Thanks to all Shelter Volunteers, Especially our Annual Service Award Winner
2012 Shelter Service Award: Phil Burbo
Since 2003, the Orcas APS has bestowed Volunteer of the Year Awards (now called the Shelter Service Award) to people who have distinguished themselves as extra-special friends to the animals who pass through our cat rooms and kennels.
This year’s recipient is Phil Burbo, who has served as the shelter’s caretaker for 6½ years and never taken a day off. He is the first person the animals see in the morning and the last one they see at night when he comes in to feed them, clean up messes, and administer medications.
When he’s not tending to the critters indoors, he’s outside mowing and tending to the building’s upkeep and maintenance. Although he does receive modest compensation as a staff member, his service goes far beyond the prescribed duties, catapulting him into the upper echelon of volunteers as measured by the hours he puts in.
But with Phil, it’s not just the countless hours of service; it’s the priceless attitude. You could even say that he’s the shelter’s own ponytailed St. Francis, tending to the animals with deep commitment, respect, patience, and rapport.
He also seems to enjoy tooling around on the shelter’s John Deere riding lawnmower, taking in gorgeous views of Mt. Baker. It’s a perk of the caretaker’s job that he well deserves, and then some. On behalf of the Orcas APS board, fellow staff members and volunteers—and especially the animals—thanks a million, Phil!