Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Do You Know Who Chemyn Is?

In-Sync Exotics is blessed with an active board of directors whom frequently come out to In-Sync Exotics and volunteers their time and services.

We'd like to introduce you to some of our less shy board members who don't mind giving you a behind the scenes look at what they do for the animals.  Unlike many other sanctuaries, our board members are required to perform various services each month (such as feeding, cleaning, and working special events) for the animals.  Our directors are often seen at In-Sync Exotics, all hours of the day and night, in the company of our volunteers--leading by example! 

Our first board director who volunteered to tell you what she does for In-Sync Exotics is Chemyn Reaney!  Chemyn, you have the "floor!"

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Chemyn is preparing the lions'
enrichment boxes!
My name is Chemyn Reaney, and I have been volunteering at In-Sync Exotics since 2004. Shortly after my first visit to In-Sync Exotics, I realized that I wanted to do whatever I could to help these magnificent creatures. I started hanging around, getting under foot and just generally making a nuisance of myself, until someone finally took pity on me, handed me a hose, and showed me what to do with it. From that point on, I was hooked! I started off learning how to clean enclosures, and after some time, Vicky asked me if I would consider joining the board as Volunteer Coordinator. I was honored, and sincerely appreciate that she gave me a chance to contribute to the success of this organization. My professional background is in Human Resources, so it was a good fit for me.

Chemyn introduces new
volunteers to Sabu!
My role is essentially to provide information to people who want to join our team of volunteers, interview prospective volunteers, and complete new volunteer orientations. I write our monthly volunteer newsletter, and help everyone stay informed with what’s going on at the sanctuary. I’m also rather infamous for sending out incessant (and probably highly annoying) e-mails, asking for help from everyone! It never ceases to amaze me how generous our amazing volunteers are with their time. Each time I send out yet another plea for assistance with something, I am overwhelmed at the response. In addition to their regular volunteering duties, our volunteers will sit up all night with a sick cat, paint children’s faces at fund-raising events, dig ditches for new septic systems, stand at a booth all day at a festival letting people know what we do, or drive hundreds of miles to take cats that we were unable to rescue (due to space) to their new homes at other sanctuaries. The list goes on and on.

Chemyn provides the White Boys with
"scented" boxes as enrichment!  
In the last couple of years, I have taken on the additional responsibilities of Enrichment Coordinator (managing the enrichment program for the cats, which is a blast!) and administering the sanctuary’s Facebook page. Which is fairly ironic, because I’m probably the least technologically-savvy person out there!

A new group of volunteers learning
all about our wild ones from Chemyn!
Being a part of this organization has changed my life in so many ways. It sounds so cliché, but I feel that I have truly found my calling. The work can be exhausting, and because I have a full-time job as well, it can be challenging to do everything that I want to do at the sanctuary, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Getting to know each cat personally is an incredible experience. Each time that I think my heart is full, a new arrival comes, finds a tiny little empty spot in my heart, and neatly fits himself or herself into it. Watching a cat arrive who is terrified, traumatized, starved and sick, and seeing that same cat just a few months later playing, running, and enjoying life, is truly the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed. I am so honored to be able to be a small part of that transformation, and to work with this selfless group of people who give so much of themselves.

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We cannot thank Chemyn enough for her service!  For those of you who follow us on Facebook, it is Chemyn who posts the cutest pictures of our animals for the "Caption Contest" and answers any questions you might have about our sanctuary.  So next time you post a comment, be sure to say "Hello" to Chemyn!  If you happen to live in the local area and would like to volunteer at In-Sync Exotics (and of course say "hello" to Chemyn in person), please click HERE for details on how to join Team In-Sync!

In-Sync Exotics salutes Chemyn for her service with two paws up and mighty lion roars of approval!

We'd love to hear form you, so feel free to comment. Oh, and don't forget to click on one of the reaction buttons below. And always, don't forget to share your favorite blog postings with family, friends, and co-workers!


  1. Thank you Chemyn, for allowing the Facebook followers a glimpse into this wonderful sanctuary and all the fun with the caption contests

  2. Chemyn, I cannot believe that you did this and I am sooooo thankful that you did! You deserve all kinds of credit and yet you never mention any of this to anyone: finally, you will get all of the credit that you deserve!! I am so proud of you I could burst!

    1. To anyone reading this, Ricki is my mother, so please excuse her enthusiasm. :)