by Frank Bucholtz/Special for the Aldergrove Star
Cathy Cook recently received the Patti Dale Achievement Award at the Langley Animal Protection Society’s annual gala.
“She’s amazing,” said Jenn Schroeder, media liaison for LAPS. “She helps support each other in every way possible.”
Cook has been a volunteer at LAPS for five years and has been a tremendous asset to the organization. She even helped set up and clean up the gala, which this year was held outdoors at the Thunderbird Equestrian Center.
She was one of five volunteers nominated for the award. LAPS has over 100 volunteers, including people who take animals into their homes. He’s lost quite a few during COVID and is always ready to help more people.
Cook, 64, has nothing but praise for LAPS, which she says is a wonderful organization to be a part of as a volunteer.
“Volunteers are very essential,” she said. “LAPS does its best to recognize the value of volunteers. That’s why I stuck around.
She first connected with LAPS to have her cat neutered and became a volunteer in November 2017 when she had more time to do so. She had a long career spanning over four decades in occupational health and safety, which she continues to do as a consultant. After becoming a volunteer, she quickly realized that LAPS needed a workplace health and safety plan and was instrumental in setting up a safety committee and a workplace safety program. security.
“I was in the right place at the right time. They didn’t even know they needed it,” Cook said.
She continues to be involved in this area and stressed that it is very important to have such a program in place in a facility where staff care for animals, which are unpredictable.
“We have a protocol for staff in dealing with dangerous animals,” she added.
This is just one of the many roles she has fulfilled as a volunteer. She also regularly calls people who have adopted cats and kittens through the shelter, to see how the experience went and address any concerns. This tracking information is very valuable as LAPS adjusts its systems. Many adult cats are adopted at the shelter and many kittens are taken in by volunteers. Feedback is important.
She lives in the North Otter area, less than a five minute drive from the shelter, and comes to the shelter at least once a week to feed and socialize the cats. It also helps cats become more likely to be adopted.
She helps with setting up and taking down during events, such as the gala in mid-July.
“When I heard about the award (in advance), I said ‘I can’t be invited. I need to get up and help’.
She even takes turns doing the dishes, which is harder than it looks. In order to keep things hygienic and prevent viruses from spreading through the shelter, thorough dishwashing is essential.
She is very supportive of LAPS and its approach to animal welfare.
“(The company) is a most caring group,” she said. “If an animal has to go to a shelter, that’s the place to be. It’s a no-kill shelter, and it works with animals to make them adoptable.
She was “stunned” to receive the award and is honored to receive an award named after the shelter’s founder, Patti Dale.
“She would still be thrilled (with LAPS), and her daughters are still involved.”
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