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Lisa and cats – the purrrfect volunteer match

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

Lisa ‘socializes’ the cats at Westerly Animal Shelter as a weekly volunteer

When it comes to that age-old question of dogs or cats – Lisa always votes for cats. And since this past Summer, Lisa has found her dream job – caring for and playing with cats as a volunteer at the Westerly Animal Shelter.

“She’s been great, and I’ve seen her grow since she started,” said Shelter Coordinator Nikea Killam. “Every time she comes in her smile gets bigger. She was a little timid in the beginning, but now she’s much more comfortable.”

Lisa and her Direct Support Professional Amanda Edwards are at the shelter one day each week. Lisa spends time “socializing” the cats in the cat sanctuary and helps clean some of the equipment throughout the shelter.

While brainstorming ideas for a volunteer position for Lisa, Amanda would present different scenarios and watch for Lisa’s reaction. The animal shelter got an emphatic “Yes” from Lisa and that clinched the deal.

There’s also a special connection for Nikea. “The Olean Center has a special place in my heart for the work they do. My son has spina bifida and a chair like Lisa’s.”

Participants who seek to volunteer also are gaining valuable training for potential job opportunities in the future!

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