Joanna K
A great dog handler, Joanna is a huge help in making sure our dogs get lots of walks and love!
February 26, 2018

"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  

Joanna K. - Honored February 2018

Joanna tell us...

What BFLA programs/events/volunteer roles do you find yourself participating in?

I love walking and working with the big dogs mostly. Occasionally a little dog will steal my heart though! I have also helped do some of the website videos and I love it because it's an opportunity to meet a new dog and work on the best way to show off their personality in their video. I'm hoping to start going on the monthly hikes and participating in playgroups soon too.   

Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?

My fiance and I adopted our first dog, Chaplin, from NKLA 4 years ago when he was just 3 months old. I didn't know how much of an impact having a "pit bull" type dog would have on me, but I suddenly found myself reading up on any and all information about the different breeds that fall under the label of "pit bull" and the stigma there is against dogs that looked like our buddy. I immediately wanted to find ways to help dogs just like Chap find homes and show others just how special these blockheads are so I signed up with the very place that saved our best friend!   

How long have you been a BFLA/NKLA volunteer?

Just over 3 years now. I come in 2-3 times a week usually during my lunch break since I work a mile away. It's such an amazing way to recharge in the middle of the work day and the dogs always remind me to just live in the moment. They are so happy just to walk around the block and it's so easy to forget to stop and appreciate all the little things in our day.   

What do you do when you're not volunteering (career/extracurricular activities)?

I am an accountant for a commercial production company. I'm pretty sure everyone has seen some of the commercials we have made! I love spending time with my own dogs and I have fostered a dozen dogs as well. I also like to cook, find new places to dine out, travel and take pictures (especially of our dogs :P).  

Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? Share it! 

My first day of volunteering, I came in to find a big litter of "pit bull" puppies in the green room and I thought I had just won the lottery! I immediately went in there, sat down and just let all the little pups crawl all over me. It was heaven! I also love seeing when our long-termers finally find their forever homes and when I see a dog I met at NKLA out with their families and they tell me how much they are loved! Nothing feels better!  

Do you have any pets?
We have Chaplin, our 4 year old American Staffordshire mix. He's super sweet, but always looks grumpy. He loves other dogs, playing fetch and posting on his very own Instagram account (@chaplinthepit)!  And this past year we adopted our second dog, Oona, from NKLA Coalition Partner, Wags and Walks. She's also a pit mix and one of the goofiest dogs you'll ever meet. She loves to do zoomies around the house and is always flopping over for belly rubs. We have quickly learned that 2 dogs are even better than 1!  

What others are saying about Joanna: 

Joanna is incredible / amazing / the best! She is not only a great dog handler but really one of the most warm and kind people that we get to work with at the center! Every time we see her on the schedule, we know our dogs are going to get some great walks and lots of love! Thank you Joanna for all that you do! We appreciate you and your awesome hard work! -Justin (NKLA Volunteer Coordinator)