2017 November Volunteer of the Month: Cheryl Kuna
Meet Cheryl! She is one of RASKC’s most prolific foster volunteers, having contributed close to 1,000 hours or more for each of the past several years. Cheryl has engaged in many different roles since she started in 2008, including Dog Walker, Early Morning Cat Care, and Special Events. Earlier this year, Cheryl also volunteered on many shifts for RASKC pet visits at a local retirement home. Thank you, Cheryl!
Q. How did you hear about RASKC?
A: I’m not really sure as it has been about 10 years ago. When I quit my job of 31 years, I knew I wanted to work with animals. It has always been my passion. I started looking for a spot that I would fit in and found KCACC on their web site and signed up for the class to work with the cats. I think then it was a “cuddle the cats” program.
Q. What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
A: I have always had a passion for critters since I was a child. My mom and I would rescue anything we found. I ended up in a career that I loved, but if I had a “do over” I would have been a vet or a critter activist of some sort. Maybe working in a zoo or conservation somewhere in the world.
Q. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
A: I love crafts of any kind. I am a quilter, painter, various crafts of any kind. I love fabric and find many ways to use it in various crafts. My family is a great support of my passions. Don’t know where I would be without them.
Q. What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?
A: Compassion, understanding and enthusiasm for people and animals. Also tremendous hope. RASKC did not create the situations that these animals are in, but are tasked to deal with it. I would love for the community to really understand what actually happens at the shelter. The employees really care. There is a tremendous effort for outreach through volunteers and other rescue organizations to save these animals. I wish the community could understand the love and effort that goes into each and every critter that shows up there. I am extremely proud to be part of RASKC. I always try to communicate with those that I know what really happens there. Whenever I hear about animal abuse, I want to educate people about how to help. Spay/Neuter and don’t take a critter if you don’t consider them a part of your family. We do not need any more breeders.
Q. What is your life motto?
A: If I have to leave a footprint here on this earth, make it one that changes lives for the better.
Q. What is your favorite activity to do with your dogs?
A: Hahaha, three dogs and four cats. We don’t take our dogs to a “dog park.” We go for hikes. I want my dogs to really enjoy their walk and sniff out all the smells they don’t find in their fenced yard. I love hiking with my dogs.
Q. What’s the best thing about your cats?
A: All four of my cats are RASKC rescues. They were bottle babies that I raised. There was something about them that grabbed my heart. They all actually grab my heart. All four are so individual. I guess that is the way of cats. They drive me crazy, lay in my lap, and make me feel complete. What is it that is so crazy with cats. I just love them.
Q. How would you describe your cats’ personalities?
A: My cats actually remind me of kids. Each so individual. Each that brings some element of perfect to our family. Cats are so great, because they make you accept them for who they are. Not what you wish they were. Hummm maybe not a bad thing.
Q. What is the best advice you would give people who want pets?
A: They will always give the best of who they are. You will never find that in any person ever. Do not get a pet unless you can commit to them. There is never a greater love than what a pet will give you. I don’t think humans are capable of it because we have expectations. Animals do not.
Q. Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with an animal.
A: Maybe too many to find just one. I remember a female kitten that was a bottle baby. There was a couple that did not have kids that wanted a female kitten. This was a kitten I had gotten just after my mother in law died. She was very sick and almost died a couple of times. I had talked about her on Facebook and named her after my mother-in-law. This couple contacted me and really wanted her. I told them to wait until I knew she would be ok. I normally don’t post kittens of Facebook until I know they are ok, but this one was a life line to some one that I loved and lost. I named her Wilma. They waited for her to get strong and adopted her. They are great critter parents and really love her. She is in a wonderful home. I get pictures and updates about her. Such a great adoption for all concerned.
Q. What else would you like to say about volunteering for RASKC?
A: It is such a rewarding experience. One of the un-expected experiences is the other people you meet. All of those that volunteer have a common thread…. we love animals. I have so enjoyed meeting the other volunteers. I have learned so much from them and have found a continued hope for the good of people and animals. Really great people who volunteer.
Interested in becoming a RASKC Volunteer? Sign up today!