From greeting visitors to completing adoption paperwork, Ian is a huge help throughout the entire adoption process and is extremely dedicated to helping the animals.
January 23, 2017

"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
Ian W. - honored January 2017
Ian tell us.....
What BFLA/NKLA programs and projects do you volunteer with?
I love to participate in everything, and enjoy lending a hand wherever I am most needed — whether it be dog walking, spot cleaning, assisting with admin, or greeting the public. I started out just walking and socializing with the dogs, but quickly realized that my life wouldn't be complete without the cats and the humans, too. So now I do a bit of everything, and often work at the front desk helping to familiarize potential adopters with the facility, assisting with meet-and-greets, counseling, and processing adoptions.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I initially started volunteering as a way to spend more time with animals, to help them in whatever way I could, to show them my love and to receive their love in return. It quickly, however, became a much greater and much more important pastime for me. I have fallen in love with the organization and its inspiring mission, and I find great fulfillment working alongside the talented and dedicated staff, as well as the other passionate volunteers, in order to help "save them all!"  The camaraderie is inspiring, and the work is meaningful and endlessly gratifying — not only helping animals find their forever homes, but helping people better understand the importance and the responsibility of adopting an animal. One of my favorite things about volunteering, however, and one of the main reasons I can't stay away, is that moment of excitement the dogs get when they realize you're about to take them on a walk. It never gets old and always puts a smile on my face! 
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
I started volunteering in early 2016…so just under a year.

What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering? 
I work in the entertainment industry as a television producer, but, when I'm not volunteering (or working), you can bet I'm either eating, reading, catching up on a backlog of television shows, movies, and podcasts, or scrolling through animal pictures on Instagram…usually all the while cuddling with my pup. I also try to make time for theatre, art, traveling, and camping.

Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 
It's hard to pick just one story or one experience, because there are so many, but I will say this: When I first started volunteering at NKLA, there was one dog in particular that I longed to get to know. His name was Lincoln, and every time I walked past his kennel, his sweet gaze would catch my eye. But he was a "grey paw" dog and I was not yet a "grey paw" volunteer. So when I finally became a grey paw, I went straight for his kennel and took him out to play. We immediately bonded and had an amazing time playing in the yard and splashing around in the doggie pool. Another stand-out moment was when I did my first full cat adoption, from the initial meet-and-greet and counseling session, to processing the paperwork and sending the happy family home with their new best friend! 

Do you have any pets?
I have a beautiful 3 year old blue-nose pit mix who, because she was found on the side of the road in the Sierra Mountains, we call Sierra. She is a high-maintence ball of stress and energy, and she can be very difficult at times (both with other dogs and other humans) but she is the light of my life and I love her more than I can even begin to express. I delight in spoiling her rotten. She loves exploring new places (like me); she is curious (like me), but also anxious (like me); she loves curling up under a blanket on the couch (like me); and, most of all, she loves to eat (like me) and is very food motivated (like me). So, yeah, we're a pretty great match. 

What others are saying about Ian:
Not only is Ian a huge help at the front desk, he is an absolute pleasure to be around. He has been a very fast learner and such a team player - he showed up and zipped through adoptions all day every day of the Zappos promotion! His upbeat energy is contagious. He is such an asset to the volunteer squad and we're so lucky to have him on board - Jesi, Administrative Specialist