Volunteer Spotlight: Cathy Pitts
The SPCA Albrecht Center could not operate without our team of over 220 active volunteers. Point blank. Every day, our incredible volunteers help with walking dogs, cleaning cat rooms and socializing cats, greeting in our Veterinary Care Center, working in our Thrift Store, fostering, attending offsite adoption events and so much more! In 2019, this team donated well over 11,000 hours of their time – directly supporting SPCA staff and providing quality care for the over 1,300 homeless animals the Shelter takes in every year.
There is no amount of thanks we can extend to our team of volunteers – though we try our best to send them off every day with a ‘thank you’ after their hard work. One way we like to show appreciation for all of their amazing work is to recognize one outstanding volunteer a month in our ‘Volunteer Spotlight.”
For the month of November, the SPCA Albrecht Center would like to recognize Cathy Pitts. A favorite with the cats, Cathy began assisting with morning Cat Care in July of this year. A native ‘Aikenite,’ she has deep roots in the area as an Aiken High graduate and retired educator. She began her career in education at the Presbyterian College with a degree in special education, and later pursued a Masters in Education at USC. The last two years of her career she had a special education resource room at Redcliffe Elementary and enjoyed supporting these students to achieve success.
Retiring after a combined 38 years in either the classroom or district office, Cathy now looks forward to doing more leisure activities. When asked what she likes to do in her free time Cathy replies, “read, read, read.” Gardening is also a relaxing hobby of hers as she nurtures her flowers and herbs. Watching cooking shows with her husband of five years, Kirk, they both take these newly learned recipes into their own kitchen. There’s an especially satisfying feeling when she can walk out to the back deck and pick herbs to use for their meals.
Her connection with companion animals spans her lifetime with cats, dogs, hamsters, goldfish, and even caring for an iguana one summer. She looks back with amusement on the time when someone found an abandoned iguana in the school bushes. The children soon dubbed the iguana Draco, and he became a science class ambassador. When he needed a home for the summer, Cathy was ready to learn reptile care to the aggravation of her established kitties. She kept the furry and scaly inhabitants separated, and Draco had occasion to roam about the house and munch on grocery discards to his heart’s content. Cathy did enjoy learning how to care for iguanas, handle his two-foot long frame, and now she even has knowledge on how to get an iguana to poop when constipation is a concern.
Cathy comes twice a week to the shelter and finds volunteering very rewarding: “knowing that we’re providing for the animals while they’re in an in-between place... we’re supporting staff so they can focus on doing other things we can’t do as volunteer, like giving medicine.”
Every Monday she assists a Pet Care Specialist in cleaning cat rooms and feeding the felines. She also comes on another day to socialize with the cats and kittens, so they know humans bring love and affection. One of Cathy’s feline friends is the frisky resident cat named Regina, and Cathy gets a laugh at Regina making eyes at the adoptable pet rats in the lobby.
You make us smile too, Cathy! Thank you for bringing such warmth and kindness to the shelter!
Miranda Ewing joined the team at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in February 2020. She has committed her life to volunteering and fostering homeless animals and believes the strength of a community shines when we can lean on each other. A 2012-2013 AmeriCorps alumni and Rescue Volunteer for Team Stinkykiss (a local CSRA animal rescue), she is an advocate for all animals and all people! Her family includes her husband, who knows all critters may find a temporary home with him (even if he's allergic to some).