Superstar Volunteers at Helen Woodward Animal Center
This month, Helen Woodward Animal Center would like to thank two extraordinary volunteers who have selflessly given their time and energy to help animals and people. We are so grateful for their passion to make our world more humane and compassionate!
Caring For Orphan Dogs
The staff in the Adoptions department would love to express our appreciation to an exceptional volunteer; Mark McDonald. Mark has volunteered with the Center for many years and his hard work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. He works numerous shifts per week with an enthusiastic “How can I help you?” attitude. He also coordinates with the Center’s kennel staff to walk the dogs who may need more patience and care while their kennels are being cleaned which helps the staff tremendously!
Mark is always willing to lend a helping hand to our trainers, too; he even volunteered every weekend at the Center’s dog surfing lessons this summer to prepare for the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon fundraiser.
Mark takes his dog to the group training classes here on-site at the Center and even offers to walk dogs before and after his training lessons to make sure every dog get out for their walk and play time. He truly is devoted to the animals and makes a difference in their lives, he goes above and beyond to make sure they are well taken care of! He is appreciated by the staff and volunteers he works with, and we know the dogs appreciate him, too!
The Creative Barn Keeper
Connie Patterson has been volunteering with the Center’s Education barn animals for nearly a year. She has impressed the barn keepers and staff with how hard she constantly works, not just during her own shifts, but also routinely covering the shifts of other volunteers when she’s learned they’re out that week.
Connie is always up for a challenge, too, like when she clipped the winter coats off our mini-horses (and she left adorable heart-shapes on their tooshes) or when she braved the first time bath experience for our alpacas.
Connie doesn’t just like to work hard though, she likes to work smart! Some of our staff’s favorite and most-used tools are ones that she invented, such as a rake with smaller grating and an alpaca nose-cover. She even made a cute sheep figurine out of our sheared sheep’s wool.
Connie’s inventive and reliable nature is second only to her extremely giving heart. This summer, Connie came in not only for her regular shifts, but also ran dog agility demonstrations for our summer critter campers nearly every week, even going so far as to supply some of her own equipment! We are so grateful for all that Connie does and simply cannot thank her enough for her amazing contributions and consistently positive attitude. The Center, and the world, are definitely made better because of her!