Meet Ellie!  With tremendous pleasure RASKC names Ellie Wightman as Volunteer of the Month. In pre-COVID times Ellie contributed at least two regularly scheduled shifts almost every week at our Eastside Adoption Center in Kirkland Petco, and she has covered a great many fill-in shifts too. Since she began in 2016, Ellie has contributed almost 750 hours! Kirkland Team Lead Volunteers Teresa Rosenberg and Jennifer Hunt have often lauded Ellie’s skill, time generosity, and wicked sense of humor. “Ellie has been a very dependable and proficient volunteer on some key shifts. She brings a lightheartedness to the adoption center that we really appreciate too,” said Teresa. Thank you, Ellie!

Q: What inspired you to volunteer, especially with animals?

A:  Honestly, I started volunteering for RASKC for me. I moved to the United States in 2012. I was not allowed to do paid work. My mental health was at an all-time low. A relative inspired me to donate my time, and helping animals was just the obvious choice. Volunteering at RASKC has helped me more than I can say.  

Q: What have you gained so far from your experience as a RASKC volunteer?

A: I am capable of human contact! Seriously, showed me I’m more of a people person that I ever thought. It does help if kittens are involved but still…

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A:  I grew up in England. I was quite a free-range kid! We lived next to an old mining area and canal system (Pelsall Common), which stretches for miles. It may not sound like it, but it’s beautiful. It was my playground. I would just disappear into the fields and woods, climbing trees, huge boulders, looking for rocks & old mining oddities. 

These days I’m a level 41 Pokémon Go player 🙂 haaaaaa. 

Q: What is your life motto?

A:  I’ve always liked this quote ‘Let everything happen to you. Beauty & terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.’ – Rilke (also at the end of JoJo Rabbit movie). What’s important to me:  Honesty. And chocolate.

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

A: I create! I make and sell art, jewelry, keepsakes etc..

Q: How would you describe your pets’ personalities? 

A: Aww man. My babies. I am currently owned by two dogs & two cats- all from rescues. A pug who things she’s a nightclub bouncer. She must protect! A fuzzy mutt from California who still doesn’t understand rain. A calico street cat who adopted us. She sleeps in the sun all day and doesn’t like you. Or you. Probably not you either. And my RASKC tabby who thinks he’s a dog, talks a lot, and is the best cat in the world ever.  

Q: Where do you like to walk your dogs?

A: The pug dog can’t walk too well (I may have a dog stroller!). But the fuzzy mutt & I like Bridal Trails near Kirkland. She enjoys sniffing the horse poop! I look for mushrooms (not to eat). There are tons of varieties there and close to home.

Q: Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with anyone associated with RASKC.

I have made some pretty awesome friends here. Super lucky! They know who they are 🙂 

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

A: Love it! And miss it sooo much! 

Q: Fun fact?

A:  We have a ridiculously large medieval sword & armor collection!