Volunteer Spotlight: Leslie Roe

Leslie Roe has always been passionate about animals and joined the DAWS marketing team 14 years ago after asking how she could help without being at the shelter itself. “I didn’t think I could handle seeing the animals there without taking every one home, however, it was mandatory to take a shelter tour at the volunteer orientation,” Leslie shares. “That changed my mind completely. Once I saw how clean the facility was, how well the dogs and cats are treated, and how sensitive volunteers are to the specific needs of the animals, I felt comfortable and I’ve been there ever since!”

Currently Leslie serves as a lead adoption counselor for the shelter, an adoption counselor for the cats, and a team lead. Prior to that, she was the DAWS cat co-chair and an employee. Her favorite part about volunteering is feeling a shared sense of community with a singular focus – getting animals adopted and all that entails. She admires that we are able to provide refuge for these cats and dogs when they are in peril and how they reward us with trust and in return, allow us to facilitate their transition to becoming a member of someone’s family.

“When I first started at DAWS, I did it for enjoyment…which then became purpose. There isn’t anything more rewarding than establishing a trusting, loving relationship with an animal – particularly one who has been abused or neglected. You can’t put a price on it. They are so incredibly forgiving, and when you get that moment of vulnerability from them, where they have come to know you and are giving themselves over to you, it is sometimes so overwhelming it can bring you to tears – they are giving you their greatest gift – TRUST.  I have also met a wonderful group of people, I wouldn’t have otherwise known, and formed lasting friendships,” Leslie explains.

With over a decade under her belt, Leslie has worked with hundreds of animals. One of her proudest moments was being a part of a rescue of 59 cats from a hoarding situation. “The circumstances were unimaginable and the endless dedication of the volunteers – what they willingly faced to the point of risking their own health and safety – was so incredibly selfless. I was proud to be part of it and was awestruck at how quickly everyone acted. There was not a moment’s hesitation, either logistically from an organizational standpoint due to the sheer volume, or from anyone retrieving them – everyone pulled together and did whatever was necessary to obtain them, attend to their unique medical needs, and socialize the cats until every single one of them went home.”

Gina Amenta, our Operations Director states, “Leslie has been a substantial member of our shelter for many years. She is passionate, considerate and is truly a cat whisperer. We are so grateful to have her a part of our team.

Leslie resides locally in Danbury where her daughter, husband, and her share their home with four dogs, one cat, four guinea pigs, two geckos, several snails and fish – and she wouldn’t have it any other way.