Volunteer Donna walking two cats in strollers
Donna is a remarkable dog handler and a ray of sunshine while she volunteers at our adoption center.
July 05, 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.
Donna M. - Honored June 2017
Donna tell us.....
What BFLA programs/events/volunteer roles do you find yourself participating in? 
I primarily walk dogs. I go on the monthly dog hike whenever I can. I also like to take the dogs on off site adventure whenever I can.  It makes my day to see how happy they are to get away from their kennel for a little while.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I volunteer with Best Friends LA because I love animals and want to help them in anyway I can. I chose Best Friends because I want to help them achieve the goal of "Save Them All."  I hope that in some small way I can make a difference in their lives.  Until they find their forever home, I want everyone of them to feel loved and cared for so I do what I can to let them know that they are loved. I have also been to the Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah and am very impressed with what they do.
How long have you been a BFLA/NKLA volunteer?
I have been volunteering for a little more than 2 years.  I started working only with the cats because cats are what I know.  One day another volunteer suggested I try working with the dogs and helped me get over my initial hesitation. I was initially a little intimidated to put on the harness and the gentle leader.  Once I got the hang of it,  I was hooked, I absolutely loved working with the dogs.  
What do you do when you're not volunteering? 
I work for a computer software company in Product Management and QA.  When I am not working, I enjoy staying fit through various activities. Currently I enjoy swimming and working out with weights. When relaxing, I enjoy knitting, usually while watching too much TV news or binge watching something on Netflix.
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA?
My favorite experience was seeing Casper and Shane get adopted TOGETHER!  When I first tried to walk them, they would not hear of it.  I took that as a challenge and started spending time with them each time I was at the center.  I would just sit with them and offer them treats and talk to them. They were very treat motivated, so it did not take long at all before they warmed up to me and were happy to go out with me. I knew it would take the right kind of people to be willing to spend time with them and get to know them in order for them to find their forever home.  I was so happy when that happened, it proved to me that those kind of people are out there!.
Do you have any pets?
I have 7 cats.  They are all indoors only. They range in age from about 5 years to 13 years. They were all found on my deck, the street, or from a shelter where I used to volunteer.  They really needed a home so now they have one.   All but one of them is more attached to my husband than to me.  For some reason they don't seem to realize that I brought them home.

What others are saying about Donna:
Donna is incredible! She is not only a remarkable dog handler but one of the most warm, gracious and kind people you will meet! We always love to see her at the center and greatly appreciate her hard work and dedication to our dogs (especially her boy Will). She is one of our favorite people to work with and we so grateful to have her on our team! Thank you for all that you do Donna! You are awesome! - Katie (NKLA Lead Pet Caregiver) & Justin (NKLA Volunteer Coordinator)