Hello Volunteers!

There are many volunteers celebrating their milestone anniversaries in 2023. We’re delighted to share some stories on how our milestone anniversary volunteers became involved with Marin Humane over the years and some of their favorite memories. Here’s the 2023 Milestone Anniversary List. Hooray for their years of steadfast service and big hearts!

Kim Bromley: Kim is celebrating her 30-year volunteer anniversary this month!! Trying to recap Kim’s tremendous contributions to Marin Humane over three decades is near impossible. But Dawn Kovell, our Director of Behavior & Training, gives it a terrific effort with this: “A 2016 Learning English episode entitled ‘The World Needs More Renaissance People’ describes the qualities that make up a Renaissance person. Suffice it to say, they described Kim Bromley, Marin Humane’s very own Renaissance woman, as a person who is talented in many areas.

Kim worked in film for many years where her particular combination of creativity, wry sense of humor, efficiency and ‘take no prisoners’ common sense served her well. Really, she still handles all of us in the Behavior and Training Department with exactly those skills. Kim is a talented theatrical producer and skilled actor. She is a prolific writer, and currently edits and contributes to our very own B&Tea Blog and has edited all of the B&T handouts.

My favorite piece remains a cat profile Kim wrote for Banderas in 2015. ‘Banderas is the most interesting cat in the world. He once rescued a firefighter from a tree. He killed curiosity. He has 10 lives. He doesn’t drink beer, but when he does, he drinks Dos Gatos.’

Kim has contributed to Marin Humane in too many ways to enumerate. One might say she transcends job descriptions. If you ask Kim what she gets out of volunteering, her reply is, ‘I didn’t come here for me, I came here to try and make a difference.’ Fun, clever, lovable and indispensable, Kim, you rock our world and you’ve made a difference in countless lives over the 30 years with us!’ Congratulations Kim!

Jen Myers: Celebrating her 25th volunteer anniversary is Jen Myers! Jen is a cat volunteer extraordinaire. She is our go-to person for the seniors and the shy and shut down cats. Jen uses her vast experience as a kitty caretaker to help draw them out, often with the help of flower essences. Jen was a Cat Pet Pal, and a Cat Evaluator, and is now one of our most experienced members of the Feline Intervention Team.

Additionally, she volunteered in the vet clinic and has transported many cats for medical procedures at a variety of clinics. Jen is always upbeat and takes every opportunity to learn more about cat behavior and cat body language, even though she could probably teach many of the classes she attends; in fact, she’s taught our senior cat care workshop for several years.

Jen adds, “I’m so thrilled to see the development of the Cat Behavior program with classes, consults, and finding innovative ways to help difficult, under-socialized or bewildered cats and kittens become adoptable. I’m proud that Marin Humane gives these challenging felines the time and resources they need to become good companions either as beloved housecats or as working cats in area gardens, barns, and businesses.” We’re so lucky to have Jen on board for these past 25 years! Congratulations Jen!

Armie Rambke: Armie joined the Auxiliary of Thrift Shop volunteers 25 years ago! She states, “I’ve always loved animals and had them from the time I was a child and still have pets to this day. Marin Humane was a perfect fit!” Armie feels that the customers always make for an interesting day, because you never know who might walk in and what might happen! She adds, “I was a recent widow when I started volunteering and this job helped to get me back to socializing. I’ve built many strong friendships with other volunteers and having a common goal to help animals and give back to the community has brought us together. I’ve always volunteered whether it was at my children’s schools or at organizations benefiting the community and I’m committed to volunteering for as long as I can.” We’re all feel so lucky that Armie loves volunteering at the Thrift Shop and hope she’s there another 25 years! Congratulations Armie!

Andrea Sirott: Andrea has been part of the Behavior & Training team at Marin Humane for 25 years! Currently a Dog Training Assistant in a variety of classes, Dog Training Instructor Yuching Desch says this: “Andrea has been a great DTA with my classes. She always welcomes clients with big smiles and goes the extra mile to provide her expertise when clients seek her assistance. She is also very patient with clients, especially if these clients require extra hand-holding when I couldn’t provide enough 1:1 assistance to such clients. Andrea is very observant of the clients needs and always give me a heads-up if she sees any clients who would benefit from more information or support from me. Her recently adopted terrier, Farfel, loves to roll on the floor whenever he comes to class in the pavilion. It’s pretty interesting to see because I would be explaining to the class on how to teach a behavior, then I see Farfel just enjoying himself by rolling on the floor!”

In the past, Andrea conducted shelter dog evaluations; in fact, she was known as puppy specialist. She did a full spectrum evaluation, bringing her own props like umbrellas, special puppy toys, and noisy things like crunch bags just to see how the pups handled these. For many years her dogs Squeak and Freddie helped with puppy evaluations, too. Andrea also had a really special Poodle named Bella who used to ride around in a sling while Andrea did office work. We thank Andrea for her two + decades contributing to the B&T department! Congratulations Andrea!

Joy Dal Santo: When told that she had a 20-year milestone anniversary this year, Joy said, “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years already!” Time flies when you love what you’re doing! Joy was taking classes with her dogs at Marin Humane. So many classes, she said, that it felt like she was living there. “So I decided to check into volunteering. At the time I had a very mellow little dog named Rascal, a rescue from Marin Humane. After taking the orientation, I decided to join the SHARE program with him (aka Animal-Assisted Therapy). We visited nursing homes until he started to have some health issues. Then I switched to becoming a Dog Training Assistant. I’m still a DTA, mainly helping with Nosework classes and also helping instructor Carrie Alongi with Nosework trials/events as the Volunteer Coordinator.”

Joy adds that there have been a few unforgettable moments, most recently was just last year, and it showed me the teamwork needed to rescue a dog, “Behind my home is a hill and open space. One evening I looked out and saw this small black and white dog. At first, I thought it might be a neighbor’s dog. But he didn’t look familiar. The next day there he was again on the hill. I decided to check the ‘lost dog’ page on the Marin Humane website. And there he was! I called a friend at Marin Humane, Suzanne Gollin, and she came over. She looked up the family’s info and called. They came but he was scared off. Each evening he would come halfway down the hill. But he was too fearful to come to us. One of our officers put out a crate but that didn’t help. Finally, by the fourth evening, and with the help of his family, he came down the hill into his mom’s arms. He was skinnier but happy to be rescued! Sure takes a village!”

Joy says that what keeps her inspired and committed to volunteering is “being able to help people train their dogs to their potential. Seeing the light bulb going off in the handler’s head and connecting with their dog. Giving support and sometimes giving them a nudge when they’re nervous about the training. It’s fulfilling seeing the team learn and grow.” She adds, “I’m always amazed at the different aspects of training and how a troubled dog can be transformed. Years ago, I rescued a reactive dog. He was a sweetheart but he was scared of the world. We had several behavior consults. Trish King recommended Nosework. It was new at the time. So we took one of the first Nosework classes at Marin Humane. It was amazing. He gained confidence and was able to see the world/people in a new light. He was a much happier dog with this training.” We are ever so thankful that Joy found her way to Marin Humane 20 years ago :)! Congratulations Joy!

Rosemary Oliveira: Rosemary is celebrating her 20-year anniversary at Marin Humane, and she is all about the dogs! Rosemary started as a Dog Training Assistant since she’d already learned so much taking classes with her first dog, Sparkle. Though Rosemary still keeps her DTA job, she’s also a Dog Pet Pal, walking shelter dogs several days a week, taking them to Scenting for Shelter Dog classes, and frequent off campus adventures. Most recently, Rosemary resurrected the “enrichment room,” offering various enrichment activities for the doggos on a weekly basis.

When asked, what keeps her inspired and committed, Rosemary said, “I enjoy helping people learn how to train their dogs in a kind way. Each class is interesting as people learn about training. It’s fun when they have that ‘aha’ moment and realize that the class is not really about teaching the dog new behaviors; it’s really about teaching the person how to teach the dog! I also enjoy the many opportunities to use what I have learned over the years to help the shelter dogs become ‘good’ dogs and find their own couch! As I learned how to be a DTA and train dogs, I was struck by how similar it was in many ways to teaching children—provide a safe environment, keep it positive, reward success, be patient and consistent.” Thank you, Rosemary, for all you do for the public, their dogs, and the shelter dogs for making lives happy! Congratulations Rosemary!

Thank you to all of the Marin Humane and Hopalong volunteers celebrating special milestone anniversaries this year!