The RASKCAL Reporter| Issue # 48| February 2021

The RASKCAL Reporter

In this Issue:                                                                                            February 2021

Black History Month: The face of great change for King County


RASKC is an agency of the King County government.

The image of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that now adorns everything from buses to park signs to our websites and social media presence represents not only the programs and government of King County, but what we strive to achieve in service to our community.

To learn more about the journey to make Dr. King our namesake and the image of King County, click here

(Crossposted from the King County Employee News.)

RASKC honors Volunteer of the Month: Cheri Tjoelker


Meet Cheri! With tremendous pleasure RASKC names Cheri Tjoelker as Volunteer of the Month. In 2019 she contributed the most hours among Dog Walkers- more than twice as much as the person who gave the second-highest number of hours. In pre-COVID times, Cheri faithfully worked weekly Dog Walking and dog Reiki shifts.

A resident of Kent, Cheri also serves on our Dog Behavior Modification Team, as a RASKC mentor, classroom instructor, and Dog Team Skills Assessor. RASKC will always feel grateful for the many off-campus adventures that Cheri and volunteer Jennifer Jewell have taken dogs on, especially the extra support they provided to dog Charlie to help his foster stay be so successful. Additionally, Cheri started at RASKC as a Shelter Helper and helped in previous years with our giftwrapping fundraiser.

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

Limelight shines on Exceptional Youth: Kaiya Xayavong


Meet Kaiya! RASKC is extremely happy to shine the limelight on Exceptional Youth Kaiya Xayavong, who serves as a foster volunteer. She also spent a summer working on RASKC’s Early Morning Cat Crew. Kaiya is a first-year student at the University of Washington, where she’d like to major in biology. Kaiya aims toward becoming a pediatrician.

“Volunteering for RASKC has definitely aided me in teaching me commitment and a different level of responsibility,” said Kaiya. “As a result of fostering, I have a three-year-old cat and three kittens. They all were adopted from RASKC! Each of them has very sassy personalities and love to play fight.”

“What I enjoy most about fostering is watching the animals progress while they’re in my care. It’s a very fulfilling and heartwarming process to see a baby or once-sick animals flourish when they are given some love and a cozy home.”

Kaiya has also volunteered at a daycare in Renton and at Highline Medical Center. “Each of my volunteer experiences are always memorable and helps keep me engaged in different parts of my community,” said Kaiya.

RASKC will always remember you, Kaiya!

Spotlight shines on Outstanding Volunteer: Oscar Avila


Meet Oscar! RASKC is enormously pleased to shine the spotlight on Outstanding New Volunteer Oscar Avila. He serves as a “red” Dog Walker, which means he walks the dogs in our adoption area who are in most need of skillful guidance. In pre-COVID times, Oscar worked a weekly two-hour shift with RASKC dogs. In his mid-20s, bilingual, a rugby player, and a resident of Kent, Oscar has shown tremendous enthusiasm. He has even assisted with a Warm 106.9 “Wet Nose Wednesday” video for the radio station’s website that featured one of our difficult-to-adopt “red” dogs.

Oscar has also served as a foster parent for two community organizations- Forgotten Dogs Rescue and Must Love Corso. “I absolutely love to foster. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and joy to know how much of a difference we make in these animals’ lives," said Oscar. "I’ve been volunteering for years now, and it’s one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

Oscar has a 15-month-old chocolate lab of his own, named Kona. “My family is very close to each other. Growing up we’ve always had dogs- mainly small breeds. The dogs would always get closer to my mom. I grew up in Seattle in a small apartment. My family didn’t have much, but we always made it work. My parents taught be to be grateful for what we did have.”

RASKC is very grateful to you, Oscar!

Pride in our Partners: The Whole Cat & Kaboodle!