John, our volunteer of the month, leans from left of frame making an exaggeratedly excited expression at a black cat on the right. The cat is very poised and meets his gaze with a mildly curious expression.

Volunteer of the Month: John P.

Here at Seattle Area Feline Rescue (SAFe), volunteers are the heartbeat of our organization. Their dedication and passion for our cause are what keep our operations running smoothly and our kitty friends happy. Today, we’re thrilled to shine the spotlight on John, one of our outstanding volunteers, whose commitment and enthusiasm has truly made a difference.

John has been a valued member of our team since November 2023. Starting on the Clean Team, he now serves on the Cat Care team, specializing in ringworm care. Reflecting on his journey, John shares, “From the clean team to cat care, it’s rewarding to contribute to the operation’s success. Every role plays a crucial part, and I’m grateful to be a part of it.”

Why He Volunteers

For John, volunteering was a way to cope with the loss of his beloved cat.

“After my cat passed away, I sought solace in volunteering at a shelter to ease my grief and reaffirm my love for helping cats,” John says. “SAFe happened to be the nearest shelter to me.”

Volunteering, he explains, brings a sense of peace. “Being at SAFe and helping out is a welcome change of pace. It’s my way of making the day a little brighter for these furry companions.”

Not only has volunteering brought fulfillment to John’s life; it’s also provided him with valuable insights.

“Just by checking in and grabbing my nametag, I can see the immense support from volunteers and the variety of positions they occupy,” he observes. “It’s truly amazing to witness the collective effort that keeps the operation running smoothly.”

Best Experiences

One of the aspects John particularly enjoys is witnessing the unique antics of the cats. He finds joy in seeing each cat mess up their space in their own playful ways. “Some cats love to incorporate the litter as decor, others like to dip their blankets in the water bowl,” John chuckles. “While it can be frustrating, it’s nice to see them all have that fun.”

John’s fondest memories at SAFe involve fixing up an enclosure and placing a blanket atop a perch, only for a cat to promptly claim it as their own. “It’s a pretty good feeling helping these cats have a little bit more fun for the time they’re with us,” John remarked with a smile.

To those considering volunteering, John offers encouraging words: “Absolutely do it! If you have a passion for helping animals, you’ll find a community of like-minded individuals at SAFe who will support you every step of the way.”

More About John

Outside of SAFe, John is passionate about cooking and works as a cook at Pagliacci in Kenmore, drawing from his decade-long experience in pizza kitchens. When not at work or volunteering, he enjoys spending time with friends, biking on the Burke-Gilman Trail, playing video games, and savoring delicious food.

Looking ahead, John is excited about pursuing a career in animal welfare. “Volunteering at SAFe has ignited my passion for animal care,” he shares. “I’m grateful for the support of everyone here, as well as the inspiration from my family and my late cat.”

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