January 2021 Volunteer of the Month: Deanna Isenberg
Meet Deanna! RASKC is extremely happy to honor Deanna Isenberg as a Volunteer of the Month. In 2019 she contributed the sixth highest number of hours as a foster volunteer- over 2,100 hours! And the previous year, Deanna contributed more than 1,600 hours as a foster volunteer. Since she began fostering with RASKC in 2017, Deanna has given over 5,250 foster hours: Fantastic! RASKC also really appreciates that Deanna participated in the 12 Ways of Volunteering video.
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: Regional Animal Services has always been something I’ve known about since I grew up in the Auburn/Kent area. Even before I was a volunteer with RASKC, I had to call the shelter for help dealing with a stray/injured animal I found.
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
A: The older I get, the more I realize how short and precious life is and how we really need to make the most out of our time! Volunteer work is such a wonderful way to help bring positivity and joy to those around us AND ourselves. I’ve always had pets while growing up. Helping animals is something I’ve always been passionate about.
Q: Tell us more about yourself.
A: It’s probably a little cliché but family, faith, and friends are most important to me! Also, joy and laughter! Without it, life is so bleak and boring!
I was adopted from South Korea when I was a baby. I’m so thankful to my birth mom for making that hard decision to put me up for adoption! I’m also thankful to my foster mom for caring for me as long as she did! It’s one of the reasons I love helping with foster care for cats and kittens now!
I love my big family. Most of us live here in Washington state; I’m the middle child of seven! I grew up in the Auburn/Kent area and also lived in San Diego for a few years. I was homeschooled through all grades and LOVED it! 4-H, ballet, art classes, band, piano/violin/voice lessons, horseback riding lessons, homeschool co-op, garden club, book clubs, choir, summer camps, and more. Trust me, that whole “homeschooled kids aren’t properly socialized” is total crap! Haha! A lot of my favorite memories are: watching my brothers feed the goats, riding horses, laying in the hammock reading, fishing with dad, and having friends over to swim in our pool.
I’m totally an introvert and given the choice between going out and partying or staying home and reading, I will always pick the book! 🙂 There are many different identifiers that make up my cultural identity, and I feel great about them! I’m so proud of my South Korea and Asian-American ethnicities. I feel very blessed to be raised in Christian faith by my wonderful parents. And I wouldn’t want to live in any other location; Washington state is so diverse and culturally welcoming!
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
A: I work as a lab tech, processing and packing blood components for hospitals for a local blood bank. I’m really proud of the work I do at my fulltime job. It’s great to be at an organization that helps save lives! Very rarely we have old expired blood bags. When that does happen, we donate those items to the police so they can train cadaver dogs! Pretty neat!
In my free time I enjoy hiking, reading, crochet/crafty things, watching TV shows and football games (Go, Hawks!), photography, travel (not much of that this year), cooking, gardening, kayaking, eating ramen, and lots more!
Q: What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?
A: I’ve learned how to bottle feed day-old kittens. I’ve been shown how to help and care for ill cats. I’ve even begun to TNR (trap, neuter, release) feral cats and kittens! I hope to continue to learn more about animal care!
Q: What is your favorite place to take your dog for a walk?
A: I take my dog Honey on nice, long walks down our private dirt road; that is enough for her. Sometimes we will head over to Clark Lake Park; it’s close enough she can handle that car ride.
Q: How would you describe your pets’ personalities?
A: All my pets are adopted, not shopped!
- Honey (11 years old, cocker spaniel/mutt) is so, so, so sweet, but dumb. I tell her all the time it’s a good thing she’s pretty. Lol! Her favorite thing is just to literally be near me. As long as I’m in her eyesight, she’s happy to just lay on my bed and watch.
- Demitasse, Demi for short, (9 years old, short haired black cat) is a shy but a happy girl. I adopted her from RASKC after fostering her for several months. When I first brought her home as a foster, she was so scared she wouldn’t leave her cat carrier for a week! When she finally got brave enough to leave it, she would spray urine as she ran around the room; she was that scared (she was rescued from a cat-hoarding house)! Watching her transformation has been a joy! She’s still a little timid and quiet, but so sweet. Her favorite place is high in her cat tree (right next to my sofa), watching me read a book.
- Peaberry (6 month old, short haired black cat) is a spunky, little trouble maker, has lots of attitude and knows she’s adorable. I adopted her from an animal shelter up in northern Washington, because she has an extremely bad heart murmur. Her vet is guessing her life span will be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. No matter how long or short her life is, she will have a wonderful one! Peaberry is constantly on the go and adores Demi, following her everywhere (poor Demi!). Her favorite activity is using me as her personal cat tree. Ouch. Lol!
Q: Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with an animal or anyone associated with RASKC.
A: I’ve SO many! I’m very fortunate that many of the families that have adopted my foster kittens have social media accounts and follow my own foster cat Instagram account (FosterCatsIntheWall), so I can watch those adorable fluff balls grow and grow! Any time I can tame “spicy” (feral) kittens down is memorable to me! Getting to know the RASKC staff is wonderful also! They’re all so generous and helpful!
Q: Fun facts?
A: I’m learning ASL (American Sign Language), and I sell necklaces on Etsy (BirdyOriginalDesigns) to help raise money for my favorite local animal shelters!
Q: What else would you like to say about volunteering for RASKC?
A: Fostering animals is such a wonderful way to give back and help your community! It’s not hard, and the RASKC staff are so eager to help! I know it helps the animals, but I 100% KNOW that it helps me and my mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing also! You will get more out of it then the cats and kittens and dogs will, TRUST ME!!!