"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.or
Belle H. - honored August 2017
Belle tell us.....
What programs and projects do you volunteer with at Best Friends LA?
First let me say, how grateful and appreciative I am to receive this. I volunteer primarily for the precious Ringworm kitties—those in Fungal Jungle in the front & those in Ringworm ISO in the back. I tend to gravitate to those that may not be getting as much love and attention, and this crew deserves every bit of love and more! I have a routine, I start in front giving the tower kitties some love (a special heart for the FeLV kitties too!), then have never felt so popular when going into Fungal Jungle! Then, I head to the back to Ringworm ISO. Socializing, cleaning, feeding, and anything else I can assist with are just some of the duties I love to do with these love nuggets. I really encourage anyone to become a Tier 2 volunteer so you can get as much happiness from the Ringworm crew and others as I do. Let me know if you have any questions! You won’t be disappointed volunteering for these love nuggets; I assure you of that! They are all so affectionate and absolutely purrrfect!
From time to time, I get to talk to people interested in adopting, as I know many of the kitties. That just recently happened with one of my favorite Ringworm kitties, Sasha. I was able to talk to her furever mom about what she loves, how I interact with her, just to name a few things. Her mom is very very lucky to adopt this purrrfect princess! It is just so rewarding to meet their adoptive parents.
It was also my first time volunteering for the June Super Adoption Event at Warner Park this year. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing so many find their furever homes; it certainly takes a village of compassionate, caring people to make this all come together. LA rocks!
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved animals. I had a kitty Porky, who I would dress up in my doll clothes, and then wheel him around in my doll stroller. I would get so mad at him when he would jump out. Apparently, cats were more important to me than dolls were in my life! I truly believe the mission to get LA and the rest of country to No-kill status is something I am deeply passionate about…and to be able to have the opportunity to be on the forefront of that here in LA is inspiring. Plus, I just love all animals, their caretakers, and the other volunteers that work endlessly to support all the kitties! There is no better place to give love and get love in return!
How long have you been a Best Friends LA volunteer?
Since 2015! I look forward to many, many more years!
What type of fun stuff do you do when you're not volunteering
I am a Vice President, Learning & Development Senior Consultant for Wells Fargo. I support leadership development across the organization. Every year, I am granted volunteer service hours, and boy do I use those up real quickly at Best Friends :). When not spending time with kitties, I love to hike, bike, go to yoga, and anything water related, I’m in a happy place!
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA?
I do! As I mentioned earlier, I have a special heart for the FeLV kitties too because they typically take longer to get adopted. I fell in love with Bailey (who had FeLV), to say the least. One day before I started my volunteer shift, I sponsored his adoption fee. Literally, an hour later, he was adopted by a wonderful woman, and I got to be there for it all. I still call it divine intervention! The fact that I could meet his new mom, and share with her how I knew Bailey and what he loved was a moment I will never forget. I still pinch myself over this!
Do you have any pets? If so, tell us about them!
Winston & Zoe are the loves of my life. They are beyond spoiled to say the least! I rescued them as a bonded pair in January 2015, and there was no way they were going to be separated. 2 is always better than 1 + I view it also as saving 4 lives!
What others are saying about Belle:
Belle is an absolute joy to be around! Her positive attitude and willingness to help shines through all she does. She is not only wonderful with the cats, she is also great with staff, other volunteers, and the public. We are so grateful for the love she gives to all of our kitties, especially our sweet ringworm kids. Thank you for all you do for us, Belle! We love you! - Samantha, Cat Behavior and Enrichment Lead