Meet Dalen! RASKC is extremely pleased to honor Dalen Elenzano. She attends PIMA Medical Institute. Dalen graduated in biology from both Highline College and Pacific Lutheran University. Dalen is one of the longest serving volunteers in RASKC’s Vet Clinic. She actually began on the Early Morning Cat Crew in 2013, then started in the Vet Clinic the following year. Dalen has contributed more than 670 hours so far. Thank you, Dalen!

Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?

A: It all started when we had to get volunteer experience for school. I always wanted to work with animals. I thought why not volunteer at an animal shelter where I get to work with animals and get volunteer hours for school? But honestly, I still would have volunteered at RASKC whether or not I needed the school credit. I enjoy helping make a difference in the lives of animals and the lives of people.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?

A: I’m currently in school to be a vet assistant (hoping to potentially move up and become a veterinarian), so studying and homework are on my list. I also currently work at Mud Bay – continuing to help pets and pet parents live a strong and healthy life together. On my days off/downtime, I enjoy walks with my dog Shadow, reading comic books, hanging out with my brother and cousins, and playing video/table-top games.

Q: What is your life motto?

A: Do the best that you can without asking for anything in return.

Q: What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?

A: I have gained a lot of respect for volunteers and their commitment to willingly help others. I have also gained a lot of knowledge about caring for pets. I hope to continue growing in my knowledge and experience with animals while at RASKC, and happily use the opportunity to share my skills to better the life of pets and people.

Q: What is your favorite park to take your dog for a walk? What is a favorite activity you like to do with your dog?

A: I like taking my dog to the Cedar River Trail Park near the Renton Boeing field. We get to see the ducks and planes as we walk along. My dog really likes going for walks (or it’s more like he just wants to mark as many tress/bushes as he can!). It was nice bringing Shadow camping and going on the trails with me and my cousin’s family near Everett.

Q: How would you describe your pet’s personality?

A: Shadow is very protective of me and my family. He acts tough around other dogs and people (little-dog syndrome), but you can almost completely befriend him with a simple treat – i.e. he’ll take the treat, but that’s it. Shadow is very food motivated. He can be a literal shadow sometimes because whenever I bring him along with me on trips, he’s always near me. Shadow is very chill at home, but he’s able to muster a lot of energy when we’re going on walks and trips.

Q. Describe a memorable moment about volunteering.

A: I volunteer in the Vet Clinic, so I get to see some interesting cases sometimes. There was a time when the doctor had to do a surgery on a large puppy to remove some stones: not from his bladder, but from his stomach! When the pup was sedated for surgery, and the doctor had begun, she took the stomach out, and I will never forget how it sounded: literally, it sounded like she was holding a bag of marbles! And sure enough, she successfully took out at least three good-sized rocks from the pup’s stomach, and the pup successfully recovered from the surgery.

Q: What else would you like to say about volunteering for RASKC?

A: I’m thankful for the opportunity that RASKC has given me to be a part of making a difference in the lives of animals, and the lives of people. Volunteering at the Vet Clinic in the animal shelter allows me to help give a second, third, fourth, tenth, or however many chances for animals to live their life to their fullest potential. It’s reassuring to know that there are a lot of volunteers who are willing to give their time, skills, and talents to ensure a better and stronger relationship between animals and people.


Interested in becoming a RASKC Volunteer? We’d love to have you! For more information visit our page — easy as 1, 2, 3! —