Volunteer Spotlights

April 2017 – Letha Clark

Letha Clark

Letha at home with Jack, one of her family’s three dogs. Photo by volunteer Michelle Alaimo

Letha has been volunteering at Newberg Animal Shelter for about 3 months.  She has always loved animals, so helping with animals is nice, and it is something she can do with her mom.

Letha says that volunteering at Newberg Animal Shelter is like having a second family with the volunteers and the animals that she can help each day.  She likes that she can be herself at NAS . . . and she gets to pet cute puppies.

One of Letha’s favorite experiences volunteering is fostering Spicy, a pregnant German Wirehair Pointer, and watching her adjust to living with them.  She has especially enjoyed watching her dog fall in love with Spicy.  Letha has also seen her mom become closer with the staff at NAS, and she enjoys spending time with them.

Letha would like other people to know that volunteering at NAS is fun.  It is hard work, but it pays off.  When she is working hard, she knows that what she is doing has a good purpose.

Letha grew up in Clackamas with her grandparents until she moved to Newberg with her aunt and uncle.  She moved in with the Graeber’s last summer and has since been adopted by them.  Being adopted by the Graeber’s has been a defining moment in Letha’s life.  Now she and her new mom volunteer together at Newberg Animal Shelter.

When Letha is not volunteering she goes to school, does homework, takes care of her dogs at home, is involved with plays at Newberg High School, and enjoys Bouldering (indoor rock climbing) with her friends.  Her hobbies include Bouldering, acting, music, and photography.  One of her favorite experiences Bouldering was going with her friends for a Superhero themed Bouldering day.

Letha is spontaneous and fun, but is also constantly observing and thinking.  She has a passion for life in general that motivates her every day.  A passion for the life of friends, animals, and even strangers.  She is acutely aware that everyone has something they are dealing with.  She does her best every day to be as kind as she can be in life.  It is what motivates her to do good.

Letha will be graduating from Newberg High School soon.  In a perfect world, she would love to travel, experience different cultures, try new things, and take photographs of her experiences.  She would like to live and have fun while she is still young.  However, realistically, she sees herself moving out on her own and continuing her education towards becoming a veterinarian.


March 2017 – Patty


Patti Baker at home with Cheyenne, one of her four cats, and Aria, one of her two dogs. Photo by volunteer Michelle Alaimo

Drawn by her deep love for animals, Patti Baker has been volunteering at Newberg Animal Shelter for about a year, making a positive difference in the lives of homeless pets in her community.  At home she has four cats and two dogs. Volunteering gives her a sense of making a change and feeling needed.  It has been good therapy for her. She finds the most joy in playing ball and walking the dogs.

When asked about Newberg Animal Shelter by other community members, Patti makes sure to let them know that we are a no-kill shelter.  She also wants the public to know that the animals are treated well and find homes quickly.  The shelter is not a scary place.  Pets here receive good care and lots of affection.

Patti grew up in Missoula Montana, where she graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Music Education.  After graduation, Patti made a pivotal change in her life and moved to Portland to experience something new.  While in Portland, Patti received a Master’s in Music Education from Portland State University.  She then moved on to teach music to K-6 within the Hillsboro School District for 21 years, during which time she was passionate about teaching Beginning Band.

Patti moved from Hillsboro to Newberg in 1998 in search of affordable housing.  Now Patti spends her days enjoying life by exercising, walking her dogs, visiting friends, playing games, and occasionally making greeting cards.

Patti is now passionate about making a difference, passionate about her dogs, and passionate about exercising and staying in shape.  Patti is also a nature lover and wants to be out in nature as much as possible.  In fact, she would like to go to Batswana on a World Wildlife Federation trip to spend time on a wildlife preserve.  Here’s to adventure, Patti!  We hope you make it there soon!

Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication at Newberg Animal Shelter!