Volunteer Jenny with a goat
Jenny Y. has the special touch with shy cats. She helps them conquer their fears and find new loving homes!
August 05, 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.
Jenny Y. - honored July 27
Jenny, tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
I spend time with both cats and dogs. I spend half of my time with doggy playgroups and working with the shy dogs. The other half of my time I spend with cat enrichment and behavior. I also like going to mobile adoptions when I can. I pretty much am open to anywhere there is a need. 
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I had the chance to meet some of the volunteers and obtain literature about Best Friends at a mobile adoption event in Pasadena. The fact BFLA leads the No-Kill initiative enticed me to find out more about the organization. I logged onto the website and signed up for an orientation, and from that point on, I'm hooked.  
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
Since January of this year, so about 7 months.
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering? 
Aside from the 40 hours a week I spend as a pharmacist, I spend a lot of my spare time watching TV, surfing the net, shopping, and just hanging out around LA going to museums and zoos and other points of interest.  Not very exciting, I know.  But I am starting to travel a little bit more. Although I get separation anxiety from my cats, so I limit myself to just one big trip a year.  
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 
I think every animal I encounter gives me a new exciting experience. But my heart is really in the shy cats and dogs. Nothing makes me happier to see someone who I worked with conquer their fear and blossom into the cat or dog they are meant to be.
I remember when I first started volunteering at the Pet Food Express, we had a cat named Tiffany who had been there for awhile, and just was not enjoying her stay there. She almost never left her kennel and really didn't enjoy human contact. I made a promise to Samantha, the wonderful cat behavior guru, that I will do everything in my power to get her adopted. With the things I learned from her, and with the help of other volunteers, I slowly was able to get Tiffany to be more interested in her environment. And soon after that, she was adopted. That gave me the encouragement I needed to continue working with these "shy kids". These kids just need someone to spend a little extra time, and give them a little extra benefit of the doubt. 
Do you have any pets?
I have 4 cats who live with me and 2 stray cats who live outside my door in the doggy igloos I got for them. Mika is my oldest whom I've had since I was a student. He's been with me through thick and thin and is the most easy-going cat you will meet. Great with people and loves other cats. He is now a senior and lives with 3 other lady-cats. Bobo and Yogi are a daughter-mother duo who were originally strays that lived outside my house. They just love to get hugs and kisses from me although they are shy around other people. And finally my youngest, Aiko, who is only 8 months old, is a BF alum. She was adopted by someone I know but couldn't care for her so I took over her care. She is a great cat who has a great attitude and just loves life. Although she gets chased around by Yogi and Bobo, she maintains her cheerfulness and is just a bundle of love. My 2 outside cats are Tiger (who is actually Yogi's son) and Pirate (a tortie who looks like she has a pirate eye-patch on). They're both very easy going, and loves other animals. They're known to hang out with raccoons and opossums and share food.  
What others are saying about Jenny:
"She was at Pet Food Express every day after work doing 99% of the adoptions as well as cleaning, socializing, and promoting the cats. She's great with the public, staff, and other volunteers. And she volunteers in both dogs and cats too! She takes every class we offer so she can help in every way possible. She is the reason so many of our long term cats have gotten adopted! She knows how to sell them without seeming like she's selling them. She cares so much about each animal here. She has a great attitude! She showed up for her CatCon shifts an hour early just to help clean before she helped with adoptions. That's the kind of person she is!" - Samantha Bell, Cat Behavior & Enrichment Lead