"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michelle Pratt - Honored August 2018
Michelle, tell us...
What BFLA programs/events/volunteer roles do you find yourself participating in?
I'm a dog team volunteer and mentor, helping with first day trainings and first shift check-ins. Every Sunday possible, I spend doing adventure buddies off-sites with a couple of our pups who need some time away from the center. I've also volunteered at some of our special events like Strut Your Mutt and Super Adoption.
Why do you choose to volunteer with Best Friends LA?
I feel so lucky to have found NKLA - the community of staff and volunteers here work tirelessly and joyously to help our "kids" find their forever homes and give them the best life possible at the center in the meantime. It's an incredibly supportive environment with amazing communication between the staff and volunteers and so many opportunities to learn skills that allow you to have an even bigger impact on the lives of our animals.
How long have you been a BFLA/NKLA volunteer?
This month is my one year anniversary.
What do you do when you're not volunteering (career/extracurricular activities)?
I'm a recruiter for work and I spend my down time reading (a lot), listening to Crooked Media podcasts, going to concerts, traveling.
Do you have a favorite story to share about an experience volunteering with Best Friends LA? Share it!
My favorite stories are seeing some of our long-timers get adopted - I am often in tears at my desk or on my phone in public when I see the happy news. I was lucky enough to be there in-person when one of our staff and volunteer favorites, Champion, was adopted. The lovely couple who adopted him was nice enough to let me get a photo (with tears streaming down my face) of them taking him home. Sharing that photo and news with the many dedicated people who helped him get to that point made me so happy - our Mission Hills and NKLA families both poured their souls into Champion and I knew it would mean so much for them to see his new family.
Do you have any pets? Tell us about them!
My husband and I have two cats - Little Red and Paisley, who were rescue kitties from the same litter that a friend was fostering through the West LA Animal Shelter when we met them. They are 7 years old now and spend most of their days finding new sun spots to nap in. I get my dog fix at NKLA.
What others are saying about Michelle:
Michelle is a one in a million volunteer! She is seriously one of the nicest and most positive people that we are so lucky to get to work with. She is an incredible teacher and guide for new volunteers along with being instrumental part of helping us develop our dog team trainings / mentor program! She is also an remarkable dog handler! Michelle is a staff favorite volunteer as well and completely adored by all of our volunteer community! As noted - we are incredibly lucky to get to work with people like Michelle. Thank you Michelle for everything that you do for our organization, our dogs, our volunteers & our staff! You are simply awesome! -Justin (NKLA Volunteer Coordinator)