Sarita has been volunteering with us since 2012 and is a huge help in our 24/7 neonatal kitten nursery.
"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
Sarita C. - honored October 2016
Sarita tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
During kitten season I find myself dedicating all my time to the Neonatal Kitten Nursery. It is a 24 hour, 7 day a week operation, with around 150 kittens every day. In the off-kitten season I socialize the shy and/aggressive cats. Last year, I and Samantha Bell, the Cat Behavioral Specialist, were able to transport a very special cat, Nicky, to the sanctuary. Nicky is now doing very well at Cat World. I love working with the adult cats, but the kittens are all consuming with their immediate needs. I've also helped with caregiving at off-site facilities such as Pet Food Express, and volunteered at the Super Adoption event here in Los Angeles. My husband and I are also currently fostering two kittens.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
BFLA is a no kill shelter with an excellent staff, volunteers, and resources. The animals are pulled by BFLA staff exclusively from Los Angeles City Shelters and many of the animals would have been euthanized at the shelter for lack of space or the shelter's inability to provide care -- like for the kittens. BFLA saves the lives of shy and socially awkward animals that otherwise would have no future. And then they find them loving homes. No problem if that takes time - the animals have a home for life with Best Friends.
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
Since June 2012 a few months after the Mission Hills facility opened.
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering?
My husband, Paul and I, have our own 5 cats. Plus, we are compulsive remodelers. There is always a house projects underway. We have wonderful friends and love spending time with them and our family.
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA?
Nicky, a kitty formerly known as Snickers in Los Angeles, remains my favorite cat. Nicky is a very quirky guy who is unpredictable in his behavior. Although Nicky's neurological problems scared off some people, other staff and volunteers were devoted to him and because BFLA is a no kill shelter Nicky always had a home even when his adoptions fell through and he was returned. Eventually, he was accepted into the BF Sanctuary in Utah where he is receiving excellent care and living a happy life. There is still hope he will find a home of his very own.
Do you have any pets?
Of course we have pets! We have five cats. All rescues. Ed the empath is around 13 years old and is the Mr. Mom. All the other cats love Ed and scramble to be with him. Abbey, Spider, and Sophia are around seven years old, and Jack is five years old. Spider and Sophia are survivors of a horrible wild fire when they were kittens. Sophia suffered terrible injuries to all four feet as well as burns on her face. She has adapted to her limitations and is okay now. And at the moment, we have two foster kittens (through the Best Friends Foster Program) recovering from panleukopenia. They were pretty sick for a while, but now are on the road to recovery.
What others are saying about Sarita:
Sarita is gem! She goes above and beyond for our animals. We are extremely lucky to have her be a part of our team. - Denise L. (Foster Coordinator)