HSHA 2022 AWARD WINNERS
Each year HSHA recognizes several key individuals that have truly exemplified and embodied the organization’s mission, to build a better community for pets and people. This year, we recognized those listed below at our Fur Ball Gala.
2022 Community Partner of the Year: Deolitte
Deloitte reached out to us this year to organize a group of employees to volunteer for their annual “Impact Day.” Little did we know the impact this organization would make on our shelter!
It was important to Deloitte that the time they volunteered here was doing things that would help us the most. Two members of their team, Shanna and Shannon, came to the shelter to plan and brainstorm. When the Impact Day arrived in June, a large group from Deloitte showed up and stayed for hours. They deep cleaned and pressure washed our courtyard area which is used daily for dog playgroups and off-leash play – it made a huge difference. They also picked up litter, pulled weeds, and mulched flowerbeds. In addition, they worked on dog enrichment activities; they stuffed Kongs, put together lick mats, enrichment Frisbees and frozen slow feeders. This provides the dogs with special activities that keep them engaged and give them something to work at and do in the kennel or in a room with a dog volunteer.
What is just as amazing as the donation of their time was that Deloitte purchased all of the supplies to perform the above: landscaping mat, mulch, flowers and shrubs, pressure washer cleaner, scrub brushes, pumpkin puree, peanut butter, literally everything to make the day come together.
Beyond Impact Day, Deloitte has continued to support HSHA. On two different occasions, they continued their efforts to do a full makeover on the outside of our building. They purchased two new picnic tables and two members of Deloitte, Shanna and Amy, stayed until 9pm one day to dig, mulch, and plan a new landscape around our welcome sign.
Deloitte consistently checks in to ask what they can do to help us. And we cannot thank them enough for it. Thank you, Deloitte, for being a great community partner!
2022 Employee of the Year: Mariah Cuff
Every good team needs that one calm and steady person, that person you can rely on day in and day out, and who leads by quiet example because their work ethic is driven by their passion. Mariah Cuff, our 2022 Employee of the Year, is that person.
Mariah started working at the shelter 11 years ago when she was just 19 years old. She started off as an animal care technician, cleaning and feeding the animals each day. She was quickly promoted to staff trainer and then added the role of customer service specialist. She has worn other hats at the shelter over the years as well– including serving on the shelter’s cat behavior and cruelty response teams and being a foster parent for underage and sick animals. Mariah continues to grow professionally at HSHA and is currently working as a senior veterinary technician on the shelter’s medical team. Asked about her time at HSHA Mariah says, “I just feel like I was meant to be here and I love what I do.” She says her favorite part of the job is seeing animals get adopted, and knowing she played a part in helping them heal, medically and emotionally.
For Mariah, being an advocate for animals is who she is at her core. When she is done caring for animals at work, she enjoys spending time with her own pets at home- her cats Garvey and Kung Fu, her dogs Layla, Kody, Pip Squeak, Action, and Cricket, her chameleon Doodle, and tending to her 150 gallon fish tank.
It’s impossible to quantify just how many animals’ lives Mariah has touched during her time at the Humane Society – in all her many roles and jobs over the last decade. But we wish to recognize her efforts tonight. Thank you for your dedication and hard work, Mariah!
2022 Volunteer of the Year: Barbara Krause
Barb Krause has volunteered with the Humane Society of Harrisburg Area for 12 years and has made an impact in every area of the shelter. In addition to working with dogs, cats, doing laundry, cage cleaning, and being a foster parent throughout her tenure, she most recently became a volunteer for the Medical Department.
Barb’s background in nursing has made her invaluable to the Med Team (yes, there is some overlap with human medicine and veterinary medicine!). Barb goes to the Med Department on surgery days and jumps right in to help clean and socialize with the hospitalized cats and helps recover cats and dogs during surgery. She also does not hesitate to help in any other way she is needed.
Becky Morgan, Director of Veterinary Services, said “I don’t know what we would do without her. She always has a positive attitude and really loves all the animals she encounters. I love watching her recover cats after surgery as she is so tender and caring. She is a wonderful, caring person who dedicates her time to helping the animals in the shelter and in turn helping staff.”
As a volunteer, Barb is known for her positivity with everyone she encounters and her willingness to help wherever she is needed. We are all grateful for her and appreciate all she does to help the shelter. Congratulations and thank you to Barb Krause.
2022 Foster Parents of the Year: Rich and Linda Sweger
We are happy to announce that this year’s Foster Parents of the Year are Rich and Linda Sweger.
The Sweger’s reached out to HSHA in 2020 wanting to know if they could help any of our senior dogs at the shelter by fostering them. We found a good match for them in an old lady pit bull named Sweet Face. “Sweets” was in very bad shape when she was found stray in Harrisburg City. She was emaciated and suffering from skin, ear, and eye infections. Her feet were swollen and her nails growing into her paw pads. Her condition was so poor that it took months to clear up her infections. She was diagnosed with severe allergies and would require prescription food and lifelong medications to manage the condition. With her age and medical needs in mind, she because a candidate for our permanent foster program, which aims to give hospice and other hard-to-adopt animals a chance at living out the end of their lives in a comfortable home environment.
The Sweger’s were eager to help Sweets. During her time in their care she underwent many exams, tests, and procedures; and she took multiple medications to keep her allergies and skin infections at bay. She eventually developed other age-related conditions and ailments. The Sweger’s lovingly tended to her medical needs as if she was their own dog. She remained in the Sweger home, loved and spoiled, until she passed away in July of this year. Rich said after her passing, “she really was the sweetest dog.”
Today, the Sweger pack includes Rich, Linda, Sunny (an adult pit bull adopted from HSHA), and 2 Saint Bernards named Sophie and Murphy. (Fun fact- Richard has admitted to originally being a Chihuahua lover but now shares his home with 3 dogs that weigh a combined 285 pounds!).
Richard has said about fostering, “Nothing provides a greater feeling than helping an older or struggling dog have a good life.” They are taking a little hiatus after losing their beloved Sweets but are excited to foster again in the future when they right dog comes along. Moved by their love of dogs, the Sweger’s also helped sponsor dog adoption fees at our annual July adoptathon this year.
We thank Rich and Linda for their ongoing support and are pleased to recognize them tonight for their dedication to saving lives through fostering.