The Thursday morning kennel cleaning crew is a relatively new one, with two-thirds of the volunteers joining the shift this year.
Even so, Sue Wisthuff, Colleen Murphy, Katy Radek, Margaret Sullivan, Christy Dan, and Stephanie Quiles work so well together you’d think they’ve known each other for years! Sue, the shift coordinator and 13-year veteran, says that “everyone pitches in, works hard and loves the pooches!” Margaret, one of the shift newbies, loves the pups and the positive energy of her shift. Thursday mornings are the highlight of her week.
One thing these ladies all have in common is their love of dogs. Volunteering at WSHS gives each of them a chance to learn about different breeds and distinct dog personalities. They all appreciate that there is something special about every single dog. Katy has realized “how much giving love and attention to animals positively impacts their lives” and Christy agrees, saying “I don’t have to take them all home to help save them.”
Sue adopted her 80lb lab mix Cooper from WSHS 14 years ago. Christy recently said goodbye to her two cats, 17-year-old tortie Sobi and 12-year-old black kitty Buddy. Christy grew up on a farm with dogs, cats, chickens, geese, pigs, and cows; Stephanie also grew up with a menagerie of dogs, birds, cats, snakes, lizards, small mammals, and even ducks. She has her family’s home number saved under “The Zoo” in her contacts list. Margaret, Colleen and Katy have no animals in their homes right now, but their passion for animals brought them to WSHS to volunteer. Colleen likes to think that one day every week she shares her life and her heart with 20 dogs.
This team’s volunteering spirit at WSHS is not limited to Thursday mornings. Sue also helps at Barkapalooza and hopes to get more involved once she retires from her work at the public library. Colleen, Katy and Christy often pick up additional shifts during the week and on holidays and Christy has recently volunteered to coordinate the Canine Enrichment Program at WSHS.
When not at the shelter, you’ll find these outgoing women in the great outdoors (Margaret likes hiking and exploring nature, Christy loves snow skiing and snowshoeing, and Stephanie enjoys many outside activities), in the community (Sue volunteers with the theater and Meals on Wheels and Katy is a fan of live music), and even up in the air (Colleen has her pilot’s license). On Thursday mornings, you are likely to find them together in a yard, enjoying the company of the dogs and each other. Whether they are taking pictures of the dogs to promote them on social media or laughing at the dogs’ antics and their reaction to Margaret’s squeaky toy impersonation, these women are always having a good time!