March 2020 Volunteer Spotlight: Joanne Divico 

Joanne has been a part of Animal Friends Alliance since 2007, when Animal House Rescue & Grooming was a new organization, and she became a volunteer. Joanne started out by helping with garage sales that raised needed funds for the shelter. She loves organizing things, so sorting and pricing items for sale was a good fit and a great way to help “behind the scenes.” Joanne also organized silent auction items and worked at events, of which Comedy Night was a favorite. “Laughter cures you of so many things,” says Joanne. In addition to volunteering, Joanne adopted two dogs, Ruby and Velcro, that year. 

Joanne worked as Assistant to the Director of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Organization) for 37 years. At her job, she did some of everything, including supervising staff and students, arranging international conferences, and producing the annual report. After retiring last year, Joanne decided to put her vast experience with organizing into being a volunteer reception assistant at our Taft Hill campus. In her role, Joanne straightens the front desk for the day, cleans, sorts donations, assembles adoption folders, and transports donations for our Kibble Supply Pet Food Pantry. She says, “I know that kind of stuff, and I know cleaning toilets. Everyone should clean a toilet at some point!” 

Our Dog Adoption Program Supervisor, Kellen, says, “Joanne has been wonderful; no matter how on-time I am, she always manages to reach the shelter before I do! She is bright, cheerful, and happy to contribute wherever extra hands are needed! My Monday and Thursday mornings are always more productive, peaceful, and fun because of Joanne!”

Joanne enjoys knowing that we are taking dogs from environments that are unsatisfactory and finding them loving homes. “I love the dogs. Dogs are innocent,” she says. ”I’ll never be without a dog..always.” Her current canine companion is Pooko, a female mixed breed. Joanne’s prior dog, Velcro, helped her name Pooko. As Velcro was nearing the end of his life, Joanne started calling him new, endearing nicknames, including, “Pooko,” and she knew that would be the name of her next dog. Joanne wondered later how she came up with such a unique name, and after doing some research, she learned that “Pooko” is the Hopi word for “Dog.” 

Joanne, it is an absolute joy to have you as a volunteer! You bring cheer and aid to both the dogs and the people of Animal Friends Alliance. We appreciate you!!