Volunteer Spotlight: April

Please join us in congratulating our April Volunteers of the Month! Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization and our shelter pets are lucky to have amazing people like them advocating on their behalf every single day!

Independence Campus: Mary Ann and Mariah Shields

This fabulous mother-daughter duo brings twice as much love to our cats!  Their journey began in 2015 when Mariah decided she wanted to volunteer in her community. She didn’t want to attend orientation alone, so her mom, Mary Ann, came too! How lucky we are to have the two of them on our team!

Wash, dry, fold, repeat: That’s the way we tackle seemingly endless barrels of laundry, and it is part of Mary Ann’s regular routine at Great Plains SPCA! Full of energy and always helpful, Mary Ann alternates between the two laundry rooms conquering load after load. Each time a group of volunteers passes by during a visit, she cheerfully introduces herself and explains the importance of clean laundry in the shelter.

When volunteering, Mariah pitches in with the laundry, checks in with the pair’s latest “project” dog in need of socialization, and stops by the cat rooms to visit with new felines that have entered the shelter.

Pets in need hit the jackpot when Mariah and Mary Ann signed on as a foster home for adult cats and kittens. Beyond the laundry room and Cat Hero roles, the pair has welcomed sixty-four feline friends into their home!

“We have had the wonderful opportunity to learn about and bond with foster animals that need special care. Most of our fosters have been cats…It can be very challenging, but so rewarding to see them grow big, strong, brave, and SASSY,” the duo says.

Thank you, Mariah and Mary Ann, for your hard work, dedication and, most of all, for opening your hearts and homes to dozens of animals!

Merriam Campus: Debbie and Paul Kimmerly

The Kimmerlys began their journey as volunteers after retiring together in 2011. The two had volunteered with Jack Russel Terrier Rescue, and were looking to become part of a local organization when they found Great Plains SPCA.

Through the efforts of the Kimmerlys, events like Wines with Canines at Somerset Ridge Winery have been very successful in raising awareness and funding for GPSPCA! Paul and Debbie were also instrumental in organizing U-Wash Puppy, a bi-weekly dog bath outing for our shelter pets.

“We’ve got a great group of volunteers that help out, and it gives the dogs a chance to get out of the shelter.  Plus we get them cleaned up and ready for their new adoptive homes!” Paul says.

During their time at GPSPCA, the Kimmerlys have played a vital role in helping shelter pets find their forever homes.  For instance, Ronnie, a deaf pit bull came to Great Plains SPCA after several attempts to rehome him were unsuccessful. The Kimmerlys owned a dog that was deaf for 17 years and were especially drawn to Ronnie.   During his stay, the two managed to teach him sign language commands including sit, shake and stay!  Thanks to the Kimmerlys, Ronnie found a forever home that was the perfect fit. “We made a strong connection with him and his adoptive home that we’ll always remember,” Paul says.

Thank you, Paul and Debbie Kimmerly, for the compassion and kindness you both have provided the animals at Great Plains SPCA!  We appreciate your dedication to our mission throughout the years, and we look forward to seeing what other accomplishments you will both achieve in the years ahead!


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