Volunteer Highlight: Meet Dea Barnett and Leslie Wang

Since the beginning of the pandemic, rain or shine, Dea Barnett and Leslie Wang have come to our shelter every week to help our Facilities team meet the City of Bellevue’s stringent weeding and native plant coverage requirements. It’s a daunting task, and the Facilities team could not be more grateful for their amazing gardening skills and devoted help!

Dea has a long history of volunteering with Seattle Humane. She began fostering in 2009, and took in her 100th foster several years ago. From underage kittens and puppies, to old-timers with medical challenges, Dea happily invites them all into her home, with several foster failures along the way. In addition to her foster parent role, Dea is a dog training assistant and valued member of our Dog Behavior Services (DBS) team. For Dea, one of the most memorable volunteer experiences was fostering a litter of kittens that developed cerebellar hypoplasia from panleukopenia. She was amazed by the sweetness and adaptability of the kittens, and the people who supported and adopted them.

Dea Barnett
Dea with her furry family members Luke, Oreo, Sam and Penny.

Outside of volunteering, Dea is a retired child and adolescent psychiatrist. One reason she volunteers is because she appreciates the strong support at Seattle Humane for the foster and pet owner support programs that improve the chances of animals finding and remaining in their forever homes while increasing the human-animal bond.

Leslie joined the Seattle Humane Volunteer team in 2019, and not a moment too soon! She helped with Tuxes & Tails and then began working with DBS. During the pandemic, she decided to try fostering. Now, thanks to Max (previously Scrappy) who came home with her in March 2020, she has first-hand experience with a foster failure. Leslie found it hard to choose her favorite experience at Seattle Humane. She said what stands out the most is seeing the staff’s dedication to the animals in our care, with some going so far as to bring tough cases home to care for them overnight.

Leslie with her pups Buddy and Max.

After 30 years at Boeing, Leslie recently retired from her role as the Director of Engineering Modifications, but she has not slowed down! Since retiring, she’s enjoyed hiking around Washington, gardening, trail running, playing pickle ball, reading, learning to paint, playing piano, and of course spending time with pups. She also volunteers with the Red String Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on supporting disadvantaged youth, education, building community and seniors.

Thank you for your dedication and service, Leslie and Dea!

2 thoughts on “Volunteer Highlight: Meet Dea Barnett and Leslie Wang

  1. It has been an absolute pleasure spending time with & watching the dedication & hard work of Leslie & Dea. Seattle Humane is SO blessed to have these two outstanding animal lovers spend SO MUCH of their time participating in our Volunteer Program. THANK YOU ! THANK YOU ! THANK YOU !

  2. Hi Leslie & Dea, I have missed our foster group during the shutdown. I am an avid gardener too. I can really appreciate all the hard work you have done over the past year. Thanks for your tremendous, commitment to the grounds of HS.

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