"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.
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
I’m nearly always volunteering with the cats -- helping out with the cleaning (there’s always a need for people in Cleaning Shift) and occasionally socializing them.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I’m in love with the facilities and the staff. From day one, it’s been a wonderful environment to learn about and care for animals that need you. It’s so great to feel a part of a community that has a common goal.
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
Since January 2014. So that’s over a year now. Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself.
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering?
I work as a Graphic Designer in an office that’s definitely full of animal lovers. Extracurricular-wise: I love hiking, adore reading and making crafts. I also often do a bit of photography--animals are especially fun. Which just made me realize I'm always taking pics of the animals and I'm never in the picture with them!
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA?
I think Harriet, the cat, is one of the many memorable stories. She started off completely frightened and anti-social (often hissing and striking out when you cleaned her area). This played out for months and months on end. It was amazing watching her ever so slowly become comfortable enough to chill out with other cats and allowing a small pet here and there. Pure dedication and patience on the staff’s part. Their example really showcased how much the staff care and it made me love Best Friends L.A. even more.
Do you have any pets?
Sadly, no… but I can’t wait to have one! I’m waiting to move out to a pet-friendly place before I get one. For now, I live vicariously through my sister and her husband and their 7 cats (in New Mexico). She keeps me updated on how they’re doing and sends tons of pictures. I’m their “cat auntie” and I love it.
What others are saying about Nolana:
"Nolana always jumps right in to help wherever needed. No matter how dirty the job is she always does it with a smile. She is also a positive role model and mentor for new volunteers." - David Y., Cat Caregiver