The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

June 30, 2013

Teen volunteer is in kitty heaven

Colleen Daniels is in kitty heaven every time she steps through the doors at the Citizens for Animal Rescue and Adoption shelter.

She loves petting and feeding all of the cats, and in return, they love all of the attention.

The 14-year-old is one of the youngest volunteers at the no-kill facility in Tilton.

“I love cats,” she said. “I like spending time here.” She knows the names of most of the cats, and tidbits about their personalities.

Connie Ferrar, director of CARA, is pleased with the teenager’s work. “She has shown herself to be very capable and diligent,” she said. “She’s dependable — it’s really a remarkable thing.”

Colleen is eager to work with the animals, Ferrar said, and isn’t afraid to tackle any task.

“We’re delighted to have Colleen here. She’s a wonderful, caring individual,” she added.

Most volunteers are older, but Ferrar will make exceptions for younger ones who volunteer with a parent and show they’re responsible.

Colleen said she became aware of CARA a couple of years ago, and started volunteering with her mother and sister. After that, she was hooked, and now volunteers at least once a week for five to seven hours. She always works on Sundays, “and any extra days my mom will let me,” she said.

What she likes about CARA is that it’s a no-kill facility; she wouldn’t volunteer at a place that wasn’t.

She doesn’t mind the work — cleaning out cages and feeding the cats. She especially likes cleaning out the free-roam rooms, where several cats wander around. The cats will rub against her legs and purr; when she stoops down to clean out litter boxes, they’ll try to get in her lap.

“I like to do those rooms,” she said. As for sidestepping all of the curious kitties, she added, “It’s easier than you’d think.”

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