Greetings Volunteers,

We’re delighted to share some back-stories on how our milestone anniversary volunteers became involved with Marin Humane over the years and some of their favorite memories. Hip hip hooray for their years of dedication and service. Congratulations!!

Nanni Wurl40 years: Nanni loves her title – Laundry Specialist! She started at Marin Humane as an Adoption Counselor and Dog Pet Pal but after many years decided to leave all of that to other folks and took on the laundry area. Friday mornings are Nanni’s and she likes it that way! 

Anni Black – 35 years: Anni tells us, “When my older daughter entered high school, in 1986, I decided I needed to make a change from my volunteer activities at the Terwilliger Nature Education foundation to the wonderful world of domestic animals, and Marin Humane. That decision opened up a whole new world of experiences, friends, education and fun. Marin Humane has meant a lot to me. I have gained a world of knowledge and lifelong friends that otherwise would not have been part of my life.”

“My volunteer involvement includes being an Adoption Counselor for 10 years and a Clinic volunteer for a year. In 1996 I joined the Behavior and Training department where I have remained to this day. Within this department I enjoy being a Dog Training Instructor, Pen Pal Instructor, Cat Evaluator, and a Pet Partnership volunteer. I know there are more areas waiting of involvement at Marin Humane enjoy in the future.” 

Susie Harper – 30 years: Susie came to Marin Humane in November of 1991. Susie says, “In 1991 I made a deal with the “powers that be” that if I passed the EA exam, then I would either raise a Guide Dog puppy or volunteer at MHS.” And, she chose Marin Humane! Susie started out at the Adoption Desk and then got hired as a staff Animal Care Technician. She eventually became the Foster Program coordinator. When Susie returned to being a volunteer, she worked as a Dog Training Assistant. She has also worked in the Pet Partnership program, and is a cat evaluator and assistant dog evaluator. Fostering is what she has done throughout it all – kittens, cats, puppies and dogs. Susie says, “I have received WAY more than I’ve given. Plus, I met my best hangout buddies at Marin Humane.”

Dinah McClure – 30 years: Dinah has been a volunteer for 30 years. In 1991, Dinah joined the “SHARE Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT)” team to do home visits with her dog Sasha, and later with her mini doxie, Heidi. Now she and her dog Autumn visit high schools and colleges during exam weeks. Dinah has continued as an AAT volunteer, an Animal Transporter, a Special Events volunteer, and has been active with Pet Care Assistance. She has been a Summer Camp volunteer, Dog Pet Pal, dog foster, and had a wonderful several yearlong stint as a clinic volunteer. Just as the pandemic shut everything down, Dinah was learning from Annie Humphrey how to assess prospective clients for the Pet Safety Net. She looks forward to continuing that in the future. Dinah says, “I love volunteering at Marin Humane.”

Donna Solin – 25 years: In 1976, Donna was hired as a part-time assistant to the Executive Director. That was long before an official volunteer program but Donna volunteered lots of time cleaning, feeding and doing whatever was needed for the animals. Over the years, she has been an Adoption Counselor and a Foster volunteer. In 1995, Donna drove the Marin Humane RV, “Rover” to Inverness during the Mt. Vision fire to help care for the displaced animals. Since 1991, Donna has volunteered in the Behavior and Training department. She has been a Dog Training Assistant and a Dog Behavior volunteer assisting in private consults. Donna is a very accomplished artist and she did all of the artwork in the training manual, “Where’s Herbert,” as well as all of the new Behavior and Training handouts.

Peggy Chenoweth – 20 years: Peggy recounts, “I was new to Marin and not working. I love animals, but had none of my own at the time. Volunteering at Marin Humane seemed like a good fit. My first job was as an Adoption Counselor. I spent at least 13 years in that position. Also volunteered for SHARE (now Pet Care Assistance) walking a client’s dog and delivering pet supplies. I have fostered some dogs and cats. Of course, I adopted one, too!”

“Currently I am a Pet Pal for guinea pigs and rats. I fostered guinea pigs during the pandemic until I took in two cats belonging to a friend who was burned out by last year’s fires. My most unforgettable moment was so heartwarming. One day a youngish man came into the shelter looking around uncertainly. Turns out he was an inmate dog handler at San Quentin. When he got out, one of the first things he wanted to do was visit the shelter. I decided this man needs a tour! I took him practically everywhere and everyone who met him was excited and thanked him for helping us out.”

Chris Gallagher – 20 years: Chris shares, “Twenty years ago I was living in an apartment and wasn’t allowed to have a dog. I thought it would be perfect if I could walk dogs at the shelter. I came to a volunteer orientation and learned about being a Dog Pet Pal. That’s where I started – as a Dog Pet Pal – and I still have that position. I also worked at the monthly shot clinics, holding the dogs while they got their shots and microchips. I volunteered in the weekly outposts on Sundays for quite a while. I am still on the list for future events. I also volunteer on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day to help with the dogs, or anything else the staff need.”

“I have always been proud to say I am a volunteer with Marin Humane. I do a lot of other volunteer work in the community and sit/sat on numerous boards and have chaired many of them. At the end of any bio or introduction I always say my best gig is at Marin Humane. I am proud of the work we do bringing dogs from other counties that may not have a chance to be adopted or when animals have been displaced by the North Bay fires. Marin Humane took those animals in – that was great. I love being an advocate for Marin Humane.”

“What I love about being a Dog Pet Pal is that I can roll out of bed, put on my sweats, grab coffee and go to the shelter. The dogs don’t care what I look like – all they want to do is go out to poop & pee. They don’t want me to be on a committee & they don’t ask me for money. They just want some company. I LOVE IT! I tell everyone it is my cheap therapy. People tell me I have dog charisma which I take as a huge compliment. (I can attract dogs better than I can attract a man. HA!) .”

Shirley Gottesman – 20 years: Shirley tells us, “Twenty years ago I saw an ad for Marin Humane volunteers and thought it would be something I would like to do. I went to an evening orientation and ended up coming home with a 10-day old kitten that the foster coordinator had brought along in order to bottle feed. She asked if I was familiar with young kittens and when I said ‘yes,’ she said, ‘here, take it home!’ That’s how it all began.”

“My volunteer job is fostering kittens, mostly neonatal bottle babies. It has been a good twenty years with Marin Humane. My inspiration is helping the neonatal babies grow and thrive until they are ready to return to the shelter for adoption. I have worked with five different foster coordinators over the years and each one of them has been great. My hat is off to Suzanne Gollin, the current foster coordinator, for holding it all together for those of us who foster!”