Don’t you just love it when you are in the middle of a huge job and someone unexpectedly shows up to help? That happened at Colville Valley Animal Sanctuary this summer and it was such a gift!
In 2011 we took in 400 relinquished and abandoned cats and kittens. By mid June of 2012 we were already at nearly 300. We desperately needed more volunteers. Our regular volunteers were working many extra hours to give our kitties the care they need, let alone the socializing and love that helps them to find a good home. I have to admit that I had some really blue days when I was the only volunteer at the shelter. Work is always so much more fun when you have someone to share the load.
Then, on June 16, 14-year-old Jakae Hawkins and her mom brought in a beautiful, young, black, long-haired declawed female kitty that had been dumped at their home in the country. (Don’t you just hate it when people dump sweet kitties –especially declawed ones?) Anyway, with this kitty came a gift – and that gift was Jakae. Yes! She loved animals and would love to volunteer! And that was the beginning.
Hour after hour, day after day, Jakae has devoted much of her summer vacation to the kitties at the Colville Valley Animal Sanctuary. Feeding, scooping, cleaning kennels, sweeping, scrubbing, or doing paperwork, whatever we asked of her, the answer was always ”Of course I can” or, her minor variation, “Of course I will”. And we’re not talking about a couple hours a day here. She put in at least six hours as well as a couple eight and even one 10 hour day on multiple days a week! And always with a smile!
Recently, Jakae showed us her organizational skills. She began tackling the cluttered corners that show up in any facility where there is just never enough storage space -corners we older volunteers are just so tired of trying to clean. (Can someone please donate a storage shed?!) All the volunteers now have a new enthusiasm thanks to Jakae’s efforts to brighten and organize our spaces.
All of us at the Colville Valley Animal Sanctuary want to thank Jakae for her reliability and dedication, enthusiasm, excellent ideas, cheerfulness and unfailing devotion to the animals. She will be heading back to high school after Labor Day weekend and we are so going to miss her. We’re going to have to put out a plea for more volunteers again. It’s going to take at least FOUR to replace Jakae!
I want to give Jakae a personal thank you as well. Jakae, you brightened many a day for me and became my friend as well as a fellow volunteer. I’ll never forget this summer. You’ve made a difference in my life as well as the lives of all the precious animals in our care. Thank you! Thank you!
Written by Pam Smith