Volunteer Spotlight

“Volunteering to serve others is the rent we pay for the space we occupy in this world.” – author unknown.

Volunteers at Hinsdale Humane Society are vital to our organization. With their help, we are able to provide continued care, love and attention to our four legged friends until they find their forever homes.

Leslie & Carlos Wilken

Why HHS?

This is close to home, it's a beautiful facility, and we love the people who work here. We wanted to be close to dogs and cats and do what we can to help them get their forever homes.

Town: Darien

Pets: Only fish right now.

Volunteer since: March 2019

Volunteer jobs: Greeter Desk

Fun Fact: We moved here from California for work and retired last December. We wanted to volunteer and to work with animals. We have four children and two grandchildren who live in California.

Ron Fiala

Why HHS?

I grew up with dogs and they have always been a part of my family’s life. When we adopted Hinsdale was our go to shelter for rescue pups. The staff was always helpful and we came to know it as a place that has dogs and cats best interest at heart. I enjoyed their training classes with Kym and that inspired me to become a volunteer dog walker. 

Town: Berwyn

Pets: A new pup I named Bo. I came in to walk dogs and this little guy looked at me and that was it, I took him home. He was a shy guy but my daughter’s dog Finn (From HHS), showed him the ropes and he definitely is a changed dog. Rory, my oldest daughter’s dog, is also from HHS.

Volunteer since: 2017

Volunteer jobs: STAR Dog Walker

Fun Fact: I love to fly fish. Bo sticks close to me and I think he will make a good fishing buddy. I also take blues harmonica lessons at The Old Town School of Folk Music.

Dietre Hayford & Bosco

Why HHS?

When I decided I would like to try pet therapy with Bosco, I looked into different ways to go about it. I saw that HHS offered it and knew that is where I would like to be. I admire so much what HHS is able to do for so many cats and dogs. Being a part of this organization is an honor.

Town: La Grange

Pets: Bosco, Cockapoo

Volunteer since: November, 2015

Volunteer jobs: Pet a Pet, READ, Spec Ed, CARe, Hospice

Fun Fact: My mother’s side of the family is from the island of St. Croix in the USVI. Our family goes back many generations there and even founded a rum distillery that is still distilling to this day; Cruzan Rum. My mother, as well as several other relatives, lives on island. We are lucky enough to go down for a couple weeks every summer. It has been very special to me to be able to take my kids down there, just as my mother took my sister and I there when we were kids.

Mike Bresolin & Jango

Why HHS?

I share the HHS mission in support of the compassionate treatment of animals. One of my goals when I retired was to fulfill a dream of being the human part of a pet therapy team. I was referred to the HHS Pet-a-Pet and Pet Partner programs by a close friend.

Town: Lombard

Pets: Jango - Labrador / Terrier Mix

Volunteer since: September 2017

Volunteer jobs: Pet a Pet, READ, Special Ed, Special Events

Fun Fact: I lived in Liverpool England for 2 years!

Kathleen Burns & Theo

Why HHS?

I always wanted to do pet therapy when I retired. I had just lost my 6th basset when I retired and Theo and Frisky (cat ) came up for adoption at the same time. Theo had been a therapy dog before I adopted him, so it was perfect. We had to take Frisky to get Theo.

Town: Burr Ridge

Pets: Theo - Basset Hound, Frisky - DSH Cat

Volunteer since: April, 2016

Volunteer jobs: Pet a Pet, Special Events

Fun Fact: Theo and I are trying to hike all the trails in the Cook County Forest Preserves

Dog Walkers

Why HHS?

Dog walkers like Linda Gordon work with our dogs that are ready to be adopted out to new homes. Volunteers work on socialization, leash behavior, and basic commands through hand signals.

This rewarding volunteer position provides our dogs with much needed one on one time with caring humans as well as fresh air and exercise.


Why HHS?

This month we're spotlighting one of the new positions that have been developed due to our our move to the Pet Rescue & Resource Center (PRRC): Volunteer Greeters.

Greeters are often the first impression of HHS that customers have. Our volunteers in this critical role must be 18 years of age or older and have excellent customer service skills.

Our greeters are empathetic to the sometimes emotional stories that come through our doors. Setting aside judgment can be difficult at times, but is mandatory for anyone working with our guests.


Why HHS?

This month we're spotlighting one of the many volunteering opportunities we offer: Fostering.

Foster families help us save more animals' lives by taking in those that need a home environment to properly heal from a surgery or illness, to give birth to a litter or to have a quiet home environment to wait in until they find their forever home.

Fostering provides the perfect opportunity for families or individuals who cannot make a lifetime commitment to an animal, but want to experience the joys of caring for a pet or pets.

Some of our fosterers have found themselves with a child away at college and an extra bedroom to spare, providing the perfect opportunity to help out a pet in need until they are able to be adopted.

Volunteer fosterers like Kathy Greulich, pictured here, get to enjoy time with puppies like these, and help prepare them for eventual adoption. HHS provides all of the food and supplies needed. Fosterers provide the love and care that makes all the difference in these animals' lives.

With so many more animals coming through our doors, and some in need of extra care that only foster families can provide, now is the perfect time to consider becoming a fosterer. Visit our website for more information at https://www.hinsdalehumanesociety.org/volunteer/foster-care-program, or contact kelsey@hinsdalehumanesociety.org for more details.

David Ore & Rico Suave (Pet Therapy Team)

Why HHS?

I was referred to HHS by fellow Therapy Dog handlers Jim and Karen Wierdak. The large draw was the depth of the Therapy Dog program at HHS. We really enjoy that our Team can work with medical professionals to assist patients at Paulson Pediatric with varying needs. We also enjoy the other programs where we participate - reading with children and teens as well as making school and hospital visits and participating in many special HHS events in the community.

Town: Elmhurst

Pets: Rico Suave

Volunteer since: November 2015

Volunteer jobs: READ and CARe programs; special events for Pet Partner Teams

Fun Fact: I could fly a glider alone (solo) before I could drive a car alone!

Caroline Johnston

Why HHS?

I belong to CSA (Czechoslovak Society of America) Fraternal Life. A number of years ago we had a national project initiative to serve a community organization. We chose the Hinsdale Humane Society as our organization. My son, Ken, and I liked it so much we stayed on as volunteers.

Town: Brookfield, IL

Pets: Cindy and Chelsea (Australian Shepherds) worked in the Pet a Pet Program, but sadly have crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I currently have Daisy who is an Australian Shepherd mix.

Volunteer since: 2010

Volunteer jobs: Pet a Pet (retired), Reception, Administrative Duties and special HHS Events

Fun Fact: Cindy and I loved to play frisbee together. Cindy was a great catcher!

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