Cat volunteer Vanessa with a cat
Vanessa is a wonderful volunteer, always willing to help our cat care team and works exceptionally hard at our NKLA pet adoption center!
February 27, 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
Vanessa W. - Honored February 2017
Vanessa tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
At NKLA, I am often up in the cat rooms tidying up, cleaning cat condos, making sure the cats have fresh litter & water, picking out blanket colors that compliment their fur, socializing with the current residents, playing wand toy with them, giving out head scratches and talking with Lady.  On Saturdays, I volunteer as Cat Liaison helping to showcase cats and talk up our amazing kitties to potential adopters. 
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
Growing up, my family had a lot of pets from cats and dogs to horses and ponies.  Taking care of them has always been a constant, and after living in Los Angeles with no pets, I realized I needed to find a way to have animals in my life.  I chose Best Friends because I admire their mission + efforts towards a No-Kill Los Angeles.  The animals seem happy and the caregivers & staff are friendly.  I appreciate feeling like I’m part of the NKLA community and having the opportunity to meet and talk to other like-minded individuals who care about animal welfare as much as I do.  Plus, I get to hang out with cats.  I love cats!
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
I became a volunteer in August 2016.

What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering? 
I work at an apparel company called Velvet,  managing their digital marketing.  Otherwise, I can be found watching TV, eating breakfast, checking the NKLA website to see who is there, baking, traveling, commenting on the NKLA Volunteers Facebook page.  In addition, I recently got involved with coalition partner, Stray Cat Alliance!
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 
There once was a little orange cat called Isabelle who totally stole my heart and despite being a playful little love, was at the adoption center for awhile because she had FIV.  A guy came in looking to adopt that day and after promoting Isabelle to him and explaining the disease, he adopted her!  She was the first FIV cat I helped place in a home.  Shortly there after, we had a cat called Keri who was very agile and loved jumping on top of all the condos to explore. One day, while cleaning, she jumped up there, laid down, and closed her eyes.  In hindsight, I realize she was luring me into a false sense of security because once I opened the door to throw something in the trash, she cat-ninja-ed down and right out the door.  She was great!
Do you have any pets?
Unfortunately, my current living situation does not allow me to have any pets.  We have 4 family cats, all rescues, at my home in Pennsylvania which I visit as much as I can.  I let my [human] family think I'm visiting to see them but I think we all know who I’m really there to see. 
What others are saying about Vanessa:
"Vanessa is one of my favorite people to work with and I always give a sigh of relief when I see her name on the sign in sheet.  Vanessa is great with our cats and always helps out with cleaning their condos and helps adopters find their purrfect cat.  She has a welcoming and warm aura about her which gives fellow volunteers, staff, and the public a great experience when working with her.  Her willingness to get down and dirty and help with anything plus her love for the cats is essential to the NKLA team and I hope she continues to volunteer for years to come."  From: Kat, NKLA Caregiver.

"Vanessa is without question one of our favorite volunteers! Her warmth and positvity make her a joy to work with! She is an all-star cat volunteer that works exceptionally hard at everything she does at NKLA for our cats whether keeping their living areas looking fantastic or the care that she puts into every socialization session. She is the best! Thank you Vanessa for all that you do and more!"  From: The LA Volunteer Department.