Many people (especially in this day and age) have heard the old adage about not taking work home with you. Lynda Buckmaster, a volunteer in the foster department, is not aware of it.
She was a foster parent to two of her five cats and, if that isn’t enough she’s currently taking care of three two-week-old bottle babies as well (as of this writing in early May). She had two others as well but when they were recently returned to the Humane Society for their shots, it was determined they were now old enough for adoption. The kittens, named Daniel, Day and Lewis, require bottle feeding every three hours, day or night.
“I started with the Winnipeg Humane Society in 2018 as a foster parent,” she explained. “I liked the Foster department and being a volunteer there I got to see the animals that need fostering and often I…just take them home.
“I am a foster fail,” she laughed.
Lynda volunteers once a week for two hours with the foster team. “When animals are going out the door to a foster parent, I gets the packages ready and the animal ready and make sure they have everything they need,” she said. “And when the animals come back, I organize the stuff that’s coming back and put the animals away in their cages.
“I also make sure the supply closet has enough supplies to make packages for our animals.”
The COVID-19 pandemic currently has the shelter closed (except to appointments) so Lynda isn’t volunteering in the office, but because she is a foster parent she does have to bring her animals back in every two weeks for shots and a quick check-up, Lynda does get a chance to see some friends (both two- and four-legged) in the Foster department.
“My team is really great,” she said. “We have a good time and we take good care of the animals.”
And the Foster department is very appreciative of Lynda’s hard work and dedication. “The work Lynda has done for us has literally saved lives,” said Michelle Hedin of the Foster department. “Most recently, she took three kittens, bottle babies that need to be fed every 2-3 hours even during the night for the next two weeks. Between her fostering critical care kittens and helping us send out other animals to other foster homes, she is a wonderful addition to the Foster family.”
A life-long love of animals got her interested in volunteering at the WHS. She had dogs and cats as pets growing up – “Mostly strays – whatever came around,” she laughed. She still likes dogs and cats but said dogs make for more work. Cats are more independent.
“After retiring I needed something to do because I’m not the type of person who can sit around and do nothing. I love animals and I knew that the Humane Society could always use volunteers, so I went to a recruitment meeting and immediately decided that’s what I want to do. I started in Foster and I’m still in Foster.“
Lynda said she has her hands full with eight cats and kittens at home but she wouldn’t want it any other way. The cats give her so much pleasure. But it is interesting to watch the relationships between them.
“My oldest cat is not happy with any of the kittens,” she laughed. “He just ignores them. The cats are outdoor cats so they spend a lot of time outside. Of the other four cats, I have two that are babysitters. They watch the kittens and make sure they are behaving themselves. My two youngest are more like playmates. They want to play with the little ones.”
Written by: Brian Kozak, Volunteer
A group of volunteers founded the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1894 and are vital to our success today! With the help of volunteers, we can provide care, love and attention to our four (and sometimes two) legged friends until they find their forever homes. The MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) will recognize the work and get to know these special MVP’s in a spotlight each month that includes an article and photo shoot. MVPs will receive a framed photo and gift card as our thanks!
Is there a volunteer you’d like to nominate to be MVP? E-mail us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell us why you think they should be an MVP!