Erin McCarthy & Brooke Patchin

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winners

OC Community Resources
OC Animal Care

ACTION: What do the volunteers do?

Erin McCarthy and Brooke Patchin are an amazing OC Animal Care volunteer team! Since July 2009, they have combined their individual interests and skills to increase animal adoptions and develop educational material geared for adopters and other volunteers.

Erin, who volunteers as a cat and bunny socializer, dedicates countless hours each month to interacting with and getting to know the many cats and bunnies housed at the shelter. While she works with the animals, she photographs them, assigns names and jots down notes, highlighting their unique personalities. Erin forwards the information to Brooke who utilizes the photos and profiles to create beautiful signs that are placed on each animal’s cage. The signs are a great tool in drawing attention to the cats and bunnies and are very effective in promoting animal adoptions.

Additionally, Erin and Brooke have teamed up to develop educational material for the shelter. As a result of their efforts, dog and cat basic grooming packets are distributed with each adoption. Other volunteers may also pick up the grooming material to enhance their knowledge and skills in caring for the shelter’s animals.

NEED: What community or agency need do the volunteers address?

Due to limited staff, projects to promote special pets for adoption and develop educational material may not have been accomplished without the leadership and support that Erin and Brooke have so generously provided.

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

Erin and Brooke offer excellent educational material to the public and other volunteers that focuses on basic grooming for dogs and cats. The material includes descriptions of grooming equipment and tools that are currently available for pets. The outcome of their efforts is that the public become better pet owners, and volunteers improve their skills in grooming shelter pets

In addition to their educational support, the photos and profiles that appear on Erin and Brooke’s signs have been instrumental in helping to place dozens of cats and bunnies into new homes. The volunteers have created a great marketing tool for showcasing animals that are ready for adoption.

INSPIRATION: What makes the volunteers unique/special?

Erin and Brooke are creative individuals who are focused on solving problems. When they noticed that shelter staff struggled to find time to update photos of animals and showcase them in a special way, they came up with a solution. They are willing to take on new challenges and open to assisting with a variety of shelter projects. Erin and Brooke are dedicated volunteers whose outstanding efforts benefit the animals sheltered at OC Animal Care as well as staff, volunteers and community members.

Thank you and congratulations to Erin McCarthy & Brooke Patchin, 2010 Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winners!

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