“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.
Years ago my father was terminally ill and hospitalized, and missed his dog so much. At that time we could not bring his dog to the hospital to see him, nor were there any pet therapy programs. So, in memory of my dad, I started volunteering with our first dog after becoming a registered Pet Partners therapy team.
Between Sue Aikman at the Bellyrub Klub and Lori Halligan from HHS, we were recruited into the HHS pet therapy program for community outreach and have enjoyed our visits to area libraries and at events helping to promote HHS.
Pets: Sláinte is our vision-impaired, 8 year old, female American cocker spaniel.
Volunteer since: 2011
Volunteer jobs: READ, Pet Therapy Ambassadors at special events.
Fun Fact: One of Sláinte’s favorite tricks is to show how excited she is to read by opening her favorite book for her reading friends. She also enjoys playing the piano.
The Hinsdale Humane Society is such a gem! The facility is so clean, and spacious for the animals. Everyone who works and volunteers at HHS is kind, compassionate and friendly. HHS does an amazing job of providing Hinsdale and the surrounding communities with the opportunity to rescue animals and learn more about animal welfare and care. I love being at the front desk, because I get to hear the stories of so many who have found a best fur-friend from us!
Town: Western Springs
Pets: Chauncey, 2 year old Frenchie, HHS Alum
Volunteer since: 2008
Volunteer jobs: Reception and singing at the Pet Walk
Fun Fact: I was in an a cappella group in college called The Rip Chords.
I LOVE animals, all kinds, and I have a huge place in my heart for rescue animals. All animals I have ever owned have been from a shelter. Since junior high I have been bringing home stray/unwanted animals against my parents' wishes, and today, it is my husband and children who have to put up with it! Just this past weekend we had 5 dogs staying with us...the more, the merrier! Hinsdale Humane Society is a great organization doing great things for our community and beyond. I am happy they let me be a part of it!
Pets: A rescue...a Benji-look-alike named Darvi, a rescue Maltese show dog named Felicia, and a fish named Finn.
Volunteer since: 2015
Volunteer jobs: I help put together the Silent Auction for the amazingly fun event, Howl-O-Ween Ball!
Fun Fact: I am from Mississippi! And contrary to what I look like when you see me around town, I work in the Fashion industry ;)
My daughter and I share a love for all animals, so when she decided she wanted to foster kittens, we went to HHS. Since she wasn't quite old enough at that time, I started as a dog walker and really enjoyed it. Then when my daughter turned twelve, we started cat socializing and fostering kittens. We love being around the animals and giving them lots of TLC! It is heart-warming to witness the dedication of all the people working at the HHS.
Pets: We share our home with 2 black labs, Minnie & Mazie, our HHS (fostered) and adopted cat, Ivy, and our parakeet, Baby Blu.
Volunteer since: Susan, 8/2013, Caroline, 2/2103
Volunteer jobs: Cat socializers & (mom) dog walker
Fun Fact: Susan a birder & have worked with injured birds of prey. Caroline enjoys playing tennis and baking, and every year at Christmas time we make gingerbread houses from scratch.
My niece, Ellie, wanted me to adopt a kitten, and she even created a Google slide presentation to convince me to adopt one or more. She has been visiting HHS and donating pet supplies for over 5 years, and she went to camp at HHS last summer.
Town: La Grange Park
Pets: We fostered three gray tabbies in the spring and then five brown tabbies in the fall, plus the little "bonus" guy you see in the photo. He stole our hearts, along with his tabby "sister", so we are happy foster failures, the proud family of Tipsy and Scrappy.
Volunteer since: March 2016
Volunteer jobs: Foster family
Fun Fact: The HHS fostering program is very thorough, and we've really enjoyed getting to work with the team, and the kittens! We plan to foster more kittens very soon!
I knew I wanted to get my Golden Retriever, Grover, into a therapy program. I chose HHS because it is close to home, well established and Deborah was nice enough to return my call and give me the info Grover and I needed to get started. Grover and I are honored to represent HHS.
Pets: We have 3 dogs. Grover 8 year old Golden Retriever, Jazz 10 year old rescue (she is many different breeds-a Heinz 57), and Jade a 5 year old black lab mix also a rescue (my daughter rescued Jazz from an abusive situation). We were lucky enough to get Grover from the son of a friend of ours who had to give him up because his fiancée was allergic.
Volunteer since: Spring 2015
Volunteer jobs: Pet a Pet, CARe, Pet Therapy Ambassadors at special events
Fun Fact: Grover is not a barker except when there are dogs on TV. Not sure why, but he barks at all of them - even the stuffed ones! In our short time with pet therapy we have had many offers to take Grover home or stay with the patients all day! I get just as much pleasure visiting as Grover does.
I chose HHS because I think it is a great organization...I even came back after having to leave because "life became too busy". We also adopted two of our former kitties from HHS.
Town: Willow Springs
Pets: We have one kitty named Gryffin
Volunteer since: March 2016 (the second time)
Volunteer jobs: Cat Socializer
Fun Fact: I have been skydiving two times
When Katie was 13 she begged to volunteer at the shelter. At that time the only opportunity available to 13 year olds was “socializing cats with adult supervision” so we applied and there happened to be an opening. We have a family member who is allergic to cats so we can’t have one in our home, so we really enjoy getting to socialize them at the shelter. Katie had never played with a cat before she was a socializer!
Pets: We have 2 dogs - border collies. We adore them but after volunteering at the shelter, we recognize the need for people to adopt senior dogs and plan to rescue seniors in the future.
Volunteer since: April 2015
Volunteer jobs: Cat Socializer, Cat website photographer
Fun Fact: Katie and I are passionate about the shelter and every pet that comes through. Until recently we never realized that many people in the community are also passionate, know the names of the animals at the shelter and track adoptions all through social media and the website! As a way to network and highlight available animals and shelter work from a volunteer and Hinsdale resident point of view, we decided to start an Instagram account, Hinsdale to the Rescue. We became SCUBA certified together a couple of years ago and love to dive!
I wanted to help animals in some way, and HHS was perfectly placed, both geographically and the with types of work I was interested in. My day job can be quite stressful at times, and I wanted to do something that was low-stress but also mattered in some way. The opening procedures and cat socializing I do fit that exactly.
Pets: I have two female cats, Sibley (17) and Arwen (8). Both are rescues of course! Sibley is from Michigan, and Arwen was born in California. They're reluctant travelers, but move whereever I do.
Volunteer since: April, 2015
Volunteer jobs: "Opener" and Cat Socializer
Fun Fact: I'm learning to sew so that I can make costumes for myself to wear at fan conventions (like Comic Con). My ultimate goal is to make an historically accurate Elizabethan Era court gown. It may take a few years to get there though, especially since the cats like to "help".
My dad had to spend some time in assisted living during his final illness...I remember thinking if the opportunity ever presented itself, I would like to give back and visit others in that situation and make a small difference in day to day routines.
Fast forward a few years...a beautiful puppy named Ginger entered our life, and had so much joy to share....I thought she might make a great therapy dog if she ever settled down from puppyhood. When Ginger turned 3 I saw the opportunity to volunteer for Pet A Pet at HHS....so we gave it a try. Ginger was great and we decided to go for Pet Partners certification so we could also volunteer for READ...and it was a proud moment when we passed!
Pets: We have a 3 year old rescue pug, Ruby, who is devoted to Ginger and a 13 year old cat, Alli.
Volunteer since: October, 2013
Volunteer jobs: Pet Therapy Team
Fun Fact: Ginger was named by the little boy who had Ginger's mother. After we had her several months someone asked me....did you name her because of Gilligan's Island....Ginger & Marianne? That was the first time I made the connection....but it has come up and we have laughed about it many times since. To take it one step further...my husband's name is Fred....Fred & Ginger...some things are just meant to be!