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.

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!

Julie Ludwig

Why HHS?

I’m glad to be doing something in my community and I love animals. I truly believe in this quote from Ghandi: “I hold that the more helpless the creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.” Helping pets find forever homes is so important.

Town: Hinsdale

Pets: Dorothy 14, and Hazel, 13. They were adopted from the Pulaski County Humane Society when we lived in Little Rock, AR. We celebrate both of their birthdays on Flag Day (June 14) since we don’t know the actual dates.

Volunteer since: 2017

Volunteer jobs: I am a cat socializer and I help with opening procedures one day a week.

Fun Fact: I once rescued a cat that fell out of a tree! One summer night my husband and I were out for a walk. It was dark and we had just passed underneath a tree with branches hanging over the sidewalk. We heard a slight sound and I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. We both turned around and there was a kitten on the sidewalk behind us that wasn’t there the second before. The kitten looked a little neglected so we brought him home with us and found him a new family - he lived like a king for the rest of his days with my Dad and family in Naperville.

Kathy Lindstrom

Why HHS?

I adopted my cat, Oliver from HHS in December 2015. They took such good care of him I wanted to pay it forward.

Town: Darien

Pets: Oliver, an orange short hair cat

Volunteer since: January 2016

Volunteer jobs: Events and cat socializing

Kathy Greulich

Why HHS?

I started because I no longer had my own dogs, so I thought I could do something to help other animals in need. The people at HHS are awesome! They work so hard for so many animals. I truly appreciate the opportunity for my small part in this wonderful effort.

Town: Burr Ridge

Pets: We lost both of our senior dogs to different cancers in 2016. I do have two Granddogs: Buster and Hazel.

Volunteer since: September of 2017

Volunteer jobs: Closer on Thursdays. I also helped with Santa Paws, 2017. Looking forward to dog walking in the near future, and hopefully being a foster at some point.

Fun Fact: I loved doing agility with my Vizsla, Wrigley. I always thought he could have been really good, if I had been a little better at it!

Aimee El-Zayaty

Why HHS?

I moved to Hinsdale in 2016 and immediately knew I wanted to continue working with an animal rescue organization. I previously had volunteered for over 7 years at another shelter. I loved the intimate feel of the staff and volunteer base and the mission of the organization. The amount of love these animals get is second to none.

Town: Hinsdale

Pets: Max (11 year old boxer lab mix), Mr. Smithers (3 year old long haired cat), and Sophie (a 3 year old DSH tabby). All three are foster failures from my last shelter.

Volunteer since: 2016

Volunteer jobs: Reception, Community Outreach, Special Events, Fostering mostly kittens

Fun Fact: Since I began working in animal rescue over 10 years ago, I have fostered 87 animals. People always ask if fostering is hard. Yes, sometimes it can be hard to let some of them go, but then I remember this number. 87. If I had kept the first few, I would have been too busy to foster again. Instead, I have helped 87 animals get into loving homes. My whole family is part of the fostering process. While I take on most of the poop duty, they help with everything else. My two teenage children have experienced puppies and kittens being born in our home, the loss of a sick animal that didn't respond to medication, and the difference a little bit of love can make in the life of an animal - all important life lessons.

Ann Marie Casper

Why HHS?

Since the only dogs I have ever had in my life were toy poodles, when we finally decided on Lilly (an Old English Sheepdog) I knew that training was a must. We trained with a wonderful local group and most of the dogs were being trained to be service dogs. I thought we should be able to be helpful to others in some way too, and after having spent many hours visiting elderly family members in nursing facilities, I knew that Lilly and I should become a therapy team. Once Lilly and had completed the necessary steps with Pet Partners to become a therapy team, we joined up with the Hinsdale Humane Society since they have such an extensive outreach program in place.

Town: Hinsdale

Pets: We have Lilly, the Old English Sheepdog, and two cats, Rocky who we adopted from Anti Cruelty in Chicago as a kitten who is now 15 and Lucy who is 14 and was also adopted from the Hinsdale Humane Society also as a kitten.

Volunteer since: 2014

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

Fun Fact: When Lilly and I aren't "working" I enjoy traveling, playing tennis and gardening.

Brittany Tisza

Why HHS?

I found my dog, Zamboni at HHS and wanted to give back.

Town: Lemont

Pets: Zamboni, a boxer mix

Volunteer jobs: Photographer & Ambassador

Fun Fact: My husband and I are expecting our first baby in April!

Linda Merrifield

Why HHS?

I love HHS's passion to teach the public about animal welfare and advocacy.

Town: Downers Grove

Pets: Zeke - Cattle Dog Mix (7); Perdita - Border Collie Mix (4); Bouchie - Long Haired Orange Tabby (11)

Volunteer since: 2017

Volunteer jobs: Cat Socializer, Special Events, Closing Procedures

Fun Fact: My dog Perdita was adopted from HHS, she lived with 30 other dogs in the Tennessee Woods, and my sister Sara adopted Sonja from HHS, one of the 30 dogs as well!

Mary Beth & Maggie; Mary Beth & Bailey

Why HHS?

When we adopted Riley and I saw his loving personality, I knew he had to be a therapy dog. The Pet a Pet program was perfect for him because each team works alone.

Town: Downers Grove

Pets: Riley, Timmy, Maggie, Jesse James and Bailey, all Golden Retrievers. Riley taught me how much dogs can love. Timmy taught me how much dogs can learn; he, and every dog of ours after him, trained with Pet Partners.

Volunteer since: 2002

Volunteer jobs: Pet a Pet and READ with Maggie; READ with Bailey, special events for Pet Partner Teams

Fun Fact: My great-uncle brought the recipe for Irish coffee to America!

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