Debbie VanStory

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

OC Community Resources
OC Animal Care

ACTION: What does the volunteer do?

Since joining the OC Animal Care volunteer team on August 1, 2011, Debbie VanStory has proven to be one of the center’s most prolific volunteers, dedicating more than 1,300 hours of service. She initially signed up as a volunteer dog walker to help exercise and socialize abandoned pets. However, Debbie quickly realized that she could expand her volunteer involvement with OC Animal Care by tapping into her professional skills as a photographer. By combining her passion for dogs and experience in photography, Debbie captures the image of dozens of animals available for adoption. The photos are a great way to showcase the animals and increase the likelihood that they’ll find forever homes with responsible pet owners.

One of Debbie's many photos . . .

Shelter Dog             

NEED: What community need does the volunteer address?

Debbie has an innate ability to identify those special dogs that need some extra attention to help promote their adoption. These animals are often overlooked by the public for one reason or another. With patience and expertise, Debbie carefully works with each dog to capture its unique personality in colorful, vibrant photographs. The images are uploaded to OC Animal Care's website and social media pages, enhancing the shelter’s ability to attract potential adopters.

While promoting an array of adoptable animals online, Debbie helps build strong community relationships by providing the public with important information about the shelter and its commitment to caring for thousands of unwanted pets each year. She is a passionate advocate for OC Animal Care staff and volunteers who strive to educate the public about adoptable pets, shelter operations and the humane treatment of animals.

IMPACT: What is different as a result of the volunteer's service?

Thanks to Debbie's skills as a photographer, OC Animal Care's website contains dozens of high-quality photographs that reach out to viewers who are interested in providing good homes to abandoned pets. In addition to attracting potential adopters, the photos also promote a positive image of the shelter, which encourages community members to visit the facility.

One of Debbie's many photos . . .

Shelter Dog

INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteer unique/special?

Through her efforts with social media and contributions to OC Animal Care's website, Debbie implements new and creative avenues to promote the adoption of shelter animals. She coordinates her activities with staff to ensure that both the animals and the shelter experience positive outcomes. Debbie consistently goes above and beyond the normal expectations for an OC Animal Care volunteer, and the results of her hard work and dedication are evident, especially for the dozens of abandoned pets that she’s photographed over the years that now live with loving, responsible families.

Thank you and congratulations to Debbie VanStory, recipient of the Excellence in Volunteerism Award!

Click here to find out how you can volunteer with the OC Animal Care.