How Board Member Kaycee Krysty helped advocate for some of Seattle Humane’s biggest projects of all time
Kaycee’s connection to Seattle Humane began in the late ‘90s when she and her husband, Michael, were searching for a pet cat to join their family. She arrived at Seattle Humane as an adopter and was immediately struck by the contrast between the warm, caring and inviting staff against the backdrop of a shelter in desperate need of renovation. This moment changed everything and inspired Kaycee to become part of the Seattle Humane community and, ultimately, join the Board of Directors.
And she’s never looked back.
“I walked out of there thinking that all these wonderful people are doing this important work, and they should have a better place to work.”
Since then, Kaycee has played a crucial and unstoppable role in the Seattle Humane story. One of her first major projects as a board member was the capital campaign, which enabled Seattle Humane to raise the $30 million needed to build the state-of the-art facility we have today. With Kaycee’s determination and professional experience as a CPA and CEO for a financial institution, she was able to lay the groundwork needed to turn a dream project into reality for Seattle Humane.
“It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life – I was able to talk to people about the difference having a pet had made in their own lives, which then made them want to help us.”
Kaycee also played an integral part in bringing the renowned MaxMobile to fruition — she is the dog mom to its namesake. She reflects fondly on Max, whom she and Michael found through an ad in the paper. When they went to go meet him, Max immediately ran over and sat on Michael’s foot and would not leave. “Max was the best. He was an ambassador type and was the perfect spokesdog for the MaxMobile.”
Through Kaycee’s leadership, the MaxMobile fundraising campaign was the first time Seattle Humane raised $250,000 in one night! The vehicle remains a critical tool for Seattle Humane to bring its community medicine, adoption and education services out into the community.
While Kaycee downplays her role, Seattle Humane’s partnership with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washinton State University (WSU) was in large part initiated through her hard work.
“The only credit I can take is that I’ll call anybody. Sometimes in life it’s just about being in the right place at the right time with the right person.”
At the time, she was a member of the board and had heard about similar partnerships between other shelters and universities. Through an existing connection, she was able to arrange a meeting with the dean of the WSU veterinary school, and from there the program took off. By giving students a two-week rotation at Seattle Humane, they were able to exponentially increase the number of surgeries students completed before graduating. The partnership also allowed Seattle Humane to help more pets and families in the community and provided the opportunity to teach vet students about animal welfare from a shelter perspective.
“I was there the first few weeks that the WSU students started coming over… and just watching the tenderness they provided to the animals made me realize how much that program was going to expand our ability to provide the community with much needed care.”
Kaycee says her personal experience with having pets is what drives her to be such an advocate for Seattle Humane and why she is dedicated to finding ways to expand pet ownership, support and opportunities.
“My life has been better because I have had pets. I’m healthier, calmer, more peaceful and more joyful.”
This passion for equitable access to pet ownership is why she is especially excited about Seattle Humane’s ongoing work to expand services that help keep pets in loving homes.
Currently, Kaycee and Michael have two pets: a 13-year-old poodle mix named Sergeant Pepper who is a Seattle Humane alum with “very high opinions of his own abilities,” as well as a standard poodle named Pearl. She describes Michael as a “fellow critter crazy,” who has worked on many projects with her for Seattle Humane.
While she keeps one foot in the financial world as a trustee of mutual funds, her big love is writing fiction under the name Katherine Kayne with plans to have her third book, “Bound in Roses,” out next spring. Her first book, “Bound in Flame,” is an award-winning romance novel about a woman struggling to be a veterinarian in the 1900s.
Through all the changes that Kaycee has seen and been a part of at Seattle Humane, she says the dedication of the staff is something that has always struck her.
“One of the things that is a treasure to me is the incredibly loving community of people that work at Seattle Humane.”
Article Source: Seattle Humane