2018 July Volunteer of the Month: Penny Ruckle
Meet Penny! She is one of RASKC’s most dedicated and skilled volunteers. Penny serves as Co-Lead of the Shelter Helper team. She works with the staff and other volunteers to troubleshoot a variety of issues, especially those related to the washing machines. Penny promotes quality assurance in many ways, including by sending out Tips of the Week, training dozens of new volunteers, and helping to edit the RASKC eNews. She works at least a double Shelter Helper shift each week, in addition to filling in and walking RASKC dogs each week. Animal Control Officer Cherise Sanchez has lauded Penny with written kudos, “We’ve had a lot of dogs. She’s been slammed with dishes and laundry. Every time Penny finishes, we load her up with more. Never complains. Just keeps working hard.” Penny has volunteered regularly on Early Morning Cat Crew and now fills in. Penny also helps out with RASKC’s annual Angel Fund fundraiser by wrapping gifts at Barnes and Noble during the winter holidays. She is also a terrific photographer. Penny has donated over 320 hours since last January 2017, with hopefully many more to come. Thank you, Penny!
Q: How did you hear about RASKC? Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: I grew up in Kent and have known about the shelter for many years, though as a young person, I didn’t know what went on there.
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially work with animals?
A: I love animals and have a spot in my heart for those in need.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
A: I like to be outside in the summer, gardening, bicycling, activities with friends, and traveling with my husband. I like to do arts and crafts and home improvement projects the rest of the year.
Q: What have you gained, or hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer at RASKC?
A: I have gained an understanding of the purpose of the shelter and the efforts made by everyone here to care for the animals until they find loving homes.
Q: What is your life motto?
A: Pick your battles. It took me a long time to understand that some things just need to be, and to just let it go.
Q: What is the best thing about your cats?
A: I have two cats, Mika (17) and Toby (5). They don’t get along, but after five years they are able to be in the same room as long as canned food is involved! My boy Toby is such a talker. When I’m on the couch and he’s feeling lovey, he’ll climb on my chest and snuggle under my chin. He’s a 16 lb Maine Coon.
Q: What is the best advice you can give people who want pets?
A: Understand the commitment! Baby animals grow up, and some have long lives. They need to feel safe and loved the whole time.
Q: Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with an animal.
A: My husband and I have a small place in Ocean Shores, WA. One day I was in the back yard pulling weeds and heard something. I looked up and a fawn was hopping toward me. I wasn’t sure what to do since deer are quite common there, but they are still wild animals. So I just stayed still as it came up to me and looked at me. I believe we actually made eye contact, then the neighbor’s pug came out of the tall grass and the fawn turned and hopped back to its mother. It was awesome.
Q: What else would you like to say about volunteering at RASKC?
A: I would say that it’s not all fun and wagging tails, but the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a shift knowing that an animal will eat out of a clean bowl and sleep on a fresh blanket that night is well worth it.
Interested in volunteering? We’d love to have you! Visit our page to learn more: