia grew up in three cities- Pingtung, Taiwan; Changtai, China; and San Jose, California. “My parents are entrepreneurial, so we traveled a lot when I was young. It wasn't uncommon for years to go by without seeing anyone else my own age while I was being homeschooled,” said Cynthia. “Animals became a huge part of my world. We raised ducks, geese, fish, and parakeets.”

“I am bi-racial, and I feel fortunate to have seen both of my parents' homes in Taiwan and America. I loved visiting my grandparents' house in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and seeing the small house where they raised seven daughters. I also loved going to my grandma's house for Christmas in the mountains of Sonora, California. Although I am very rusty now, I can still manage to stumble through conversations in Mandarin at family reunions. I typically pass for Caucasian, so sometimes I will overhear interesting Mandarin comments from people that assume I can't understand anything."

RASKC is very grateful that Cynthia chooses to volunteer with us, along with other terrific organizations!

What’s happening @ RASKC

Vote for RASKC’s Linda Bowen on Mud Bay’s website


RASKC is very honored to nominate foster volunteer Linda Bowen as our candidate for Mud Bay’s Volunteer of Excellence Award this year. To read more about Linda’s amazing volunteer work, click here

Everyone is strongly encouraged to vote online for Linda from tomorrow- Monday, August 17- through Monday, August 31, at If Linda wins the most votes, Mud Bay will award her $1,000 and the store would donate an additional $1,000 to RASKC!

Linda specializes in providing “round the clock care” for bottle-fed kittens. Every three to four hours Linda prepares and feeds the precious fur babies during kitten season and then helps the little ones go potty. At one point she cared for 22 kittens at the same time! Since she began in 2012, Linda has contributed more than 14,000 foster hours so far. And she is going strong.

Foster Care Coordinator Lori Mason said, “Linda has a heart of gold when it comes to these little goomers. She will take them to restaurants, to quilting retreats, and wherever else. Whatever it takes! Linda would drive 30 minutes or more to Kent every day if need be to make sure the kittens survive!”

In previous summers Linda also played a key role on RASKC’s rummage sales that provided the funds for an outside “catio” built on the side of one of our buildings.

Starting tomorrow- Monday, August 17- please click here to vote for Linda.

In previous years, RASKC has nominated the following volunteers for this prestigious recognition: Melissa Blake, Teresa Rosenberg, Becky Rubeck, and Sarah Stolberg.

RASKC debuts new video

Rocio video

RASKC recently launched a new video that promotes pet licensing and also highlights the various services we provide to the community.

The video features Rocio Martinez-Lopez, our interim Special Projects Assistant, and is available both in English and Spanish!

Scouts contribute dog-agility equipment to RASKC


RASKC recently received a set of incredible dog-agility equipment, thanks to Harrison Prow’s amazing work for his Eagle Scout milestone project. Harrison, an outstanding 15 year-old, spent the past year designing plans and leading a team of 26 volunteers from Troop 600. They built, transported, and contributed the agility equipment to RASKC. What fun for our dogs!

Click here to watch a VLOG interview with Harrison and to view photographs of the equipment, Scouts in action, and a RASKC dog who gleefully tested out the equipment.

Bravo, Harrison!

Happy Tails: Harvey rollicks with teens on a large estate!


Thanks to adopter Amanda for providing an update on a special RASKC alumni dog.

She wrote, “Back in January 2018 we adopted ‘Big Bird’ from the Kent shelter. He’s even bigger now at 91 lbs! He’s a happy doggie and loves to run around our eight acres, play in the pond, and hang out with the teenagers. We renamed him Harvey. His nickname is Harf, since that’s how he talks."

RASKC loves to hear from adopters and to post their Happy Tails updates on our Facebook page!

Mobile Pet-Food Bank calendar lists several dates

pet food bank

The mobile pet-food bank team will be at the following locations to serve community members:

  • Tuesday, September 1, @ Hopelink in Shoreline (12pm- 4pm);
  • Friday, September 11, @ Les Gove Park in Auburn (1pm- 4pm);
  • Saturday, September 19, @ El Centro de la Raza in Federal Way (1pm- 4pm);
  • Monday, September 28, @ Tahoma High School in Maple Valley (11am- 2pm)

For more information, visit

Barn cats serve as organic rodent-control managers

barn cat

Did you know that RASKC offers a working-cat program? With the fantastic assistance of longtime volunteer Ruth S., we relocate feral and other outdoor-only cats to the barns, garages, and sheds of residents who adopt these cats. Outdoor cats provide a totally natural and organic method of rodent control, so that you do not need to use poisons. RASKC currently has cats that are ready to be matched with you. Check out our Barn Cats R Us page of our website for more information; click here.

RASKC offers safety tips to help pets in summer


Animals cannot sweat like humans, so they are vulnerable to overheating quickly, especially when the temperature rises above 80 degrees. Be sure your pets are ready for the summer heat with these safety tips:

  • Be sure to provide plenty of fresh, cool water to pets, and shade from the sun.
  • Though pets still need exercise during warm weather, take extra care when exercising older dogs, short-nosed dogs, and dogs with thick coats, as they are especially vulnerable to overheating.
  • On very hot days, limit walks to early morning or evening hours. Remember that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws.

NEVER leave your pet in a car on a hot day. In sunny weather, the temperature inside a car can quickly rise to 120 degrees or more, even with windows left slightly open. Animals left in a hot car, even for just a few minutes, can suffer from heat stroke, brain damage, or death. If you see a pet in distress from the heat, call 9-1-1 or if you live in the RASKC service area, call 206-296-7387

Volunteer donates professional portrait of cat Newman


RASKC volunteer Alison Weber was so inspired by 16 year-old hospice cat Newman, that she is donating a framed portrait of this cat to give to Newman’s caretaker. As a professional illustrator and graphic-design artist, Alison spent about 30 hours creating Newman’s portrait.

Alison and her daughter Scarlett are RASKC foster volunteers. In normal times, they also volunteer on regular shifts on RASKC’s Kirkland Cat-Care Team. Alison has contributed about 1,600 hours since she began volunteering in 2018.

Thank you, Alison!

RASKC welcomes new Animal Care Technicians


RASKC welcomes new Animal Care Technicians Stefani Blair and Florence Card, who have been hired on a temporary basis.

Stephani has worked as an Animal Control Officer in Missouri. She also has worked at Great Plains SPCA in Missouri as a veterinary assistant and as a canine-care technician.

Florence has worked at animal shelters, on and off, since 2001. She grew up on a farm and began her career at 12 years old, when she cleaned kennels for her family’s veterinarian. Special congratulations go to Florence, who recently adopted a kitten from RASKC!

Would you like to donate? Operation Well Wishes


If you would like to make a special donation to support RASKC’s efforts with the pet-food banks, please donate gift cards.

If you would like to make a special donation to RASKC, please click here for our wish list on Amazon.

Our dog program would love to receive long leads, about 20- 50 feet or longer. 

Our foster program would love to receive meat-based Gerber baby food; kitten playpens at least four feet across with zippers (not Velcro); snuggle kitties with a battery-generated heartbeat; Miracle Nipples, both sizes; and pet food or cat litter for our Pet Treasure Chest.

For more information about donations or in-kind gifts, visit the Donations page on our website.

Staff Profile: Rocio Martinez Lopez, Special Projects Assistant

Rocio profile

Meet Rocio! Rocio Martinez Lopez has been working in RASKC’s Call Center and administrative office for almost a year. Having previously served as the first Ruth Woo Emerging Leaders Fellow, Rocio is extremely proficient, helpful, and terrific to work with.

Tell us about yourself. I am a single mom of a wonderful five year-old boy. We live with my mother in south Everett with our three dogs- Keisha, a Pitbull (10 years old); Mushu, a Roti mix (12 years old); and a two year-old Chiweenie. We are a native family from Oaxaca Mexico. I love our food, traditions, and spiritual beliefs. I try my best to instill those values to my son, as well as to actively search for ways to expand the old ways.

Why did you decide to work at an agency that helps animals? All my life I have loved animals, especially dogs. My father loved having packs of dogs, so I guess I inherited that. Anything I can do to help pets get to a family that loves and cares for them, I want to be a part of that in any way I can.

What does your work for RASKC involve? My work at RASKC varies by the day. Lately I have been filling in at the call center. I also do anything that involves payments and the administration of the shelter that needs my help.

What is the best part about your job? There are so many rewarding parts of my job. I get to work with the community. I also get to work with leadership to advance our work in Equity and Social Justice. The most rewarding feeling in my heart is when I receive a call about an animal in distress, and I help process the call, and then later walk to the kennels and find that pet safe and in our care ready to find their forever home. It’s the best feeling when the pets leave our shelter knowing that they are off to start a new life with a loving family. When those adoptions originated from a Good Samaritan whose call that I helped to process, it feels so rewarding.

What did you do prior to coming to RASKC? Before joining the team I worked briefly for the county’s Employee Giving Program as a campaign assistant. Before that I was able to get my foot in the door at King County as a Ruth Woo Fellow. The Ruth Woo Emerging Leaders Fellowship is named after the revered community leader who was not only a community leader, but a mentor to many elected officials. She dedicated her life to public service. I am proud and very honored to have helped King County pilot the fellowship. Through that experience I was able to emerge into the county’s Latinx Employee Affinity Group and on various Equity and Social Justice teams at the county. I have been able to meet so many great people who I trust and see as mentors.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?  When I am not at work, I like to take my son and my two big dogs for a nice walk on the beach. I watch them dig ditches in the sand and play in the water. It helps me manifest positive energy to the smaller things in life.  

Please share a notable experience from working here. There was one call where a person was having difficulty communicating. This person spoke Spanish and had a pretty serious bite from a large dog. I told him I spoke Spanish and was able to calm him down. I stayed on the phone with him until one of our officers arrived. At first the caller was angry and scared, but I kept asking him questions and helped him process what was going on, explaining what our process was and the next action steps- all while making sure he felt cared for. By the time the officer showed up, this man was much calmer and was able to communicate with the officer. This experience was notable, because it gave me a front-line experience to why representation matters in our line of work and among employees at King County as a whole.

Interesting fact: My family has lived in Washington for over 25 years, and we have never been on a hike yet!

Pet of the Week: Liza Jane

Liza Jane

Meet Liza Jane! This Scottish Fold cat is about eight and a half years old (ID #A617106). She has the cutest folded ears ever!  The staff at the shelter call her a "big squishy marshmallow."

Liza Jane was brought into the shelter by a Good Samaritan on 7/14/2020. She is an independent girl who likes to do her own thing. Liza Jane enjoys hiding spots and small and cozy spaces.  This cat  would do best in a calm, quiet home with someone who is cat savvy and understands that Liza Jane will need some time and patience to get used to her new home. She would likely do best as the only pet in her new home.

Liza Jane is spayed, current on vaccinations, and microchipped.  Her adoption also comes with a free visit to the veterinarian of your choice, and 30 days of opt-in pet insurance through Trupanion.

Find out more about Liza Jane on RASKC’s website at Scroll down the page and insert her name. You may meet this cat and up to two other animals by scheduling an appointment through our website. If you need assistance, contact us at 206-296-7347 (PETS),

Contact RASKC


Thanks for all that you do to help animals!

If you have any questions regarding volunteering, general animal services or suggested topics for future eNewsletter editions, contact us at or 206-296-7387.

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