Animal Shelter Partners Board Members
Meet our board members, and learn a little about us.
My name is Lori, and I am one of the founding board members of Animal Shelter
Partners. I started volunteering at our local shelter in November of 2013 shortly after
we lost our beloved Nemo. He was not "a dog", he was family. The Saturday after we
lost Nemo, we went to our local shelter to find a new friend for Sparkie, who was not
doing well as an only dog. I’ve actually adopted 2 dogs now, Bear and Max, from our
local shelter. I have a total of 4 that are mine, and 2 that are my daughters. Needless
to say, we live in a very loud, busy house!
Before all this happened, I had noticed several times the shelter asking for help, or for donations, but I was sure that I could never volunteer...I thought it would be too hard, too sad. But God kept whispering in my ear. I picked up a volunteer application, filled it out and turned it in. What started out as something I feared would be “too hard” became one of the highlights of my week. Instead of just the 4 hours they asked for, I was going in early and staying late. I was helping with offsite events and with flyers and posters that I could do from home.
In 2017 when the shelters previous non-profit stopped functioning, four of us ladies joined together to start a new non-profit. I have seen first hand the importance of helping and supporting the shelter and its overworked, under-appreciated staff. I have seen how hard this particular shelter operator works to save as many of the animals as she can; the old, the hurt, the harder-to-love. They all are worth saving, and I want to be a part
If this sound like something you want to be a part of either by volunteering or donating financially, I'd like to invite you be a part of making life at the shelter a little better for the animals who pass through their doors.
To help financially simply click on the "Donate" button on the right hand corner of the menu bar. If you are interested in volunteering, contact the shelter directly at 541-751-2480, Tuesday - Saturday, noon to 4 pm. Together we can make a difference for the animals in Coos County!
Lori Hannah, Board President, Animal Shelter Partners
Hi, I am Barb. After retiring, leaving California, and moving to Coos Bay twelve years ago I happened to catch a small article in the
newspaper asking for help with the overwhelming amount of laundry
at the animal shelter. I got to the shelter and was surprised to find that
there was no washer/dryer there, found a huge mound of bags filled
with laundry, took what I could and returned the clean laundry the next
day. While I was there I couldn’t help but spend some time with all of
the cats at the shelter. The shelter operator suggested I might like to
come and help with the care of the felines. I observed how, with very
limited resources, the volunteers and staff cared for and loved the animals. I have been volunteering 2-3 days a week ever since, am now known there as the “cat lady”, and I am always trying to find more ways to improve the lives of the shelter’s cats and kittens. I foster kittens every year and, inevitably, I end up keeping some. I now have thirteen cats of my own.
Barb Lesco, Secretary, Animal Shelter Partners
I am Tracy, one of four ladies who formed ASP. When I retired from the school district,
I decided to volunteer in something that has always been my passion…animals! Now I
clean the cat kennels at the shelter on an “as needed” basis in the mornings. I am also
a volunteer foster mom and have fostered over 75 kittens in the last 5 years.
I have three rescued cats of my own, and all three are rather “special” (aka: goofy and
needy, lol) and seem to rule the roost. Two of the three were fosters which took up
residence in my heart and never left. They are now 11, 5, and 1 years old. In my spare
time, beside taking care of cats, I enjoy baking and making treats to share with my
friends. (I was a cake decorator for over 40 years.)
Some of you say, “Oh, I could never work at the shelter because it’s so sad”. Well, the saddest thing I know of is to see the animals who are scared or hurt without enough volunteers to help comfort them. They must be left on their own because we are trying to help get every kennel and cage clean before the shelter opens at noon.
Yes, sometimes it is very hard to see dogs or cats waiting endlessly for someone to adopt them, but we also see the most heartwarming happy endings for many of them! We have seen older animals given a second chance, if even only for the year or two they might have left in their lives, because some wonderful person still sees value in them . Kind hearted people have adopted bonded pairs of cats and even dogs, refusing to separate them from the security of their best friend.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to give back to the animals and the community which is overrun with feral and unwanted cats. My absolute favorite time is when I leave the shelter at the end of my shift and take one last look around….I see clean litter boxes in freshly scrubbed kennels, full food and water dishes, and contented felines falling asleep on nice clean bedding, secure in knowing someone cares. It warms my heart each and every time.
I would encourage you to find something you are passionate about and volunteer. You will certainly get back much more than you will ever give!
Tracy Michel, Treasurer, Animal Shelter Partners
Hi, I'm Valerie, an artist and YouTube Creator. My involvement with the Coos Animal
Shelter started with fostering three orphaned kittens I named, Huey, Dewy, and Louie.
Since then, there have been many, many more kittens. It's funny how little they require;
a safe warm place to grow, yummy food, clean litter and lots of snuggles. But, they give
back so much more. I look forward to the first purr and introducing them to "Window"
where they see for the first time the world outside. Recently, I was asked to join the ASP
board. Now I am happy to be a part of this group, helping, not just cute fluffy kittens,
but so many animals, find their happily forever home.
Valerie Flynn, Board Member, Animal Shelter Partners
Hi, I am Jacquelyn Darnell, one of the ladies who started the non-profit, Animal
Shelter Partners. I have been volunteering at the shelter for six years now and it
has been an amazing journey.
When I first went to our local shelter, I was looking for a walking companion. Being
recently retired, I needed exercise that would be safe and rewarding. My husband
had purchased a camera for me to take pictures but he believed I needed a
companion with me. We found this beautiful border collie and adopted him.
On our way home with our new pet I told my husband that I wished there was
something I could do to help the animals get adopted sooner. Being afraid of large dogs I couldn’t imagine how I could help. My husband told me “get over yourself and help the animals. You have a camera, use it for helping the animals.” Two days later I returned to the shelter to speak with Jaclyn, the Shelter Operator, about this idea. She thought it was a wonderful idea and was willing to help me in every way possible. So it began, and to this day I still love taking pictures of our animals. I have learned to live with my fear and even find my fear lessening.
Working with Barb, Lori and Tracy we often discussed ideas of helping the shelter. One day it worked into starting a non-profit to help with things the county just couldn’t provide. Together we did research and planned a way to make this happen. It started with a rummage sale to pay for filing fees and soon we were up and running! Now we are helping in ways that we never believed possible. The community is behind us and giving us such wonderful support. All I can say is our local people love their animals.
There is always something you can do to help, even if it seems difficult. Volunteer a little time at the shelter, cleaning, walking the dogs, or even just petting the animals. All these little things turn into big things for our animals. If possible, donate a little money to Animal Shelter Partners. These funds go directly to helping the animals in our community. It helps with medical needs and so much more. You can make a difference for these animals; all you need to do is take the first step.
Thank you for taking time to read my story, and please join us and start your own story.
Jacquelyn Darnell, Retired Founding Board Member, Animal Shelter Partners