Di (she prefers Di over Diane) is married to her husband Ben and has 2 grown daughters, Julie and Jen and several grandchildren Maddie (15), Ellie (8), Evan (6), Jamison (5) and Jake (2). Let’s not forget Di’s spoiled rotten 7 year old cat, Lucy, who adopted us when she was an abandoned kitten. Di is retired from NYS Comptroller’s office last year after 38 years of service. She was the Director of Management Services where “many of the skills important to that work transitioned nicely to her work with the shelter”, she says.
“I’m a life-long animal lover being fortunate to grow up in a family surrounded by all sorts of animals from horses to geese to guinea pigs and just about everything in between (at one point we had a special needs baby goat in our living room!). I became a rescuer at an early age (4th grade) when my neighbor who worked at FMCC was talking about “disposing” of the lab rats that were no longer needed and I begged my parents until I was able to save Oscar the Ratfink, who lived out his golden years with me.”
Di says she is still a newbie by the other volunteer’s standards and has been involved with Regional since December 2020- after her retirement. “I have always wanted to volunteer at an animal shelter to help the animals who need us most. Working full-time and commuting over 2 hours a day while raising a family made it impossible. As I was preparing to retire, I knew I wanted to do volunteer work so researched my options. After learning about Regional’s mission and vision, I knew I found my people.”
“My best memory so far is connecting with others who love animals as much as I do. The other volunteer’s passion and commitment is beyond my wildest expectations. It’s truly a great group of people all fighting the same fight for the animals in our community. And we have fun and laughs along the way.”
We asked Di what she would tell someone who was thinking about volunteering? “Do it! I wish I did it sooner but thought it required too much time commitment. Now that I’m involved, I see we can use people in different capacities, even with time limitations. You can work at events or bake for events (we have amazing bakers!) or do behind the scenes administrative work on your own schedule. Reach out to discover the skills you have that we could use! And you’ll get paid in puppy kisses!”
Thank you Di Renn for joining our team and for your commitment to helping the animals!