Meet Christina! Christina serves with valor in the very demanding role as RASKC’s Dog Team Scheduler for the volunteers based in Kent. She works very hard to ensure there is enough volunteer coverage – but not too much- to care for the dogs for each of six shifts every day. Last year she juggled the schedules of 99 volunteers who contributed a total of 3,746 hours. As an Information Technology professional, Christina crunches Dog Team data in many ways. She can identify, for example, how many volunteers arrive on time for their shifts, and how often volunteers request an absence, including last-minute absences. Christina also worked a weekly early morning shift with RASKC dogs for over two years prior to becoming the scheduler. Thank you, Christina!
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
A: In January 2014 I took a month long trip to South America. It was an amazing experience and the people of Argentina, Uruguay, & Brazil are extremely kind and welcoming to US residents. What was very difficult to see was how animals are treated in these countries. Most dogs are not considered indoor family members, instead sometimes given food and water outdoors, but many are strays and are not spayed or neutered. Once back in the states, I quickly learned, dogs in Mexico, Central, and South America lead very different and much more difficult lives, than dogs here in the U.S. and I wanted to help. Unfortunately, there was little I could do for them living in the Seattle area, but I still wanted to improve the quality of life for animals in some capacity.
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: I was searching for local shelters where I could work with dogs and I’m very happy to have found the RASKC.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
A: We like wine tasting and hiking. We feel fortunate to live in such a beautiful and progressive area, close to so many great wineries and hiking trails.
Q: What have you gained from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?
A: I’ve learned a lot about people, how generous they can be with their time and their dedication to the care of the dogs. A recent example was in early February when we had the snow storm, many of our Dog Team volunteers braved difficult driving conditions and very cold temperatures to ensure all the dogs at least had an opportunity to go potty outside and receive fresh air. Some volunteers work 2 – 3 shifts a week and when we have as much wind and rain as we do in the Northwest, shows just how committed our amazing Dog Team volunteers are!
Q: What is your favorite park to take your dog for a walk?
A: Our dog, a lab shepherd mix, is 14 now and has arthritis and hip dysplasia, but she still enjoys going to Wooton Park in Des Moines (Redondo). It’s small and level, the perfect size for her.
Q: What is your favorite activity to do with your dog?
A: Even at the age of 14 she still loves yard work! No matter what the activity is, nothing puts a bigger smile on her face then being in the backyard.
Q: What is the best advice you would give people who want pets?
A: To make sure you have enough time for an animal, take an inventory of how busy your life was in the last year. Does your work / school schedule / social life allow you to be home enough to care for a dog or cat? And of course, please always consider adoption instead of buying an animal.
Q: Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with an animal?
A: When I first started at the RASKC, I took a dog out to work on training, but he seemed depressed and not interested in treats or any activity. It happened to be a nice day and I had extra time, so I brushed him outside in a grassy area of the property. He started smiling! It was only about 15 extra minutes I spent with him, but I learned how a small gesture can make a dog’s time here at the shelter a little more comfortable!
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