Volunteer Gina G with her dog
Gina's positive energy literally lights up the center each time she volunteers and is an incredible dog handler and mentor as well!
April 23, 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 volunteerla@bestfriends.org.  

Gina G. - Honored April 2018

Gina tell us...

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

I work mostly with the dogs at NKLA, but recently took Kat's Caturday cat behavior class and had my first day cat training, so I'm ready (albeit respectfully wary) to make some feline friends!

Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?

When my friend was looking to adopt a dog, we found ourselves at NKLA and I picked up a volunteer flyer. The rest, as they say, is history! I am so impressed with the communication, compassion, and organization within this community. I can't imagine a better way to start my days than running around and cuddling with our pack of furry kids alongside many new two-legged friends!

How long have you been a BFLA/NKLA volunteer?

My first day was January 4th. It sure seems like it's been longer than 3 months!

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

I have worked in the medical field for a while and I am applying to medical school this year. To relax, I tend to a small vegetable bed, cook with the resulting vegetables, hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, and sing lullabies to my own little furballs.

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

My first NKLA love, Goofy (featured, in my lap of course, in the photo by Lorena), was napping in my lap like he loved to do when a couple walked past the kennel. They couldn't believe how sweet he looked and were hooked right away. I got to tell them all about what I had come to love about him, from his silly drinking problem (at least 50% of the water he'd try to drink would end up on the floor) to his playful, affectionate demeanor. I even got to say goodbye as they made the decision to take him home! Goofy was my first lesson in how happysad it is to see an animal you love find a forever family, but I'm so glad I got to play a role in his adoption. Of course, the revolving door always brings new kiddos who are craving some love and affection. 

Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!

My two dogs, Katie and Reno, are hilariously different from each other. Katie is a little aussie mix who loves fetch and being near people, but not so much being pet. She is a picky eater and finicky around stranger dogs. Reno is a lab mix who loves other dogs and being pet and will consume just about anything that could be construed as food. He is less fond of fetch than he is of catch-once-and-destroy. Both love hikes and music (Katie especially likes sitting under the piano) and rolling in poop, and both dislike the inevitable rolled-in-poop bath. They are fabulous companions and I love them very much!  

What others are saying about Gina: 

"Gina is an absolutely awesome person that has become one of our very favorite people to work with! Her positive energy literally lights up the environment each and every time she visits! And she is not only an awesome person but an incredible dog handler as well! She also just became a mentor volunteer with us helping new dog team volunteers! We love Gina and are so happy she is a part of our volunteer family! Thank you for all that you do at the center Gina, great work & congratulations!" - Justin (NKLA Volunteer Coordinator)