Congratulations to Kristi Ryczek, the GRRA August Volunteer of the Month! Kristi is a foster that has also has chipped in performing other important tasks, such as intakes and transports. After being told she was the August Volunteer of the Month, Kristi said, “I am truly honored, as I know there so many deserving volunteers in this fabulous organization.”
Kristi started volunteering in GRRA in 2012. She found a golden mix running across 4 lanes of traffic on Highway 92 in Woodstock and didn’t want him to get hit by a car. She made her way to the dog, opened her car door and the dog jumped right in. After two weeks of Kristi trying to locate his owner and checking regularly with the shelters with no success, she knew she needed to find a rescue that would take him. After contacting other rescues that weren’t able to take him, she emailed GRRA. Kristi recalls she immediately received a phone call from long-time GRRA volunteer, Cynthia Ring. Kristi offered to foster the dog, Bear, and Cynthia did her home check. She has been volunteering ever since!
In addition to fostering for GRRA, Kristi also fosters for several other organizations. When Kristi fosters for GRRA, she is known to be willing to accept the more complicated foster dogs. For example, she has fostered dogs that had issues with resource guarding and other behavioral issues. Recently, Kristi fostered seven puppies! Anyone who has had a puppy in the house knows what kind of commitment it takes. Multiply that commitment times seven and you get an idea just how dedicated Kristi is to GRRA and our dogs.
When asked what her most rewarding moment with GRRA was, Kristi answered, “There have been so many! I'd have to say being able to place dogs like Stella, who had major behavioral issues, with other dogs. I love being able to play a small part in rehabilitating and training these dogs. Generally, no one wants to foster or work with the more difficult dogs, but dogs with behavioral issues are the dogs that I want to foster. They have my heart.”
In the busy world we live in, it takes someone special to spend their limited free time helping dogs in need. Kristi clearly demonstrates her passion for dogs by volunteering. She explained her motivation saying, “Seeing all of the stories of my adoptees living the high life with their new families is great. I did Bosley's intake and that poor dog was terribly neglected. I love seeing him healthy and happy with his amazing family, Ken and Nancy Winfield. I love seeing my former foster dog, Stella, romping around with her little boy owner. I love seeing those puppies grow up, doing fun things like going to ball games and the beach. Most of all, I love seeing them being loved & cherished by their families.” In her rescue work, Kristi often deals with dogs with behavioral issues as well as injured and neglected dogs. She shared, “Healing these babies physically & emotionally is the most rewarding feeling. I'm always surprised & humbled by how far they come in such a short time. Dogs never cease to amaze me.” Many of us in rescue have seen first hand how true that sentiment is.
Thank you, Kristi, for your time and dedication to GRRA and to helping so many dogs in need. We truly appreciate all you do!
If reading Kristi’s story has inspired you to volunteer or to find out more about fostering, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and a GRRA volunteer will be happy to talk with you about volunteer opportunities.