We will be losing a much-beloved employee to a well-deserved retirement in just a few short months. Our Volunteer Director, Melanie Larson, has been an invaluable resource at our shelter and will have worked with us for 16 years! Over the years, Melanie has held several roles at our shelter, starting when she began volunteering in 2002. The following year she was hired on as a finance assistant, then moved onto various finance and supervisory roles at our Veterinary Medical Center, and then finally she settled into a perfect fit as Volunteer Director for the last 11 years.
The list of employees that pre-date Melanie is shrinking, and over her years with the organization, there have been many changes. Melanie recently reminisced about how no one uses a typewriter at the shelter anymore and how we’ve grown from 60 employees to 115. Melanie herself was an important catalyst for positive change, transforming the volunteer program to address many previously unmet needs to assist our staff and provide extra care for shelter animals. Equally transformative was the enthusiasm she brought to her role as the chief cheerleader for this diverse group of hardworking, self-sacrificing contributors of time and labor. The hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cost savings provided by volunteer labor over Melanie’s tenure equates to many thousands of pets’ lives saved and tremendous improvements in the welfare of our sheltered pets.
Melanie is excited to seeing us through one last change before her badge is hung up for the last time: the transition to our new building. She is looking forward to welcoming in her team of amazing volunteers to this much-improved facility. We couldn’t have done everything we’ve accomplished without Melanie’s inspired and tireless leadership as a Volunteer Director — thank you, Melanie!