Volunteer Spotlight: December

Please join us in congratulating our December Volunteers of the Month! Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization and our shelter pets are lucky to have amazing people like these two advocating for them every single day!

Independence Campus: Deanna DeRosa

deanna-derosa-december-2016Deanna joined Great Plains SPCA as a volunteer in September of 2014 after moving to the Kansas City area. Traveling from New York, Deanna knew that once she settled into a new city she would begin the search for a shelter where she could volunteer her time working with dogs in need, specifically through fostering.

Deanna spends her days as an animal keeper at the local zoo, so it’s no surprise that she took to fostering dogs that require behavior modification and training. She has found this area to be the most satisfying and one that aligns well with her skills. To date Deanna has fostered six dogs, with one currently in her home. She has successfully adopted many of the dogs directly from her care through the Adoption Speedway program, eliminating the need to return to the shelter. Her commitment to fostering not only provides an alternative to the stress that we often observe in the shelter, but also allows for the opportunity to observe behaviors in a home environment.

Deanna says “Through fostering I have seen the difference between living in the shelter and in a home. I have been lucky to foster dogs until their adoptions and see new families so happy to add a furry friend. Volunteering at the shelter has allowed me to make great friends and great memories. I am glad to be a part of the shelter community.”

Recently, Deanna joined the volunteer driven F.A.S.T Team where she has taken great initiative in training and instilling positive behaviors in dogs currently in the shelter. We are grateful for all of Deanna’s hard work and dedication to the animal’s needs and are lucky to have her as a part of our team!

Merriam Campus: Michelle Bixler

michelle-bixler-december-2016Michelle has been involved at Great Plains SPCA in many different capacities over the last several years. Michelle has been involved by taking pets into her home temporarily as a foster parent, volunteering at the shelter, delivering Petco donations to the shelter, and much more!

Michelle has been volunteering for 5 years and has logged 3,243 volunteer hours! She spent many of those hours helping at our vet clinic, walking dogs, socializing cats, and fostering shelter pets! Michelle and her family typically foster several times a year for puppies or kittens without their moms. Their 6-year-old dog, Macy, prefers puppies or kittens coming to stay with her. Michelle says “I love watching the shy and fearful ones come out of their shell. I have fostered one adult dog, London, and one adult cat, Nora, who both started out terrified and ended up in great homes.” Currently she is fostering two kittens that will be ready for adoption at the beginning of January!

Michelle said her favorite part of volunteering is “watching people fall in love with their new pets.” This is evident during adoption events or special events such as the Kitten Shower, as you can usually find Michelle hard at work helping in the cattery. The assistance Michelle has provided during adoption events is incredible! She is great at talking with potential adopters about cats that may be a good fit for their home and guiding adopters all the way through the adoption process! Michelle has been so kind to bring in donuts for everyone to enjoy during events! Thank you Michelle for you all your hard work for our shelter pets over the last several years!

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