Austin Pets Alive! is proud to recognize our volunteer of the month for June, Jessica Marsh!
Jessica is a highly valued volunteer in the medical clinic. Throughout the past four years, Jessica has helped out in every way she can. Whether she is doing data entry for the medical team, fostering hospices, or evaluating dogs brought to the shelter, Jessica is the kind of volunteer that the APA! could not survive without. Jessica successfully balances her career and volunteering.
Here is what fellow APA!-ers have to say about her:
“She's in the clinic helping out ALL the time :). She does data entry for the medical team, she assists the medical team in taking care of the animals in the clinic, she takes on hospice fosters, she's helping Dr. K with records management project for the parvo ward, and I know she and Holly came in and helped scrub down the cat area on Saturday.”
-Pam Martin foster/dog foster mentor for the dog-foster-coordination team
“Jessica Marsh is in the clinic helping in any way she can almost everyday. She is constantly helping our TLAC tech and is super helpful when we have huge intakes. Whenever the clinic is in a bind, she’s the one we call. Moreover, she does our data entry alongside Catherine. WE LOVE HER!”
“Jessica volunteers countless hours a week in the clinic. While she is a paid data entry person, she is in the clinic teaching 20+ hours a week and hospice fosters.”
– Jordana Moerbe, Clinic Manager
“Jessica Marsh is one of our most valued volunteers. She started out walking dogs in 2010 and quickly became more involved, doing intake and evaluations with the dog team. She then spent a year in San Antonio to help get SAPA up and running. She now volunteers most of her time off of work at the medical clinic, performing tech duties or in the parvo ward. She once stayed in the clinic with me until 10pm after everyone else left to help with an emergency abdominal surgery on a parvo positive dog. She has an ongoing list made by veterinary staff called "Jess' List of Visions" where we right down clinic needs that require the creative solution of a highly skilled volunteer. Despite having a full time job as a lawyer, she enters data for medical records, which is a "paid" hourly position, but is almost volunteer considering her education and skill level. Medical records have improved dramatically since she started at this position. She is also a foster who takes on our most challenging medical and hospice cases. I can rest easy knowing a critical case is in Jessica Marsh's care. She is a vital asset to the APA! team!”
-Dr. Kristen Kjellberg, Veterinarian
Here is some information about Jessica in her own words:
How did you get interested in volunteering at APA!?
I have been a lifelong animal lover. As a little girl I could often be found dragging some poor little stray animal around with me. At one point, much to my parent's chagrin, I had taken in an orphaned duck, a fledgling robin with a broken wing, and a paralyzed squirrel. I even once hatched a plan to round up the family of field mice in our garage and rehome them before my dad set out traps or let our cat into the garage.
I had been an APA! fan and follower for a long time but just never quite found the time to sign up for orientation due to law school and work. In August 2010 after getting past law school, the bar exam, and a spinal surgery I was finally able to sign up for orientation. I've been volunteering ever since and the rest, as they say, is history.
What are you most passionate about at APA!?
Our hospice foster program.
It's really hard to take in a foster knowing that they will not get adopted and will not be with us long but I love that APA! is willing to help hospice patients. These dogs and cats deserve a chance to live out their days with dignity in a loving environment. I am honored to give a dog a home and a family for his final days, weeks, or months.
What is your favorite thing to do at APA?
I love volunteering in the medical clinic! It's fast-paced, exciting, and there's never a dull moment. There's always something new to learn or a new skill to master and the staff is always willing to take a moment to teach. Plus, in the medical clinic I get to work with every animal in the APA! system from neonatal kittens to geriatric dogs!
What are some words of wisdom for new APA! volunteers?
Try new things! APA! volunteers have so many opportunities to work with different programs that there's always a chance to try a new area out. You never know what program you'll end up falling in love with.
Do you have a favorite dog or cat at APA!?
My favorite is always whichever dog or cat needs the most love at the moment, whether that be a new hospice foster, a hospitalized dog or cat, or a parvo puppy.
What's an interesting fact about you people may not know?
In "real life" outside of APA!, I am a lawyer and manage complex civil rights and constitutional litigation for the largest state agency.