Best Friends volunteer Jani with a dog
Jani has been instrumental in our efforts to Save Them All - helping with everything from adoptions, special events and our annual national conference!
January 18, 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
Jani H. - honored January 2017
Jani tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
Mobile adoptions, Adoptions/PetPoint clerk, event set-up and tear-down for special events (e.g., Home For The Pawlidayz, Clear the Shelters Day, #Freedom 100, NKLA Super Adoption), Retail Store Assistance (e.g., inventory), administrative research/assistance and special projects, Strut Your Mutt since 2013 (e.g., Registration Captain), shy dog work, training offered by BF (e.g., dog body language, first aid for dogs & cats, playgroups) and most recently Dog Walk Party to the Park and I will be getting involved in Big Dog Playgroups. I am also involved in volunteering for BF National programs such as: Best Friends National Conference since 2014 (Leadership Session meeting notes, retail store set-up/clerk/pack-up, Stewardship Events) and Sanctuary volunteering (Dogtown and Horse Haven) – I am excited about my upcoming third trip to the Sanctuary.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I volunteer in the animal welfare arena to be the voice and hands for homeless pets that cannot help themselves and have landed in a shelter due to no fault of their own. I chose BFLA because I wholeheartedly believe not only in the BF mission and their philosophies, but also in the ‘why’ behind their mission. I also admire how the organization achieves their goals and objectives, and the respect they have for companion animals as individuals. I have been a BF donor for over 20 years so I have watched BF grow and mature over the years. They do the right things in the right manner – thoughtful and organized, taking the time and steps necessary to ensure a successful outcome. I was thrilled when BFLA opened their doors in 2012 so I could expand my support for the organization to include hands-on work – making a difference in the lives of individual dogs (and cats…but I am really a dog person!) on a regular basis for an organization that I stand behind. I truly appreciate BFLA’s efforts to provide volunteers with such a wide array of opportunities so we can choose shifts that fit our schedules, lifestyles and especially any physical limitations we might have. Lastly, I LOVE working with the BF staff – they are amazing, wonderful, caring and very competent people. They go out of their way to make volunteers feel appreciated and part of the family. I feel like BFLA is my second home!
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
Since December 2012.
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering? 
I retired early just so that I could volunteer – I wanted the work that I do to make a difference in the lives of both companion animals and people. In addition to volunteering at BFLA, I regularly volunteer at Children’s Hunger Fund and Shepherd Church at Porter Ranch. When not volunteering I enjoy the theater, movies, board games, books, wine tasting and quality time with my friends. I love traveling outside our country visiting archeological sites, different cultures, beautiful beaches and amazing mountain ranges. I particularly enjoy exploring our incredible national and state parks, especially hiking and camping. I am an awe of the beauty all around us in nature – it is truly a wonderful gift we been given to protect and enjoy.
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 
A highlight of my BFLA volunteering is experiencing the moment a shy dog comes out of his/her shell – taking treats from my hand for the first time or letting me pet him/her for the first time, or eventually letting me take him/her out to the yard for some play time. I want to shout out in excitement…but that of course would frighten the already-shy dog!
Do you have any pets?
My dogs are in heaven and I have chosen not to adopt at this time because I feel that I am doing the greatest good by giving the gift of my time to help all homeless animals. Since I am not bound by the need to be home walking/feeding/playing with my dog, I have flexibility and am able to spend longer hours volunteering to save them all.
What others are saying about Jani:
Janine is beyond helpful. Not only does she process adoptions for us like a champ, but she is always helping our Administrative Specialist; Lora with set up and retail needs. A huge reason that our events get set up so nicely is because Janine is here to help us with all of our needs! Janine has been instrumental in our effort to go paperless, she has put in a ton of hours organizing, scanning, storing boxes of paperwork. She has also volunteered at many of our BF Conferences by helping in their retail tent. We are so lucky to have Jani as a volunteer who is also a devoted and loyal Best Friends Golden Circle Member. She is a real life saver! Thank you Jani for all you do! - From: The Adoptions Team and the Volunteer Team