Donne with her Halfway House crew.

Grief over the death of her two elderly kitties brought Donne Lankford to Furry Friends.

When Jack and Rayne, both 14, passed away, Donne was “not in a position to get a new cat”; so she researched volunteer opportunities with cats in Vancouver and found Furry Friends. She has been a member for a year and is a shift lead on Wednesday nights.

“I wash LOTS of dishes, clean rooms and cages, scoop litter boxes, change bedding, give fresh water and food according to the cat’s feeding schedule, play with kittens and have full-on conversations with my feline friends,” she said.

Donne is a busy worker, indeed. In addition to Wednesday evenings, she volunteers from time to time as a substitute on other shifts. She praises her Wednesday crew.

“My current crew has been together for a good six months now,” she said, “and I look forward to seeing and visiting with each one every Wednesday. We have a great team that works well together and each one is always willing to help and handle some not-so-pleasant tasks.”

Meeting new people has been a plus for Donne, who said she’s an introvert by nature, but “I feel very comfortable hanging out with our entire tribe of cat-loving volunteers.”

Donne said she has to discipline herself not to feel sad when the cats she’s helped are adopted and leave the shelter. When she first began volunteering she would get attached to individual kitties and would look forward to playing with them from week to week.

Eventually, she “changed my thinking… and now before I leave, I tell each one goodbye and that I hope they get adopted that week.” She said she appreciates when owners send pictures and updates on how the cats are doing in their care.

A revenue analyst for a Bonneville Power contractor, Donne says she’s an “organizational fanatic,” whether it be a dresser drawer, closet, spreadsheet or curriculum.

“I could live in a spreadsheet all day,” she added.

Before the Covid pandemic, Donne volunteered for the Portland Rescue Mission telethons. When she lived in Bend, OR, she volunteered for Feed the Hungry.


We would like to thank Alice Perry Linker for writing this spotlight. Alice is a retired newspaper reporter and editor who last worked for The Reflector in Battle Ground, WA.

Earlier, she worked for the La Grande (OR) Observer, and she and husband Ray owned the Creswell (OR) Chronicle for eight years. Alice, who now lives in Gresham, OR, has two sons and one grandson. She enjoys hiking, gardening and playing (badly) the piano. Alice has volunteered her writing and proof reading skills to Furry Friends for several years.

Furry Friends is a nonprofit cat adoption organization. Its mission is to help homeless, relinquished and abused cats by providing spaying and neutering, medical care, and foster shelter for as long as it takes to find their forever home. Copyright © 2013 – 2020 Furry Friends. All rights reserved. Website design and development by Christina Roberts.