"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
Gillian H. - honored April 2017
GIllian tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
I volunteer in the dog department and help out with whatever needs doing from cleaning kennels to washing dishes and of course walking dogs, but more recently I tend to be in the laundry room as there is always plenty to be done in there. I am presently a brown paw dog handler and have taken quite a few of the training classes available such as Dog Obedience Training, Trick Training, Dog Behavior & Body Language, Reactive Rover and Groomer Training to name a few. I plan to do the Shy Class Training and will then be able to do the Brown Star Training which will enable me to handle some of the more challenging dogs. I also enjoy the enrichment hikes and the dog walking to the park events, I think they are a great way to stimulate the pups. I have also helped out at the NKLA Adoption Events which are always great fun, it's very rewarding seeing all the animals go to new homes.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I volunteer because I love animals and it's so satisfying when they find new homes. I think Best Friends is an amazing organization, their commitment to saving and enriching the lives of animals is incredible. I am very excited that LA is close to being No Kill and I can't wait for Best Friends to reach their goal of making the US a No Kill country by 2025, it's very rewarding being a small part of that.
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
I started volunteering in October 2013, I can't believe it's been that long already!
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering?
In my spare time I enjoy gardening, decorating our house and I love to cook, I also enjoy playing Mah Jong, card games and often have friends to dinner for a games night. My husband and I love to travel and have just returned from a trip to New Zealand which was incredible, a very beautiful country.
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA?
I decided to take the C.L.A.S.S Training Course and Amanda thought Dude, an eight year old black and white chunky pit bull mix would make a good training companion. I totally fell in love with him during the 5 week course and after a bit more training he passed his Canine Life and Social Skills Certificate. Dude had been adopted a couple of times and returned due to no fault of his own, I would have adopted him but had my own dog to consider, so I just hoped everyday that someone would fall in love with him just like I and many of the other volunteers and staff had. He was moved to the NKLA center in West LA and I hoped this could be his big break and it was, a young couple had seen his instagram on the Colourpop site and instantly fell in love with him and he now lives happily ever after being totally spoiled and loved and I couldn't be happier for him, even though I miss him like crazy!
Do you have any pets?
My dog Samantha pictured with me, is a german shepherd/chow mix who has just turned 11, we adopted her in 2011 when she was 5. She's a very sweet and silly girl who loves tummy rubs and squeaky toys.
What others are saying about Gillian:
"Gill is one of our best volunteers! She is eager to jump in wherever we need her most but she is also a great dog handler. I can't say enough good things about Gill, she really is amazing! " - MaryAna, Dog Care Manager
"Super sweet! I love her! She is always helping out with dishes and laundry! She also helped me go look for 3 stray dogs in one of the neighborhoods across the street one time. She is always happy to help where ever its needed!" - Amanda and Betty, Behavior & Training Department