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Featured Volunteers: Karen Cunningham and Chris Bunck

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Karen Cunningham

 

What is your professional background?

I worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior for 30+ years as an information technology specialist  (computer person), mostly here in Madison at the National Wildlife Health Center.  I actually trained as a wildlife biologist, but started using computers to manage data … and slid sideways into a new field.  Loved the work, but happily retired as of the beginning of 2017.

Fun fact (although this definitely shows my age): When I started out, people were still using terminals to access minicomputers.  I did the data analysis for my master’s degree using punch cards (which I still have somewhere).  The personal computer revolution didn’t start for another decade.  EEK!

 

How long have you been volunteering for Angel’s Wish?

Since May of 2017.

 

Why did you choose Angel’s Wish?

I adopted an adorable 9 month old tortoiseshell kitten from Angel’s Wish in December of 2002.  Actually, she reached out a paw and grabbed my jacket, and adopted me.  I really appreciated the work that Angel’s Wish was, and still is, doing for cats in need and wanted to help out.

 

What are your volunteering duties?

Chris and I work with the cats quartered over at Pet Supplies Plus (PSP) in Fitchburg. One week a month we go over every day and make sure all the munchkins are doing well, do some housekeeping, and then play with the cats.  It gets them out of their condos, and gives them some exercise and some people time.  Having two people to split the chores really helps, although I’m the lucky one that gets most of the cuddling duties.

NOTE: The staff at PSP are great, they do the morning and evening chores, and track any issues with the cats.  They anxiously await new kitties as the ones there get adopted, and ask for updates on old favorites.  For the holidays, they’ve put up a giving tree with photos of some of the Angel’s Wish cats to help with donations.

 

What pets do you have?

Tashi, my tortie, is now almost 16 and getting a little slower, but rules the house with a velvet paw.  I also have the chubbiest squirrels and chipmunks on the west side of Madison, and a varied congregation of songbirds, which Tashi loves to watch.

 

What is most satisfying about volunteering at Angel’s Wish?

I get a lot of joy from knowing that I’m helping cats in need, but the best part – no question – is cuddling all the cats.  They are so wonderful!

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Bunck

 

What is your professional background?

I studied both wildlife biology & statistics in college. After finishing graduate degrees, I was worked for the US Department of Interior for 35 years conducting research on migratory birds, endangered species & environmental contaminants. My husband’s work brought us to Madison in 1997 and I finished my career studying wildlife diseases.

 

How long have you been volunteering for Angel’s Wish?

I started in spring of 2015.

 

Why did you choose Angel’s Wish?

At the end of my working years, we had adopted a cat from Angel’s Wish.  I had always wanted to give back to AW but was too busy with work. When I retired, I had time to volunteer with AW and other groups in the Verona area. In retirement I didn’t want any long drives.

 

What pets do you have?

Rosie is the calico/tabby mix that we adopted from AW about 5 years ago.  She is a very vocal cat and is enjoying the extra attention now that my husband & I are retired & home much more. She is very good at demanding attention (especially from my husband) when she is not napping and sits with me in the evening to watch TV.

 

What is most satisfying about volunteering at Angel’s Wish?

Like Karen, I helping cats in need and helping to find them ‘forever homes’. So many to help.

 

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experiences at Angel’s Wish?

I have been really impressed with the fostering component of the program at Angel’s Wish.  It helps to prepare the cats for their transitions into their adoptive homes.  It is a great selling point to the folks who visit the cats at PSP.  The folks who help out with this part of the program are an inspiration.