Volunteer Lotta walking a dog
Lotta's energy, passion and dedication is an inspiration to our staff and her ability to work with a wide variety of dogs help us understand them during their time at the center.
March 31, 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
Lotta N. - Honored February 2017
Lotta tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
At NKLA I mostly focus on dog walking & being part of different playgroups.  I also like to take dogs off-site for a hike or to the beach so they can get a break from the kennel.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I actually started as a volunteer with a coalition partner - Labs & Friends where I go to the shelters, pull dogs & then transfer them to NKLA.  It's an amazing group of volunteers & staff at NKLA & it's has become one of my favorite places ;-) I love to be part of making LA a no-kill city.
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
I started volunteering at NKLA in spring of 2014.
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering? 
I've been married to Micah for 21 yrs and he is just amazing for being so supportive with my passion for animal rescue.  We love to go for hikes or the beach.  I teach group fitness classes at different gyms & I'm also a mobile massage therapist - that's why I can volunteer so much since I always have my table in the car & ready to go when I get the call.  I'm like Clark Kent, changing from dog clothes to work clothes & off I go with a slight smell of dog ;-).  I think I spend between 20-25 hours a week volunteering, sometimes more than I actually work....lol! 
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? 
L&F had Sugar - an energetic crazy but amazing 3 year old  Belgian Malinois mix at NKLA for over a year (she was adopted twice & returned twice).  She was dog reactive at first but then we realized she was just very insecure & selective of her play mates.  I spent a lot of time with her in the yard, long walks and many off site activities  to give her a break from the kennel and started taking her to a "dog reactive hike group" in Griffith park.  I think I spent 340 out 365 days at NKLA last year....but I told my self not to give up on her!  She ended up being adopted by an great family at the end of last year & they are still bringing her to the hike in Griffith park on Sunday's & when I hike along side them with my own dog I feel like the circle is finally completed!  This dog that I thought would never get adopted is now walking next to mine on a hike - amazing end!  Stories like that is what keeps me going!!! Never give up - there is a family for every dog out there!
Do you have any pets?
Well - all rescues of course, I have an  almost 100 lb female German shepherd, a smaller female GS mix & we are also fostering a 14 yr old female Cocker Spaniel.  She was in bad shape after being in an evidence case when Labs and Friends stepped in and rescued her.  She's half blind & deaf, bad teeth, bad ear & eye infections but she's so much better then what she was & she is SO happy.  We also have 3 cats & last year we fostered at least 12 kittens - so it's a full house sometimes.
What others are saying about Lotta:
"Lotta is incredible!  I have know Lotta for 2 years and she is without question one of our very best and favorite volunteers.  Her energy, her passion, her dedication and her awesome work ethic are beyond inspiring.  Plus she is a remarkable dog handler!  Her ability to work with a wide variety of dogs and truly help us understand them during their time at the center is phenomenal.  I hope she continues to volunteer at NKLA for years to come."  From: Jessica, NKLA Administrative Specialist 

"We love Lotta! Every single time Lotta is at the center, her energy and passion inspire others around her! She really is a role model for others and a person we all look up to! There are certain people you get to meet in life and work with that are simply incredible people. Lotta is one of those people! We hope Lotta is with our volunteer family for a very long time to come. Thank you Lotta for all that you do and more!"  From: The LA Volunteer Department.