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Volunteer Appreciation Month!

Every year, hundreds of volunteers generously give their time to help care for the lost, stray and vulnerable pets at Young-Williams. These volunteers spend thousands of hours at the shelter helping make sure the dogs have plenty of exercise, playtime and love. They socialize scared animals and help them build trusting relationships with humans so they are ready for adoption. They provide a healing touch to injured pets and help our tiniest residents grow up healthy and strong. Volunteers provide hands on support in our vet clinic and at a range of events from Mardi Growl to community awareness events.

This month, we want to show these volunteers, fosters and Animal Control Officers how much we appreciate their time and dedication. You can show your appreciation by sponsoring one of the furry friends they help care for each week in their honor. Pick a specific animal to sponsor or let us choose one for you. Your honoree will receive a special notification of your appreciation and a certificate will proudly be displayed on the pet’s kennel. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the volunteers, foster homes and Animal Control Officers who have had significant impact on the care of animals in our shelter. Whether they are listed below or someone you know personally, help us say THANK YOU this month by making a special Furry Friend sponsorship in their honor.

Meet the Volunteers

Ray Wagner – Ray has been volunteering since 2007 as a dog walker, kennel cleaner, foster, pet photographer, trainer and mood lifter. You know it’s going to be a good day when Ray’s around. Over the years, Ray has been more than 1,000 at the shelter. He is dedicated to helping our harder to place pets find homes by sharing his volunteer experience through photos on social media. “My love of animals is what brought me here and the belief that I have made a difference.”


Nicole McCall – When you spend more than 1,300 hours doing laundry, you get the title, “Laundry Queen.” While visiting the shelter, you can find Nicole in the back wearing her favorite cat mask and helping wash, dry and fold the mountain of laundry the pets produce each day. Nicole started volunteering in 2017 and comes back each week because she sees the value she brings to our team.


Sheila Thompson – Sheila started started volunteering in August of 2012. “I love animals and have always had one since the day I was born.  We had just had our 19 year old cat put down and decided we didn’t want to go through the pain of losing another. Of course after two weeks at Young-Williams I went home with a four month old Siamese named KitKat, who is still alive and well.” Sheila helps our administrative team and is crucial to keeping things going behind the scenes. “Most people don’t realize how much hard work and dedication goes into providing care for our furry friends.”


Susan Titlow – Susan has been a volunteer at Young-Williams for the better part of 12 years. She started volunteering because she’s always been an animal lover. As a retired nurse, she enjoys putting those skills to use in out vet clinic. “I love seeing the difference that can be made for animals at the Center.  I have seen and experienced so much kindness, compassion, loving care and healing during my time volunteering.” Susan’s attention to details and kind heart makes her a great advocate for shelter pets.


Meet the Foster Homes

Nicole Chapman– Nicole is a triple threat. Not only has she committed over 3,000 volunteer hours, she’s also fostered more than 150 pets and is an advocate for those who can’t speak for themselves. “The best part about volunteering or fostering is getting to watch the transformation of a scared, shut down animal turn into a relaxed and happy one.”


Maggie Hughes – This summer, Maggie will celebrate three years and over 2,800 hours fostering for YWAC. “I enjoy so many parts of being a foster parent. Though the work can truly become “work” at times,  knowing that I’m making a difference in these lives is HUGELY rewarding. After retiring from teaching and then taking care of my parents I was faced with… what now? THIS IS IT!!! I LOVE seeing my neonates open their eyes for the first time and seeing their little ears wiggle while suckling their bottle. When they’re a bit older I LOVE having them cuddle with me and sometimes even sitting on my head. Ultimately, I LOVE handing them over to their new forever families where I pray they’ll be spoiled rotten for the rest of their life… even though I ALWAYS cry at this bittersweet exchange. More recently I’ve begun fostering seniors as well. OMG seeing these adults get into a loving home to live out their remaining years is also just INCREDIBLE.”


Meet the Animal Control Officers