Roberta had volunteered with the Best Friends Animal Rescue in Utah when her family lived there. But after moving to Washington in March 2020 (just as the pandemic broke), she looked around for a local organization. Since Furry Friends was listed on the Best Friends website as a companion organization, she promptly checked us out — and here she is!
She started out as a socializer at our Halfway House and then got into fostering kittens. She and her husband have fostered seven litters (four mama cats and 22 kittens) in the past two years, and she admits that the biggest challenge is giving them up when it’s time to say goodbye. And yet, her proudest moment is seeing her fosters getting adopted and settling well into their new homes.
As a foster, she’s seldom at our Halfway House now because she doesn’t want to track anything back to the vulnerable kittens at home. She finds caring for them relatively easy – from feeding and weighing them to scooping out litter boxes – and then, best of all, playing and socializing with them. And since she and her husband have three cats and one dog of their own, all of their fosters are dog and cat socialized when they leave.
She “works” perhaps 10 hours a week, sometimes more, especially if it involves either vet or surgery appointments. It goes without saying that her favorite part of volunteering with us is … kittens, kittens and kittens … not to mention the wonderful support she receives from the staff and our entire organization.
Now retired and fond of crocheting and reading, Roberta was a substitute teacher when her children were growing up. She also volunteered for the Girl & Boy Scouts (she was a troop leader, troop advancement chair, troop committee member and trainer), the Red Cross (she was an instructor in First Aid, CPR, swimming and water safety), and her church (she was a church school teacher, editor of the Sunday bulletin and church school newsletter, and an usher).
Her reasons for giving back? Because there’s a need, she has the time and resources to help fill that need, and she LOVES what she’s doing. The local issue she’s most passionate about is the “no-kill” shelter initiative. She wants to work toward the day when all shelters truly are just a stop-over for pets moving to new homes instead of being a death sentence for so many due to over-crowding and a lack of resources.
Furry Friends Volunteer Spotlights are compiled and written by Nomi Berger who is the bestselling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She is a volunteer writer for Furry Friends in Vancouver, WA and also volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA.