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Featured Volunteers: Kathy & Tom Myatt
Kathy Myatt and her husband Tom wanted to do something special when their beloved North Shore Animal League America Mutt-i-gree® passed away in 2012. So, to honor Reggie, formally known around Animal League America as Matrix, the couple decided they would volunteer their time at the organization that provided them with the pets that would supply years of love and countless memories.
“We adopted Reggie when he was a young adult. He was at the shelter for a while, apparently he was having trouble finding a home. He was a big German Shepherd mix with these huge ears that were too big for his head, so I guess people were a little intimidated by him, but not us,” Kathy said. “He was the sweetest dog and gave us 12 of the greatest years of our lives! We were devastated when he passed, so to honor him and carry on his legacy we decided to volunteer. I carry his adoption papers in my pocket every time I’m there.”
Kathy, a retired accounting teacher at Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, spends most of her time at Animal League America as an administrative dynamo, assisting Benefits Manager Alice Faeth with anything and everything she needs throughout the day. Whether it’s collating, shredding, preparing monthly birthday cards and gift certificates, copying documents, or organizing the Mutt-i-grees® library, Kathy can be counted on to tackle every assignment with a smile.
“Whatever I can do to free her [Alice] up and take some work off of her plate, and allow her to focus on the amazing people who work here, I am happy to do. The staff here works so hard and care about the animals like they are family, and Alice does all she can to make sure they are taken care of,” said Kathy, who has quickly become a Gold Level Volunteer, amassing more than 328 hours of service. “Every day I am here, I’m blown away at how much the staff cares for the animals. I just want to be able to contribute and make their lives a little easier in any way that I can.”
While Kathy spends most Tuesdays and Fridays in the Human Resources offices, her husband Tom, who still works full time as an X-ray technologist, spends Fridays working as a caretaker to many of the larger and longer tenured dogs. He said he’s always had an affinity for the bigger dogs, in large part because his old pal Reggie was a gentle giant himself, so having the chance to take them out for walks and giving them the attention they deserve is as much a treat for him as it is for them. Apparently, giving one or two of these loveable shelter pets a permanent home every now and then isn’t out of the question either!
“About a year ago I got to know one of the dogs pretty well, and sure enough we wound up adopting him. He was about three years old and was at the shelter for a while. I couldn’t stand to see him living his life without a family and a home, so one day I made it official and adopted him,” said Tom. “Some of the Pet Behavior team even helped to introduce him to our other dog Kiera, who is also a North Shore rescue dog. The people here really go above and beyond to make sure every single animal is given the utmost care. I’m honored to be part of it.”