South County Cats Founder and Director Sally Halela was honored with the 2018 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award under the Animal Welfare category. The award honor some of the state’s most dedicated individuals, groups, and families for their commitment to volunteerism as the foundation for caring communities and a thriving Washington. Regional Animal Services of King County proudly nominated Sally for this award.

Along with other award winners throughout the state, Sally was honored at a reception at the Governor’s mansion in Olympia, including was featured at a pre-game ceremony at the Seattle Mariners’ Salute to Volunteers Night.

Sally Halela and spouse at Gov Service Award Ap 2018

Sally is a lifelong animal lover and has been an animal welfare volunteer for more than 35 years. Her first volunteer experience was with Seattle Humane’s Pet Food Bank for low-income senior citizens, where she realized there was a need for access to low-cost spay/neuter for cats. Sally devoted many hours and personal funds to community cat spay/neuter before starting South County Cats in 2006. She has volunteered for Regional Animal Services of King County since 1998. Sally has also volunteered for MEOW Cat Rescue, PAWS, Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project and Pasado’s Spay Station.

“I am honored to receive this prestigious award. There are many animal welfare volunteers deserving of this recognition. The Governor’s Service Award not only recognizes, but validates the important work we do, which impacts cats, caretakers and our community. I am energized to increase our spay/neuter programs and partnerships, and trap-neuter-return of feral/community cats in south King County, to prevent future generations of homeless cats.” she said.

Sally’s enormous dedication, phenomenal skills, and hard work have contributed significantly to South County Cats’ mission of reducing euthanasia rates at local shelters.

Sally Halela and other Gov Service Award winners 2018

Sally is also a recipient of Auburn Valley Humane Society’s 2018 Animal Champion Award-Individual and was recently honored at the AVHS Gala and Auction.

In addition to volunteering full-time for South County Cats, Sally works part-time as an elementary school paraeducator.

Other RASKC volunteers were recognized as Honorable Mentions for the Governor’s Service Award:

  • Individual Teen Category: Julia Yagelowich, Partner Volunteer (Kirkland Petco)
  • Service Group Category: RASKC’s Foster Program, led by Foster Care Coordinator Lori Mason

Thank you Sally and all our other winners for everything you do for pets!