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Volunteer Profile: Mareike Yocum

30 September 2014

By Jordan Miller, PR Intern

Meet Mareike Yocum, one of our pet photography volunteer photographers. Mareike chose to volunteer at KHS because of her keen interest in dog rescue. She had been helping rescue dogs for years, but the organization she had helped is located out of state. Mareike missed the hands-on contact with the animals. When she met Volunteer Coordinator Whitney Hobbs at a volunteer fair and learned about pet photography and canine coaching, she knew KHS was right for her.

Mareike loves working with pet photography because she loves helping pets find homes. She says, “I have seen it many times. Pets had been on the website for weeks, and after having their professional picture taken, they find a home quickly.”

Mareike also says that she loves working with the pet photography assistants because, without them, it wouldn’t be as much fun and the pictures wouldn’t turn out as well.

Mareike says the hardest part about volunteering at the shelter is “seeing animals that are stressed about losing their family and home and don’t understand why they have been given up.” However, she says, “knowing they are just starting a new and better life makes everything better!”

Mareike and her husband have three dogs of their own: Emmie, Harley and Charity, who are like their children.

Not only does Mareike volunteer for KHS, but she and her husband started a charity in Louisville called Active Heroes in 2011. It is dedicated to reducing suicide among veterans. Mareike and her husband have also walked across America twice to raise money for military families. When she is not photographing animals, Mareike is taking photos for Active Heroes.

Interested in becoming a volunteer? Mareike says, “Even if you can only come out once or twice a week or maybe even once or twice a month, any minute you can spend helping us with the animals is so appreciated.”

She says that not only do the animals love it, but the staff appreciate the help, too, because it helps make the animals feel more comfortable and helps them get adopted more quickly.

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