Volunteer News for December 15th-25th, 2013

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Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!

Tis the season of giving, but what, besides the holidays, inspires giving? The staff at WHS have been talking about building a culture of philanthropy, and it is clear to me that our volunteers play an integral role in that process. In our organization, our donors are also recipients of our services. Unlike a food bank or children’s service group, where compassionate donors fund delivery of services to other people in need, every person we interact with, whether volunteer, staff, or customer at WHS, every person bringing in a stray cat, surrendering a dog, getting their cat spayed or adopting a new pet, may also be helping support our mission and the services we provide. Many of our wonderfully dedicated volunteers are also providing support through in-kind and financial contributions, and through estate planning.
We don’t know, when we interact with someone, what the outcome will be, but if we treat everyone as if they might be our biggest supporter ever, we do our part to make it so! It isn’t about asking someone for money, something most of us find hard to do. It’s about listening, helping, not judging, and providing information and services that help people solve problems, and it’s about caring for each animal as if they were our own beloved pet.
It comes back to one of our 6 core values: Positive Service to All. If we give that to each animal and to each person on our shifts here at WHS, we are doing an amazing thing! We are demonstrating that we are an organization that anyone would be proud to support, in any way they can, and we are building that culture of philanthropy, one interaction at a time. Thank you each for the part you play in making our shelter such a wonderful place to represent!

Volunteer of the Quarter:

Fran Neavoll makes a difference behind the scenes!

Since 2005, Fran has been hard at work behind the scenes to serve the animals at Willamette Humane Society.  Fran serves the animals by serving you: our donors, adopters and volunteers.
Fran started volunteering as a dog walker, but after a month she decided that many of our dogs were too big for her to walk.  As a 43-year employee of the State of Oregon, Fran decided to apply her professional expertise to help make the wheels go round in the shelter’s Administrative Office, where she has volunteered over 1,000 hours.
Nearly every Tuesday, Fran drives up in her shiny red Mustang and volunteers in the office.  If you make a donation of pet food, blankets, or other items this holiday season, it will be recorded by Fran.  If you receive an invitation to our special events, it’s folded, stuffed, labeled, and stamped by Fran.  If you buy an item at Bowser’s Boo Bash, it was first catalogued by Fran.  If you fill out an adoption application and ask to receive our E-newsletter, Momentary Paws, you will be added to the mailing list by Fran.  If you have a change of address, it’s updated by Fran so you can continue to receive Brief Paws.
Outside of the office, Fran is a talented baker, and has placed first at the Oregon State Fair with many of her original confection recipes.  She has baked cookies for WHS events on multiple occasions.
Fran loves visiting with the animals each week.  They remind her that by serving you, our supporters, she is really serving the animals in our care.
We love you, Fran!  Thank you for your dependable lifesaving service at Willamette Humane Society!
News and Announcements:
We will be OPEN TUESDAY, Christmas Eve, from 12-4pm, normally a closed day. This Tuesday, we will open to the public for last minute shopping and adoptions. We will have adoption ambassador volunteers here to help and some staff coming in to do adoptions and sales. We could use some more help in cat adoptions from 2-4 pm. If you can help, please email me asap and let me know!
Job Opening: We are currently hiring an Intake Lead for the customer service team. See the volunteer logbook for full job posting and details on how to apply. This is a full time position with benefits.
We Won!!! Great work on the Christmas tree at the Salem Center Mall, and good job voting and getting your family and friends to vote. We won the $2,000 dollar first prize!
Coming Soon! The Spay-ghetti dinner benefit!
Join us January 21st at Gamberetti’s for a delicious meal, good wine and great company while you help Willamette Humane Society stabilize the cat population in our community.
There will be four courses of food, including a vegetarian option,  plus beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.
The ticket price of $43 is the same price as a Feral Cat Spay/Neuter package (sterilization surgery, rabies vaccination, flea & ear mite treatment, deworming and eartip)
Tickets available from Board members or the Development Department.
Stay tuned for more details about the amazing program we have coming in January to help with spay and neuter services for free roaming cats in the community!
Holiday schedules and closures:
The shelter is closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
We will be closing at 4 pm on Christmas eve and at 6 pm on New Year’s Eve.
Holiday sign up sheets are in the volunteer room for cat and dog volunteers who can come in to help care for the animals on the closed days.
The Spay/Neuter Clinic will be closed for the holidays from December 23 through January 1st.
Want to give a little something to the animals?

  • Santa Wish Lists” Humane-a-Teen members recently helped the dogs and cats in the shelter draft their personal letters to Santa. Visitors to the shelter can purchase items from Davenport’s Den and distribute them directly to the animals if they like, or put them under the lobby tree. If they give them directly to the dog or cat, we will send the present home with that pet when they are adopted.
  • Our Giving Tree is in the lobby, hung with pictures of shelter animals. On the backs of the pictures are items from our wish list. Anyone can take a picture, and donate the item on the back by leaving it under the tree.
  • We also have a wish list on Amazon.com available all the time, and if you shop from the Smile.amazon.com website, Amazon will donate additional money to WHS if you select us as your charity of choice.
  • What to get the person who has everything? Donate in their name to a cause they love, like WHS! You can donate on-line, by phone or at the customer service desk.

Don’t forget Davenport’s Den when you’re doing your holiday shopping! There are pet themed presents for young children, and great items for the pets on your list!
Thriftstore News:
Customer Appreciation Day, Saturday, December 21st from 10:30-6. Many items will be 50% off! Last minute shoppers, you should know that new items are donated daily so you never know what kind of amazing thing you may find for that unique person on your gift list this year. Head on down Saturday and find some perfect one-of-a-kind gifts or a special bargain just for you!
Volunteering, shopping and donating at the thrift store are great ways to support WHS. As a volunteer, you receive 25% off your purchase of regular priced items every day!
Be sure to pick up your Pets of Salem Calendar!
The 2014 Pets of Salem Calendar is now available at the Willamette Humane Society, the downtown Thriftstore and at Nature’s Pet Market in the SunnySlope Shopping Center. Only $19.99 and 100% of the proceeds go to support the Willamette Humane Society!! The calendar is filled with photos of local Salem pets, and special monthly money saving promotions. Check out two of my dogs, Luke and Murphy, on the October page!
Upcoming Volunteer dog training classes with Annie:
Friday, Dec 20, 5:30-6:30 pm and Friday, Dec 27, 2:30-3:30 pm
Adoptable spotlight:
Sheba is the queen of my heart this week. A gorgeous brown tabby with white stockings on the top row of B-cats, she is sweetly conversational, a bit reserved at first, but then a real cuddler. She doesn’t have her heart set on adventure and exploration; rather, she is looking for a steady companion to curl up with and purr the winter through. When I visit her in the kennel, she just lays down in the curve of my arm and lays her head on my shoulder, completely content. Who wouldn’t want to share their home with such a gentle soul? Check her out, and let’s get her a home for the holidays!
I will be out of the office this week, from Friday through Christmas Day, so I hope you have a wonderful holiday! If you need help while I am not here, please see Susan Carey in Admin, or at extension 305. Thank you everyone for the amazing, kind work you do for WHS! We really, really couldn’t do it without you!