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National Volunteer Week: Couples team up to aid pets



Every day is a holiday when couples help pets! Karen and Joe pose with Santa and their foster kittens.

When volunteers come in twos, even more animals can be helped! We continue National Volunteer Week with a salute to couples who volunteer together to aid homeless pets.

Dianne Heim of the New Rochelle (NY) Humane Society shares her appreciation for Karen and Joe Roman. Karen has been a volunteer since 2002. She estimates she has fostered about 150 kittens and cats, many of whose pictures are in an album she keeps. Karen says, “These little creatures confirm one of my reasons for being. They fill my heart with joy and my soul with an inner peace.”

“Karen helps at all our event tables,” Dianne tells us, “spending hours signing people in as they arrive to have their dogs washed, their pictures taken with Santa during our holiday photo day or to participate in our annual dog walk, Hounds on the Sound.”

Karen’s husband, Joe, is also an active volunteer. “He tends to the shelter’s grounds, sweeping leaves, picking up fallen branches, cutting back bushes or anything else to make the shelter’s area beautiful,” Dianne says. “Joe is our ‘Who can fix it when no one else can?’ guy. The dogs know Joe too. They often go up to him during walks for a pet and to exchange hellos.”

Two hours due north in Saugerties, NY, Vanessa and J.R. Van Noy help
with less-traditional animals at the Catskill Animal

Development director Julie Barone tells us that
Vanessa and J.R. “went beyond the call of duty in January when they
helped CAS rescue 41 chickens in Kansas City. At their own expense,
these CAS heroes flew to Indiana, rented a cargo truck, and then drove
the birds 900 miles — over 15 hours straight — to their new home at CAS!” 


Karen Roman and a handful of love

About volunteering, Vanessa says, “There is a stark and disturbing
disconnect between people and animals, especially with animals raised
for food. Working with CAS allows me to bridge that gap, and to both
help animals and open the hearts and minds of my friends, family and

Phyllis Kaiser and her husband Gary are also vital to
the work of CAS. “I am in awe of this place,” Phyllis says. “I am
overwhelmed with the beauty, the love, the animals, and the mission. I
cherish every minute that I spend on this sanctuary, and it is truly my
home away from home.” She admits that the work can be physically taxing,
and does everything from cleaning the barn, feeding the animals,
painting, walking the horses and driving the tractor to filing paperwork
in the main office, but enjoys how every day is different.

Julie writes
that “In addition to helping build the Chicken Chalet, Gary keeps the
farm’s vehicles and machinery in tip-top shape, and fills in around the
barn when Phyllis and others can’t make their shifts. Most recently,
Phyllis and Gary assisted with round-the-clock feedings of two orphaned

The cats of Catnip Cottage in
Alpharetta, GA, benefit from the “Power of Two” as well. President Vickie
Howe says, “I have been blessed with volunteers Gene and Judy Carraway
for about six years.” Gene and Judy found an injured feral cat, and it
took several weeks of care for the cat to recover. “They were there
every weekend to help any way they could. They have been with me ever

Vickie adds, “I have relied on them for many things and
they have always been there for me. They love our kitties as if they
were their own. We have shared joy and sadness over the years. We hold
each other up during the sad times, and that means a lot.”

can bring twice the love and strength. Thank you to these very special

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