August 2020 Volunteers of the Month: Marc Whitely!
Meet Marc! RASKC is super happy to honor Marc Whitely who- during normal times- contributes regular weekly shifts on three teams at the shelter- as a “red” Dog Walker, on the Cat Meet & Greet Team, and on the Cat Area Stray Team. Marc also serves as a mentor on two of these teams. And he had helped RASKC with “Wet Nose Wednesday” promotions with Warm 106.9. Marc has contributed about 625 hours so far since he started in 2017.
Q: How did you hear about RASKC/ King County Animal Care & Control?
A: I was looking to do volunteer work, and I used a web site that connects you with volunteer opportunities.
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
A: I have been retired for a couple of years and wanted to volunteer. I enjoy working with cats and dogs. The dog we had for 18 years passed away the previous year, so that was also a deciding factor. Since my wife is allergic to cats, volunteering allows me to get my “cat fix.”
Q: Tell us about your dog.
A: I enjoy taking my two year-old beagle on hikes. He gets to enjoy the smells, and I enjoy the outdoors. If there is a smell, he will not leave it!
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I grew up in several areas around Seattle and spent my teen years living in Port Orchard on a small farm my folks had. I have a bachelor’s degree in computer science from WSU (Go Cougs!). My sweet wife and I have been married for 38 years. Early on we lived in the San Francisco area for five years. We are now both retired and able take more vacations. We have two grown children who live in the area, and they each have two kids of their own. Both kids were into sports growing up, and I coached some of their teams. I worked for Boeing for 30 years. When I started there, I did not know anything about their type of computers. By the time I retired, I was one of the experts in the software that I worked on.
My philosophy is to get along with people. If there is a way to do something that makes both parties happy, I will take that path. Life is too short to be angry all the time.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for RASKC?
A: My wife and I have four grand kids (ages 6, 5, 3 and 2) who keep me busy. I love spending lots of time with them. I also enjoy going for LONG walks (Fitbit says I have walked the length of India -2,000 miles since December 2019!), hiking, and skiing. I also enjoy quiet time activities, like reading and working on 2,000-piece puzzles.
Q: What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?
A: I have learned a lot about the different types of behaviors of cats and dogs. I’ve also learned how to possibly change inappropriate behavior in order to help some of the animals become more likely to be adopted. I’ve been able to help my own dog with some of knowledge I have gained by volunteering here.
Q: Describe a memorable RASKC moment.
A: I work with cats that have social problems. One cat seemed to be shutting down and didn’t want to interact with people. After many sessions with this cat, along with other team members, this cat came out of its shell. She was able to be moved to the adoption side and was eventually adopted.
Q: What else would you like to say about volunteering for RASKC?
A: RASKC is a great place to volunteer. Staff members are easy to work with and willing to help train you do various jobs. Since I wear different “hats,” I have learned a lot on what RASKC does for all the animals and their work to find forever homes.