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volunteer of the month ellen grove

Posted By SLCo Animal Services
August 20, 2018

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Meet Salt Lake County Animal Services' September Volunteer of the Month: Ellen Grove! Interested in volunteering find out more

Volunteer Q&A
What brought you to SLCoAS?
I’ve always wanted to volunteer at a shelter, but I have worked full-time and didn’t want to take the extra time away from my own pups. When I retired last fall, I signed up to get a group tour and information session conducted by FACES. I didn’t know previously that SLCoAS was a no-kill shelter and I was really impressed with that and with everything that the shelter has accomplished over the years. I love doing the enrichments for the dogs. The pupsicles are kind of messy to make, but the expressions on their faces when I hand them out makes it worthwhile. When I do this, or aromatherapy, or CLICK for QUIET, it gives me the opportunity to just visit with them for a few minutes.

Tell us about your family and fur kiddos:  I am a retired librarian, so I spend a lot of my free time reading. I also spend time walking and playing with Gunnar, my almost 4-year-old Norwegian Elkhound. I’m a little embarrassed to say that he’s not a rescue, but I became acquainted with this breed when I was in college and always wanted to have one. I’ve had a number of wonderful shelter dogs in the past, who have helped me get through some difficult times. I’ve been married to Don, a retired software engineer, for twelve years. Retirement is new enough for both of us that just spending some time hanging out has been wonderful.and Gunnar is happy to have us both at home. We are empty nesters, but I have two kids and five step kids scattered around the country. Our first grandchild is now four months old but lives in Virginia, so we can’t see her nearly as much as we’d like to!

What is one of your favorite adoption stories? I haven’t been volunteering that long, but my favorite adoption story so far has been Bruno (AKA Burger) He was on of the first dogs I met and I fell in love with him. He was always so happy to get attention. I’ve been able to follow him through our volunteer Facebook page, and have been thrilled when he went to foster and ultimately was adopted.

What advice do you have for new SLCoAS volunteers? My advice to volunteers is to try to learn as much as you can through asking questions (everyone’s friendly and grateful for what we do). Take advantage of the behavior seminars; I’ve attended three so far, and have learned a lot to help me understand the shelter dogs and my own dog. 

Tell us something unique about you:  My husband says my laugh is unique! I do try to find humor in situations and this helps me to deal with the sadness. Also, I read 128 books last year and 66 so far this year. 

Where is your favorite place to travel?  I’m very excited to be traveling to Cape Cod this year. I lived there for many years and have not been back in 25 years! Otherwise, most of our travel has been to visit family members (San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Virginia Beach, and Idaho).. In my younger days, I traveled to Russia, France, and the UK. I’m hoping to get back to Europe soon.