Meet Teresa! Teresa serves as an amazing Co-Lead of our Kirkland Team of 120 regularly scheduled volunteers. She develops perfect harmony with staff, Co-Lead Jennifer Hunt, Lead Lucy Camelia, and many other volunteers, resulting in a super successful program. Teresa’s leadership skills are highlighted by quick and skillful responsiveness to a wide range of volunteer questions, suggestions, and concerns. She was the key point person for on-boarding 42 new volunteers on the team from May-December last year. Her scheduling acumen and follow through is invaluable. Teresa also works two shifts at the store twice each week, takes fantastic cat photos, plus she had volunteered at RASKC’s previous Bellevue Crossroads cat-care program. Thank you, Teresa!
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: I learned about RASKC from volunteermatch.org, and I’m so glad I looked there; previously I hadn’t realized that King County offered such fantastic volunteer opportunities.
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
A: I had drastically scaled back my day job due to health issues, but I knew I wanted to stay active and contribute to the world in some way. I’ve always loved animals, and especially wanted the opportunity to hang out with dogs, since owning a dog doesn’t really fit into my husband’s and my lifestyle. I feel very fortunate that RASKC has offered me those opportunities and more.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
A: I absolutely love to travel, and photography is my hobby. I try to combine those two things as often as possible. When I’m not traveling, I also enjoy cooking, reading, and taking in Seattle’s (okay, mostly the Eastside’s) craft beer scene.
Q: What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?
A: I knew I would love working with animals, and certainly my RASKC experience has lived up to — and beyond — those expectations. I’ve also really enjoyed getting to know my fellow volunteers and the RASKC staff – though I guess it’s not a surprise that I’d get along well with other animal lovers.
Q: What is your life motto?
A: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I looked up the quote and found that Ghandi didn’t actually say those words, but I think it’s still great wisdom. If you see something, big or small, that needs improvement, then YOU are the best person to get started on that!
Q: What’s the best thing about your cats?
A: My husband and I adopted two kittens from RASKC in the summer of 2017, and named them Julius and Ethel. They are so fantastic in so many ways! I think the best thing about them is how different they are from each other, yet how well they get along with each other. We’re so glad we adopted them together; they really do a lot to entertain and comfort each other.
Q: How would you describe your cats’ personalities?
A: Julius is neurotic and emotionally needy, but also very beautiful and athletic. He requires quite a lot of play time, and his favorite is chasing the teaser wand or the laser pointer. Ethel is kind of a mother figure to Julius even though they’re litter-mates. She is very smart, and she enjoys playing fetch, especially with the foil crinkly ball. Both of them are exceedingly fond of boxes, naturally.
Q: What is the best advice you would give people who want pets?
A: I would advise potential pet adopters to take their time and make a considered decision to adopt the type of pet (species, age, personality) that best matches their lifestyle. My second wish is for pet owners to provide quality food to their animals; it has such an impact on their lifelong health. And my third little nugget of wisdom is that adopting two kittens together really is, in fact, easier than getting just one.
Q: Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with an animal.
A: Of course facilitating adoptions is the best – getting animals into homes is what we’re all here for! – but since I volunteer outside of the hours when we’re open to the public, for me the most rewarding thing is getting through to a shy animal. That moment when a fearful cat or dog decides to trust you, and rewards you with voluntary affection – that’s such a beautiful connection.
Q: What else would you like to say about volunteering otherwise for RASKC?
A: There is such a variety of opportunities for people of all personalities, abilities, and ages: from blanket-making to photography to using organizational skills and so on. I’m glad to have this chance to say a huge thank-you to all the staff who make RASKC a wonderful place for the animals in its care as well as the people who volunteer their time and talents.