May 2015 Volunteers of the Month: Deanne Croan & Ingrid Ellerbee

by Jen Cohen • Posted in: Volunteer of the Month, Volunteering

Thank you to May’s Volunteers of the Month, Deanne Croan & Ingrid Ellerbee. Deanne and Ingrid have been generously volunteering at APA! for years, they have been invaluable to APA! in so many areas!

This is what their peers have to say about them:

Deanne Croan & Ingrid Ellerbee

[Deanne and Ingrid] have been with our program since 2010 as feeders, fosters and transporters. Extremely reliable duo who are passionate about our cause! —Cassandra, Neonatal Manager

Ingrid and Deanne are a “unit” and always come together to feed our babies. They transport, they foster so many kittens, they take extra shifts to keep the nursery running, they help train new volunteers. Ingrid and Deanne have been with the program since the beginning and give us all a sense of belonging. They are always calm in the face of chaos, and they make newcomers and old timers both feel at home in the nursery–and they are FUN to work with! —Beckie, Neonatal Training Lead

[Deanne and Ingrid] have fostered SO MANY kittens, and usually the youngest of our neonates! Plus they volunteer in the nursery every week. They are a rockstar team! —Anonymous

[Deanne and Ingrid] have fostered 90+ neonatal foster kittens, which means waking up every 2-3 hours and dealing with very medically fragile kittens, as well as feeding in the bottle baby nursery on a regular basis ever since the nursery was a trailer on South Congress. They’ve also helped with various events. —Anonymous

And here’s what they said when we got to know them a little better:


How did you get interested in volunteering at APA!?
Five years ago, we reached capacity with our own pets at home, but we still wanted to help animals in some way. Volunteering was the best option since we could get our “baby animal fix” and not add to our own household (!!). We saw a Craigslist ad asking for help at the bottle baby trailer on South Congress and started volunteering there. We mutually agreed that we would help on site, but definitely NOT foster. Well, that didn’t last very long! We are now on our 100th foster and have added two “foster fails” to our home, one kitten (Janis) and one puppy (Emmylou), now ages 2 and 3.

What are you most passionate about at APA!?
APA saves animals that would, very likely, not be adopted otherwise. We think that’s amazing and it keeps us motivated to help as much as we can. We especially love working with the tiniest, neonatal kittens.

What is your favorite thing to do at APA!?
Feeding/fostering bottle baby kittens and watching their ears wiggle when the feeding is going well!

What are some words of wisdom for new APA! volunteers?
Clean everything!!!

Deanne Croan & Ingrid EllerbeeDo you have a favorite cat or dog at APA!?
Our current favorites are the three fosters we have right now: Button, Bear, and Bloom, age 3 weeks. Over the last five years, the two we adopted are our absolute favorites, but there are also a few foster experiences that really stay with us. One of those, Popeye, was especially important to us. He had many health concerns as an infant, but, with the help and guidance of APA’s incredible vet clinic staff, we got him through them all, and he was adopted by a family with six children and is having a great life.

What’s an interesting fact about you people may not know?
Almost all of our kitten fosters get to go camping with us. We volunteer with various music festivals. In a few days, we are heading to the Kerrville Folk Festival, where the above photo of us was taken. This will be our 15th year as volunteers there. Can’t wait! Several of our fosters have been adopted by people who met them at a festival. A music circle is also a great place to socialize kittens.