Volunteer of the Month: Barb Dunakey

Julia D Volunteer of the Month

Barb began her journey into cat rescue in 2009. She didn’t know anything about trapping and rescuing cats but she jumped right in when she learned about cats being killed in a feral colony. She says, “Learning how to set traps was challenging and getting cats out of the traps once caught was even more so, as I didn’t know how to open the trap to get them out… but I learned very quickly, and rescuing feral kittens and doing TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) started my love of rescuing!”

She began fostering for Last Hope in January of 2017 (pictured are four of her current fosters). Barb is now the cat lead in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area and they have foster homes taking care of about 60 cats and 7 rabbits. She tries to be very supportive of the foster homes because many of them are new to rescue. Barb makes an effort to accompany the fosters to vet visits and has a “pharmacy” in her home for cats that need medication. She also administers shots for vaccinations when kittens or some adult cats come into the rescue. Because most of her fosters have full-time jobs, Barb also helps out with transports down to IHA in Cedar Rapids.

Barb also helps by entering data into our computer program that tracks our animals, writing biographies for the cats, photographs the cats, processes applications, performs home visits (sometimes as far away as Iowa City), and attends every adoption event in the Waterloo area. She’s one busy person!

“I love to help market Last Hope in this area, too!  On the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, you can hear me on 93.5TheMix radio station on their ‘Wet Nose Wednesday’ segments, which are broadcast 3 times a day.  I also make a poster about my subject of the day and it is placed on the 93.5TheMix FB page.”

About volunteering for Last Hope Barb says, “I LOVE volunteering for Last Hope!  Of the 3 rescues I have volunteered for in 10 years, they are without a doubt the most organized, professional, hardworking and dedicated volunteers I have been associated with!  Many of them really inspire me – especially those who are younger and have kids and jobs – yet they take time out of their busy lives to foster and clean the Adoption Center and socialize the cats and dogs residing there!”

We were able to expand into the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area with Barb’s help and dedication. Thank you for being such an important part of Last Hope and our mission to help homeless animals!