The Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner is held annually. Volunteers who have logged 10 hours or more during the previous calendar year are treated to a recognition dinner in their honor.
The Volunteer Appreciation Celebration was held outside at the Potter League for Animals in August 2021. The celebration was held in honor of all Potter League volunteers who logged 10+ hours or more during the 2020 calendar year.
We are pleased to announce volunteer of the year has been awarded to John Reilly. John joined our volunteer force in January 2017 and has since donated over 1,250 hours of his time supporting all aspects of the dog program. However, this number fails to reflect the countless hours spent researching, writing and educating people far and wide not only about dog behavior but also about our shelter. John wrote a piece that was recently published in an IAABC Foundation Publication entitled “Revitalizing a Shelter Volunteer Program in the Wake of the Pandemic”. This article brings to light the Potter League Volunteer program to readers worldwide. That is pretty special and amazing when you think about it!
His years of experience in training, rehabilitating, and preparing dogs for successful adoption has been an invaluable resource to the Potter League. He has walked countless dogs during his time spent here. He has worked with some of our most difficult dogs, and this has made an immeasurable impact on these shelter animals’ lives. He shares his knowledge and skill with new volunteers, teaching our volunteer dog leveling classes and helping them to further the promotion of their own volunteer journey. Let’s not forget to mention that he is the master of the obstacle course at our off-site events.
John refers to himself as the “Animal Nerd,” but we think of him as a “Volunteer Extraordinaire”. Thank you, John, on behalf of the Potter League for Animals, for all that you do!
It was very apparent this year that we had a few exceptional young people volunteering at the Potter League who needed to be recognized. This year we have the great pleasure of presenting the Junior Volunteer of the Year Award to the Sousa’s: Jade, Jessie, and Wes.
This dynamic trio are newer volunteers who have worked hard to accomplish much in the time that they have spent with us. They come in early on weekends, after school, and during school vacations spending any free time they have here at the Animal Care & Adoption Center. As a PetPals team, they spend time socializing bunnies, guinea pigs, rabbits, and cats. They have moved up to be green cat volunteers after completing all the necessary requirements. The three of them offer to help wherever we need them, always with smiles on their faces and always full of joy and eagerness. They are even willing to do the dirtiest of jobs, like cleaning the mice cages. And I can tell you that’s not a chore people are fighting to do.
Jade, Jessie, and Wes, your acts of kindness might seem small, but the impact they will leave on the world will be huge. We look forward to watching you grow as volunteers in the many years ahead. On behalf of the Potter League team, we thank you for being PetPals rock stars!
Lori Owens was a dedicated Potter League volunteer that was full of compassion, grace, and selflessness. Her unassuming, quiet, and gentle virtue made her an “unsung hero” to those who knew her. In honor of her memory, this award is given in recognition of what she exemplified in her life and what she shared with us as a volunteer.
This year we presented Ruth Flis with the Lori Owens award. Ruth has been a volunteer with the Potter League since 2017. She, like Lori, has a deep commitment and a true gift for touching the lives of both animals and people alike. The scope of all that Ruth does as a Potter League volunteer seems endless, and she has donated 2,245 hours of her time! Ruth wears many hats as a volunteer, such as cat socializer, dog walker, food pantry assistant, wellness clinic participant, outreach, fundraising, and events supporter. While it would take all day to describe the specifics of Ruth’s numerous roles, we would like to highlight the details of a few.
As a greeter, Ruth’s calm and positive demeanor is so welcoming to all who come through our doors. Her wealth of knowledge is an invaluable resource and an extension of our customer care team. As a humane education volunteer, she is always ready and available to help teach our youth the importance of humane animal care. She also took on the role as the guide for our PetPals orientation classes, introducing new families to the volunteer team. She comforts the elderly by going into nursing homes while bringing her beloved dog Ruby for visits. What’s more, is she’s passing along her love for the Potter League and teaching stewardship to her granddaughter Annie by volunteering with her as part of a PetPals team. She is also affectionately known to many as the Potter League’s Grammy.
Ruth is an extraordinary individual with compassion and kindness for people and animals that epitomizes the true heart of a volunteer. We are so thankful for her generosity and commitment. Words simply cannot express how grateful we are to have her as a member of the volunteer team. On behalf of the Potter League for Animals staff, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!