Joanne Groat has been a volunteer for Animal Harbor since 2007. She has been involved in wildlife rehabilitation and has a great love of animals and a passion for helping them. During her first year, Joanne came in once a week and helped with the afternoon cleaning and cat care.  Later on, because of her work schedule, it became difficult for her to get to Animal Harbor every week, so she offered to do some work from home.

Joanne does all of the follow-up calls to our adopters. This is an important job, because with these calls we find out how the pets are adjusting to their new homes and whether they are meeting the expectations of their adopters.  If the adopters are having any difficulties, we can coach them through some possible solutions which may make the difference between a pet staying in her/his new home, or being returned or given away.  Joanne’s knowledge and experience, as well as her compassion, make her well suited to doing outreach work to new adopters.
Joanne also assists our Treasurer by writing a large percentage of our thank-you notes to donors—hundreds of letters per year. This is important to make sure that people who give money or supplies to Animal Harbor are acknowledged and know we appreciate them. This helps to keep our funding steady so we can continue to save as many lives as possible. 

Joanne is also a foster parent for young kittens in her home. When kittens need to be bottle-fed, they need attention every 2 hours while they are very young.  It is an exhausting time for whoever is "mothering" them, but it is also very rewarding when we see the kittens grow up and find forever homes.  Right now Joanne has a nursing mother and kittens. The mama cat benefits greatly from being in a foster home instead of in the stressful shelter environment.  Baby kittens are also especially susceptible to disease and with new cats and dogs coming and going every day, the risk of germs is higher at the shelter than in a private home.

For the time Joanne has spent over so many years, and her unfailing devotion to our cause, we are proud to award Joanne the award of Volunteer of the Decade.