Lea Yates

Volunteer Since January 2020

Lea Yates originally reached out to our team looking to spotlight some of our adoptable pets. She wanted to use her social media platform to do a “Pet of the Week” feature for us. We happily said yes and she started coming to our shelter on a weekly basis to take photos of some of our adoptable pets. The features she did on our pets helped us connect with more people in the community and allowed some of our long-term pets to be highlighted and adopted. After getting to know the staff and facility more she agreed to sign up to become an official HHS volunteer in January 2020. She is a huge help with our morning cleaning routine (laundry, dishes, cat cage cleaning) and she is great with the cats at the shelter. She still does a “Pet of the Week” feature every week and has also recently started a fundraiser for our shelter (click on the flyer below)! Her positive and upbeat personality always brings joy to the staff, volunteers, and pets here at the shelter. We are so grateful for her kindness and dedication to our organization.

Why did you decide to volunteer at HHS?

Because of a crazy work schedule I don’t feel it would be fair to adopt a dog, through volunteering I can get that canine “fix” I’m not able to have at home. I am also extremely passionate about cats and live with two adorable rescues, Gibbers and Riggs. Though precious, they are very possessive so any hope to bring another little fella in to the family is slim. Spending time at Heritage allows me to play with and love on the residents I’m not able to adopt. 

How has volunteering impacted your life?

I initially was drawn to HHS as a way to spotlight a “Pet of the Week” on my Facebook page to aid in the adoption process. After a few visits I found I wanted to spend more time with the staff and residents. I thought that volunteering would consist of walking dogs and playing with kittens which happens, but is a very small part of the experience. Who knew how much I would look forward to an 8:00 am shift consisting of cleaning litter boxes and cages? I have fallen in love quite a few times (I’ll never forget my buddy, Klondike) and am disappointed when I don’t see my favorites, but there is a feeling of absolute joy knowing an animal has found their home. Many Pets of the Week are adopted, however, I was blessed to be a part of the adoption of a long term resident, Chocolate. The memory of watching this opinionated and outspoken kitty complete the family of a friend always brings a smile to my face! I will continue to advocate for adoptions anyway that I can.