Thursday, October 13, 2011

Animal Shelter Volunteering, A Guest Blog By Kevin Sloan and Marissa Rode

This post was written by our friends Kevin Sloan and Marissa Rode.  Kevin works for FindTheBest, a free online comparison website that specializes in sharing information with people so they can make informed decisions.  FindTheBest is a startup company based in Santa Barbara, CA and is rapidly growing.  They now offer over 640 comparisons on different topics ranging from cell phones to investment banks and ski resorts to obesity rates.  Kevin and Marissa both attend UCSB and both love animals.  Kevin shared his story about his two dogs on Dakota’s Den, and now Marissa is sharing her story about her two cats and working at a cat rescue organization.  Kevin worked with Marissa to help incorporate the information FindTheBest offers in her article to share the wonderful resources the website offers with all of you!  I hope you enjoy Marissa’s story.


            My name is Marissa and I have two adorable cats, Skitzo and Normie, which were both strays when we found them. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the cute cats that were pawing at my door so I decided to take care of them -They haven’t left the backyard since and are now important parts of our family.


            When I moved away for college, I missed my cats back home. To help me feel better, I immediately started volunteering at the local animal shelter. The shelter is called ASAP, which stands for Animal Shelter Assistant Program.  You can like them on Facebook to follow updates with the program.  I have been volunteering at ASAP since October of 2009. My responsibilities include cleaning the facilities, playing with the cats, and helping potential adopters find the perfect cat.  I always tell people looking for a cat to research cat breeds because choosing a cat should be about more than looks.

Cats and kittens come to the shelter for all different reasons, like being abandoned at a doorstep or lost in the city. Once a cat wandered away from its home and someone brought it to the shelter. A week later, a worried woman called saying her son’s cat was lost. We had a cat in the shelter that matched the description so I told her to come in. Later that day, the son and cat were joyfully reunited.

Kitten waiting for a home

At the shelter, we treat every cat with the best care. We make sure they receive nutritious food and proper medical treatment. For example, the shelter buys specified cat food for individual cats to help keep them happy and healthy.  We are also proud to be a no-kill shelter. In fact, when the shelter was filled to capacity we had a free adoption fair and adopted out over 75 cats! Adopters often send in pictures of their newly adopted cats and they couldn’t be happier with their decision.

Knowing these cats will be off the streets is my motivation for volunteering. The greatest part of my day is seeing the smiles on families’ faces as they walk out of the shelter with a new addition to their family, and knowing the cat has a nice home and a caring family to spoil it.

On a side note, if you decide to adopt a cat from your local animal shelter (which I strongly encourage), it is important to purchase pet insurance. Even though the shelter pays for initial procedures, vet bills are really expensive over the course of a cat’s life.

            If you have the opportunity to volunteer at an animal shelter or non-profit organization near you, I highly recommend it! It is an amazing feeling to know you are helping make a difference in the lives of people or animals. My volunteer experience has been incredible and I hope to continue to make a difference in the shelter community because every cat deserves to be happy!  If you don’t have the time to volunteer, please make a donation to your local shelter or rescue organization.  If you want to donate to ASAP, you can donate on their website.  


  1. Very interesting post Caren. What wonderful work those volunteers do at Rescue sites.

  2. Hello Marissa and hello to your adorable kitties Skitzo and Spotty! Me and my cat Charlie are so happy to read of the joys of volunteering for a shelter. We're so glad these animals waiting to be re-homed are looked after by great people like you. Take care

  3. Great post, and such a wonderful thing they are doing, my hat's off to them!

  4. How wonderful! We highly reccomend volunteering and recue too!

  5. We can see that this shelter is a wonderful place for those unlucky kitties who have no furever home.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

  6. Our cats are all found cats except for Yoko who was a shelter cat. They make the best! Adopt don't shop!

  7. @Cats of Wildcat Woods, me too! Bobo was a "found" cat and Cody was a Shelter kitty!

    @Hannah and Lucy yes it is, I liked them on Facebook and I agree! xoxoxo

    @Erika and Blair, I need to get more involved in volunteering in 2012...that is on my "must do" list!

    @Brian me too!

    @Old Kitty, I couldn't agree more!

    @Amin I am sure Marissa and Kevin will be thrilled that you liked it!

    @Mario yes Marissa and Kevin did a great job, it is wonderful that Marissa is such an active volunteer!

  8. Great Post Caren!
    All of us cats that Mommy and Daddy has had has been shelter cats, even me!

  9. thank you Nellie but it is Kevin and Marissa that deserve the credit! They wrote it!

  10. Hey Everyone,

    Thanks for the positive comments. Marissa and I are really glad you all liked our post and that you all have rescued your pets!

    And volunteering is a great way to get that sense of pride so make sure you try to volunteer, even if it is only once a week or once a month, every little bit helps!

  11. I have so much respect for all the cat shelter volunteers - especially after my recent visit to the Feline Care Centre. Thanks Kevin and Marissa for all that you do =^..^=

  12. That was a really nice story. Good for Marrissa to do that good volunteering. It is so important for these shelters to have good volunteers. We don't have a no-kill shelter where I live or I would volunteer. Good stuff.

  13. @Kevin, thank you so much (and to Marissa) for being our guest bloggers for today. We all loved your post and yes you are right that we all should try and do something! That is one of my goals for 2012!

    @Marg so happy that you liked it!

    @Kitcaboodles thank YOU for your wonderful input!

  14. These people are really, really , really HEROES! Reading about them makes us a little leaky.

  15. Awesome post! Thank you, Caren, for sharing this with us. And big paws up to Kevin and Marissa for doing all that they do!

  16. How cute are Skitzo and Spotty! And so fortunate to have a loving home. 2 paws up to their humans for the great work they do with rescue animals.