4Paws Rescue Team Adopt,Volunteer Spotlight Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Ortega, Fairfax Petco Store Coordinator

Volunteer Spotlight: Karen Ortega, Fairfax Petco Store Coordinator

My volunteering story with 4Paws began in Spring 2018, when I went to a restaurant next to the old PetValu store in Alexandria. After my meal, I walked by the store to see the kitties and I saw a sign calling for volunteers. I decided to sign up, and before long, I was onboard helping out.

I remember one of the first kitties I got to send home: his name was Purrnando, aptly named as he was a loud purring machine. It gave me so much joy to see this little creature going home with someone that was going to love him and give him a better life. I felt grateful to all my fellow volunteers who worked together to make this happen—the transporter; the store volunteers who came twice a day to feed, clean and socialize with him; the adoption coordinators; the staff at the PetValu store who generously gave the space and essential supplies for our rescues; and of course the adopter who decided he was going to take on the responsibility to care for this kitty for the rest of his life.

Lately my job has made it hard for me to devote the time I want to the rescue, although I still find time to help out as much as I can. In a way, I need the volunteer work as it helps me cope with stress that comes from my day job. After a long and hard week at work, going to the Burke or Fairfax Petco to get my ‘kitty fix’ makes me clear my mind and feel happy and relaxed again. The slogan that you often see on car windshields and storefronts is ringing true these days: “who saved whom?”

I look forward to continuing my volunteer work with 4Paws and feel so grateful for the amazing people I have met. It is a privilege to work with you all and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your collaboration and the selfless time dedicated to taking care of our 4Paws kitties.