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Our "Best Friend" Honored Volunteer: Victoria Vertuga

Volunteer Victoria Vertuga with a pit bull terrier
Victoria is excited to be a part of the No-Kill initiative and helps homeless dogs shine on their adoption videos
June 08, 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.

Victoria - honored May, 16, 2015 

Victoria, tell us.....

What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
I'm at the NKLA Adoption Center any given week spending time with the dogs. I have a soft spot for the pitties or the big dogs that are a little harder to handle. I help out with playgroups and participate in a group hike that another amazing volunteer organizes once a month. I also help host a lot of the adoption videos that go up on the website, which I really enjoy. Besides that, I help out at the adoption weekends and other special events.

Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
It's such an amazing organization full of truly inspiring people, both the staff and the volunteers. I really believe in the No Kill initiative and the work that BestFriends is doing. It's rewarding to see how much progress has been made at reducing the number of animals being euthanized in LA city shelters in a short amount of time. I think the way Best Friends has done a great job of bringing rescue groups together to achieve a common goal. They are setting an excellent example for other animal welfare organizations, and for other cities that want to become No Kill. 

How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
I've been volunteering at Best Friends for a few years now. I started out working at the adoption events with an NKLA coalition partner. When the NKLA Adoption Center opened up, I signed up and have been showing my mugg there since.

What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering? 
I'm an actress and print model, so that keeps me busy running all around LA to auditions and castings.  When I'm not working OR volunteering, I love to travel. I've been to 17 countries and counting. It's such an educational experience, and it's a big beautiful world out there so I love to explore it.  

Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 
I was at an event recently and there was a guy who kept looking at me over the course of the event like he was trying to place me. Finally, he comes over to me to ask why my face looks familiar. So I say I'm an actress and list some commercials I've done and a few TV shows, and nothing is ringing a bell for him. So I say 'I also host adoption videos for NKLA.' And his face lights up and he says 'YES!  You're the girl in the videos with the dogs!!!!!' It cracked me up. But I'm honestly so proud to be able to do them.  I've had a few adopters contact me on social media to tell that my videos brought them in to see a dog, which is very cool. And my absolute favorite thing is when they bring the dogs back to visit or I happen to run into them around town. It's so great to see them happy and healthy. 

Do you have any pets?
I have two pocket pitties: Riley and JoJo. Riley came from the South LA Shelter and JoJo came from NKLA Coalition partner Angel City Pitbulls. They are the best! They crack me up every single day. There really is nothing like the unconditional love of a pet to make your life brighter. I'm currently working on convincing my husband that we should adopt a third

What others are saying about Victoria:
"We are so lucky to have Victoria! She's always so friendly and after seeing the adoption videos displayed around the center, other volunteers have started to become interested to assist like Victoria does as well. She's been so helpful making these videos with staff member, Erik, and is absolutely fabulous!" -Erika,Volunteer Coordinator