We often would just look at Suzy with wonder and thankfulness. At times I really don’t think she knew she was a dog…. she was so much a part of our family.
Carolyn (Lyn) Woodhead
National Award for Animal Control Volunteer
(Presented to her at the National Animal Control Conference May 31st in Cincinnati, Ohio) From Wellesley Animal Control Officer Sue Webb firstname.lastname@example.org 7881-235-8460
It is a pleasure for Wellesley Animal Control Officer Sue Webb to announce that Carolyn (Lyn ) Woodhead has been selected as the recipient of the 2006 National Animal Control Association Dianne Lane Memorial Award for Outstanding Volunteer Services. She was chosen from nominations from across the United States and selected as the one that met the highest standards for an animal control agency volunteer.
Carolyn (Lyn) Woodhead is a Natick, Mass. Resident and a retired Wellesley elementary school teacher. When she was teaching she would invite animal control into her classroom each year as part of her regular curriculum. Once she retired she continued her connection to helping the animals by volunteering with Stray Pets in Need of Mass. Inc.(SPIN), a group specifically set up to help animal control and provide care of strays beyond the funds provided by town government.
She helped revamp our volunteer program and organized the transition shelter, the supplies and procedures. She took over the task to coordinate volunteer shifts and filling in for direct care shifts if someone cancelled. She would train new volunteers who came to provide direct care of the cats (being the main species of unclaimed animals). She would work several shifts with them until they felt confident to work with other volunteers.
She has served on the board of directors of SPIN as Vice President and continues as an advisory member. Lyn has chaired fundraising events such as our annual spring fling auction. She has been a leader of volunteers working on fundraising activities. Each fall she spends a weekend teaching new volunteers how to make boxwood trees which are then sold at our Home 4 the Holidays event. She helps out at many educational events such as our low cost micro-chipping clinics. The more pets chipped the fewer end up at animal control. She supervises volunteers and ensures that everything runs smoothly at the events.
Besides doing routine care of the cats Lynn has learned to administer routine medications. She is diligent to be sure volunteers give the medications properly and that the treatments are recorded on the records.
Lynn has also become involved in SMART – State of Mass. Animal Response Team and the pet friendly sheltering sub group.
With not enough hours in a day for animal control to complete tasks I can call on Lyn to help with shuttling strays back and forth to veterinary clinics for treatments or spay/neuter surgery.
On short notice when animal control could not make a presentation at an elementary school she has stepped up to help out to be sure the children did not miss an opportunity to learn about humane treatment of animals.
Being a one person department, not wanting to euthanize strays, I rely on volunteers to come in to help care for the animals. Lyn will come in on short notice to fill in a shift that needs covering. Even when recovering from surgery she has come in to clean and care for the upper level caged cats and supervising someone to do the bottom cages since it was too painful for her to kneel.
When I have been deployed through VMAT-1 to respond to NYC 2001 and Katrina 2005 I only had a short time to implement my own pet emergency plan. I was able to make a call and know Lyn would work to coordinate with other volunteers so that the strays I left behind would continue to be cared for, receive treatments and go up for adoption when ready. It is a big relief off my shoulders when away to know the animals left at home are also being cared for properly.
Our animal control program would not be as effective without volunteers and especially without a special leader and dedicated volunteer like Lyn.
The Diane Lane Memorial Award.
This Award is for outstanding volunteer service. The nominee selected to win this Award must be someone who is not directly employed in the animal control field, but is a volunteer in animal welfare-related activities. He or she will have demonstrated exceptional dedication or performed outstanding work far beyond the requirements of the volunteer position. To nominate someone for this Award, you must work with, or have direct first hand knowledge of the nominee. Support or services provided by the nominee shall have directly benefited your agency or organization.
HUGE thanks to Marie Antobenedetto who has been doing SPIN adoptions for years now. She also has that extra dimension of intuition that makes for successful adoptions. Marie is also Shelter Manager as well at Pet World store manager. We wonder what she does in her spare time!
Adeline Apoderni Adoption Counselor at Kitty City at Pet World.
Carleen Vantine of Boulder Road was up to her ears in kittens last summer, with two litters of 11 tiny, furry kittens eating, sleeping and bouncing around for about 11 weeks in two bedrooms at her home. “I about reached my limit last summer,” said Vantine, who over four years has provided foster care for Stray Pets in Need a Wellesley-based organization that rescues lost or abandoned animals. Vantine is part of that rescue mission, and even with occasional feline. population overloads, she takes her fostering seriously, setting up scratch posts and offering her charges cat toys.
“It’s like a nursery,” she says of her foster home for kittens. For the 11 kittens, she had some backup help one mother cat filled the roll of surrogate mother, nursing both litters. (The cat -now spayed and ready for a new home -and her four kittens were found in a garage in Natick)
Vantine, known locally for her weekly photographs in The Wellesley Townsman’s Pet of The Week feature, says her fostering responsibilities including feeding her charges, giving them scratch-post and litter box training, having them spayed or neutered at the Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital and seeing that they get their childhood inoculations. SPIN finances all veterinary care through donations.
The benefits are two-fold. Cats and kittens get care, followed by placement in a loving adoptive home, and Vantine gets a sense of family from her care-giving. She explained that about five years ago, she and her husband, David, decided not to pursue having children, after going through what she called “fertility issues.”
Finding SPIN and caring for kittens brought a different kind of family caring into their lives.
‘This is kind of how I fill that void” she said And she said taking care of cats is just the ticket to balance her work-day life.
Vantine is a computer programmer for TJ Maxx. She said while she loves her work, coming home to care for cats and kittens provides “a nice mix” in her life. ‘I’m not the kind who comes home and logs on to the internet each night” she said.
Instead, she spends a couple of hours with her foster “family” of cats, feeding, cleaning and sharing some quality play rime. Another hour or two is spent each morning in the same way, before leaving for work.
Vantine started her foster home routine about four years ago, after noticing the Pet of The Week column’s appeal for volunteer foster homes. At the time, she had two cats and was considering breeding them but was advised to do some volunteer work at a shelter to learn more about raising kittens. She volunteered, and the rest is a fortunate part of SPIN history. Vantine says helping give kittens a good start on life, while taking care of her older cat, Sasha, and two she adopted Missy and Emma, is her passion.
She admits that letting go of kittens after 10 to 11 weeks is difficult, but adds, “I get another litter when one leaves.” “I know they’ll [kittens] survive and be prepared for a home and not be abandoned. I want them to be part of a family. The greatest thing is when I hear back from someone who adopted them” she said.
-from The Wellesley Townsman