Volunteer Deirdre Willis with a dog
Deirdre Willis loves to volunteer at Best Friends to see the shy dogs coming out of their shells, the adopters happy faces as they leave with their new pet and more!
March 23, 2015
"Our Best Friends" is a weekly installment to honor just a few of our outstanding Best Friends LA volunteers. This is your chance to get to know some of the shining stars in the Best Friends LA volunteer program! Volunteers are either nominated by Best Friends LA staff or other volunteers in our program. If you would like to volunteer, e-mail the Best Friends LA Volunteer Department at volunteerLA@bestfriends.org
Deirdre Willis - honored March 20, 2015 
Deirdre, tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
Oh boy! I love to participate in as much as I can! I completed both of the Gray Paw volunteer trainings so I am able to work with the dogs who need a little extra help and guidance. I've worked with the kitties, walked dogs, done adoption photo and video shoots for the web site for the available animals, I volunteer as a greeter at NKLA on Saturdays and have participated in the Strut-Your-Mutt event and NKLA Super Adoption weekend. 

Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
Because I believe in the initiatives of No More Homeless Pets and we can Save Them All. I have been a supporter of Best Friends Animal Society for over ten years. When I initially found out that there was a no kill sanctuary in Utah, that gave the very best of care and shelter to animals who were abandoned, found on the streets (many of them injured or sick), taken from hoarding or other horrific conditions, it deeply touched my heart reading about the generosity and selflessness of the people involved and the work they were doing and I had to give my support.  Best Friends has done such an amazing job in spreading the word about adopting shelter animals as opposed to supporting breeders and pet stores, and educating the public on the importance of spaying/neutering your pets so that no more "unwanted" furbabies enter this world. Not to mention the work that is being done in fighting breed-discrimination. And I have met some of the most compassionate, kindest, most dedicated people that I am truly honored to work alongside. I could go on and on, but I've probably only got so much allowable space to write this! LOL

How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
I have been volunteering with BFLA and NKLA since August of 2014 and volunteered with another local no kill rescue before that.

What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering? 
I work for an accounting firm filled with animal lovers and Best Friends supporters, and I do Aerial Arts (the Cirque de Soleil type acrobatics on the long silks and big hoops) and Aerial Yoga.  I also love going camping with my boyfriend and friends, going to the beach and football! (Go Chargers!) 

Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 
Oh wow, that's a tough one!  I have had so many heart-warming experiences there - seeing a shy or terrified dog or kitty come out of their shell and begin to trust and snuggle and play, watching people just glow with happiness when they are leaving with their new best friend, learning so much valuable information from the incredible staff and then actually getting to use what I've learned hands-on, making lots of new friends with staff members and volunteers, showing people around the beautiful facility and educating them on the no kill initiative. Again, the list goes on and on. I guess though, one of my favorite experiences was when my best friend and her husband lost their beloved dog and were broken-hearted and knew that I volunteered here and decided to look at the web site for another dog. Sure enough they saw a beautiful little girl on the web site and when they clicked on the video, lo and behold, there I was talking about her! They came down to the center to meet her, adopted her the same day, and she is the love of their lives and spoiled rotten!! 

Do you have any pets?
I have two big boy kitties. Frankie is a gray tabby, who adopted me when I worked at another rescue.  He is such a character and the love and joy of my life! He makes me laugh every day with his antics!  He likes to play fetch, chase his tail, do "yoga-cat" positions in boxes that are way too small for him and knock mama's clothes off the shelves in the closet after they've been folded and put away neatly.  He is a wonderful snuggler, loves to be held and petted,  and sleeps curled up next to me on the pillow (or possibly right across my neck under my chin) every night. He's also very vocal with his loud, wacky meow when he would like a snack, or a treat or a lap! 

Noche is a big black kitty with gorgeous green eyes.  He was a rough-and-tough street kitty who adopted my boyfriend and is now the biggest pile of mush you could ever meet! He's happy just having some yummy food and curling up with you for a big, fat nap.  He's as sweet and loving as he is big, and one of the funniest things is that he has this little tiny meow.  He's kind of like the Mike Tyson of kitties LOL.

What others are saying about Deirdre Willis:

"Deirdre is amazing! She is always so upbeat and willing to help wherever she is needed. Her fabulous attitude is infectious and we love working with her!" -Artrice Allen, Adoption Specialist