Staff Spotlight: Julia Bonsell
Talk about a passion for animals! Julia’s got it! Julia has been involved with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County for over half her life. Starting at the shelter as a youth volunteer, Julia now works as a Receiving Clerk, where she says she enjoys reuniting lost pets with their families as well as the unexpected each day! Julia is also currently in school, working towards her degree.
Q. What is your role at the shelter?
A. I am a Receiving Clerk, which means I help the animals coming in. I also reunite animals with their owners. Along with that, I’m pretty much a chameleon, and can help out in a variety of different departments around the shelter, depending on what they need!
Q. How long have you been working at the shelter?
A. I have been employed with the Society for four years, but I have been volunteering here for more than half of my life!
That is so incredible, Julia!
Q. Tell us about a day in your life here!
A. A day for me starts when I come to the shelter, and check the surroundings for animals. I help community members who have found lost pets. Additionally, I help process, vaccinate, assess, and place animals in their kennels, as well as assist in other departments when I am able. I also train any new receiving team members we have.
Q. What made you want to work here?
A. I have been a shelter volunteer for over 12 years now, and this has been a big part of my life. And while I had a nice job before working here, I was never excited to go to work. When I started looking for a new job, I noticed the Society was hiring for an Adoptions Counselor, and I felt it was fate.
Q. What’s your favorite part?
A. I love the unexpected hurdles. I know that might seem weird, but I love that every day is different. I enjoy all the different animals and people I interact with. I never come to work expecting it to be one kind of way because you never know the day you might have!
Q. If you could give one piece of advice about starting a career with the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County, what would it be?
A. Have a support system! Yes, you are helping animals but compassion fatigue is a very real thing that happens. I would say it’s also important to remember that everything you do has a trickle effect. Sometimes, it may feel what you are doing in your corner of the shelter is not making a difference but even the smallest tasks can have the biggest impact! I have been lucky to have many great mentors and a strong support system that has helped me navigate the last four years. At the end of the day the animals are why we’re all here, and if you can make a positive impact on their lives, then trust what you are doing is worth it!
Q. Bonus question! Tell us about your adopted kitty, Sebastian!
A. Sebastian came to the shelter as a stray and I did his initial exam. He was a big, cheeky Tomcat which I love, and he was a little rough around the edges. Sebastian has a lot of personality, and everyone grew to love him while he was at the shelter. Because of a reoccurring kitty cold, Sebastian was in our care for some time, and he would even hang out with staff when we were slow. He finally suckered me in and I invited my significant other to come meet him. It was love at first sight! I am his owner, but my partner is his person. He is spoiled rotten and quite the chunk! He now lives his life on leashed walks, laying by the fire, and he is most definitely the head of the household!