Walt Krasneski, Director of Marketing, and his Daughter, Erika, have volunteered at the Angel Ridge Animal Rescue for a little over two years. Angel Ridge Animal Rescue is a no-kill shelter and sanctuary located on a 50 acre farm in Washington, Pennsylvania, for dogs, cats, and yes, even horses. This unique shelter provides a permanent home and care for animals not considered adoptable due to their age, handicap, breed, or temperament.
Walt and Erika are big dog lovers, which is one of the motives for their volunteer work. But it’s more than a love of animals that drives this father/daughter team. Since Erica turned 21 this past year, Walt understands that his daughter will graduate college and strike-out on her own soon. “Our time as father and daughter will be greatly diminished,” Walt notes. “Since Erika was a baby, she has always been my partner in adventure from museums, zoos, carnivals, to traveling through Eastern Europe when she was 16 – we’ve always tackled life as a dynamic duo.”
And on their volunteer days, Erika and Walt play with the dogs, feed them, take them for walks and mingle with other volunteers. While Walt enjoys his role as Director of Marketing at SAI, he also understands that his volunteering is a valuable experience and makes him a better SAI employee. For Walt, “working with a diverse group of individuals and recognizing the needs of others – both people and animals as a volunteer highlights the human factor.” Walt notes that sometimes it’s easy to become mired in the corporate perspective; he recognizes that one of SAI’s goals is to embrace diversity and the human element. “People want to work with people they know, like, and trust and unless you reach people at their basic human level, you’re not reaching them at all.” For Walt, volunteering helps him to understand, empathize, and connect with others.
Like most parents, Walt hopes Erika will find a job in the greater Pittsburgh area so that they can continue their adventures and volunteer work. “However,” he says, “even if she does move far away, our shared experiences and love of animals will transcend the distance between us.” Walt plans on continuing his volunteer work at Angel Ridge and knows that Erika will find a new animal shelter to volunteer.
On this day, Walt and Erika spend quality time with a matched pair of spaniel/setter mixes. Walt knows that wherever Erika’s journey takes her, they will share this bond and continue sharing their stories about their favorite animals.
To learn more about Angel Ridge or to volunteer, please go to: http://www.angelridgeanimalrescue.org/