2017 September Volunteer of the Month: Sheryl Small
Meet Sheryl! For the past many years Sheryl has been one of RASKC’s most prolific and humorous foster volunteers. She is one of four volunteers who has officially contributed more than 1,000 foster hours in each year for at least the past four years.
She also often steps up to help out with a variety of volunteer needs, like staffing a RASKC booth at a community event or helping out with pet visits at a local retirement home. She almost always regales staff and other volunteers in laughter at RASKC’s Annual Springtime Foster Volunteer Dinner.
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: I have no idea how I heard about RASKC. That detail has been lost to the sands of time.
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
A: Well, who wouldn’t want to take care of kittens when they are at their very cutest stage! I have the time to volunteer, and believe it is important to give back to my community. My entire family has done this through Boy Scouts, Kent United Methodist Church, school, as well as RASKC.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
A: Hiking in the summer, snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. Lots of Fiber Arts: spinning, knitting and weaving. Hanging out with my family. Learning about gardening
Q: What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?
A: I get to play with kittens at their very cutest! My goal is to make them sociable people friendly furry friends. I learned it’s not all fun and games either. Kittens die. Cats really don’t like medication. But my entire family has participated and that is cool. If you’ve met my sons, they are big hulking behemoths. It is really something to see a 6ft 200 pound young man cuddling with a 1 pound kitten. I try to get the neighborhood kids involved, and have been known as the crazy cat lady…
Q: What is your life motto?
A: DO, OR DO NOT, THERE IS NO TRY…
Q: What is your favorite park to take your dog for a walk? Favorite activity to do with your dog?
A: Neelix LOVES Grandview. Or hiking anywhere, we did a 10 mile round trip hike to otter falls, he was pretty jazzed about that. He is MOST excited when he sees a kitten box coming into the house! I give the babies a few days to get used to him, then he takes over in the washing and finding department. If a kitten escapes into the house, I ask him to find the kitten!
Q: What’s the best thing about your cats?
A: Both of our cats are from RASKC. My husband fell in love with Champ, who was the champion purring machine of the litter, but he has turned on us. He will not sit on laps, won’t come, will approach for petting. He stays just out of arm’s reach. Mimsy is a lovely animal but has chronic gingivitis, treatable with regular cortisone shots, but usually smells quite awful. Maybe that’s why I have to foster, because my own cats are so… well…
Q: What is the best advice you would give people who want pets?
A: They are a commitment, not toys. Get the family involved. If kiddies want kitties, they learn to scoop poop. Don’t get a pet to just leave it at home. (Unless it’s a cat like Champ who won’t care as long as there is kibble in his dish.) Get a real dog. Don’t bring it shopping with you, it would rather be outside in a park.
Q: What else would you like to say about foster volunteering or volunteering otherwise for RASKC?
A: Get the family involved! Turn off those smartphones, and computers! Volunteer with RASKC, your school, your church or synagogue or temple or whatever, build trails with Washington Trails Association, help kids at the library, work at the foodbank. Make the world a better place by giving your TIME. Whatever, just get off the electronics!
Interested in being a volunteer? Find out how!