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.

Clare Vlazny

Why HHS?

My family has been connected to Hinsdale Humane Society for 50 years. My mother adopted a German Shepherd decades ago and our family has adopted five cats. I've always loved coming to the shelter and bringing my kids to see the cats. When my own cats died, I decided I would spent time taking care of those who needed it at the shelter. I've always had a connection with animals. I've volunteered many places since retiring, but the animals are my true calling.

Town: Western Springs

Pets: Havanese Dog, Wilson; Cats (recently deceased) Mao, Ely

Volunteer since: 2012

Volunteer jobs: Cat Socialization

Fun Fact: Loves hanging out with her grandsons; Ari,4, and Freddie, 6, huge football fan both professional and college, watches the Bears every Sunday in the fall.

Carole Volenec

Why HHS?

I found out about Hinsdale Humane Society when I was working at the hospital. I came down to the lobby and there was a lady volunteering with a puppy who came to visit patients. I asked her about what she was doing and got involved from that day on. I love when someone is out of their home and away from their animals and family and you can bring them a little bit of happiness.

I volunteer at Pet Walk because it's wonderful to see so many peope come together with a common interest - their pets. These animals are so well taken care of, and it's just a happy day. You get to meet the same people year after year and establish relationships.

Town: LaGrange

Pets: 2 cats, Skimble and Tug

Volunteer since: 1993

Volunteer jobs: Pet Walk button team for 10+ years. Started with the pet therapy rabbit program, Loyola Pediatric Pet Therapy and Santa Paws.

Fun Fact: I enjoy spending time at my friend's farm in Galena. While I'm there I do everything from shoveling manure to giving vaccines to animals.

Marcy Mossburg

Why HHS?

I love working with animals and understanding behavior.  This allows me to work with different breeds, animals of different ages and with different issues.  I also like to think that I'm helping the animal get big enough, or learn behavior that will allow them to get a forever home.
What should people know about our fostering program?
Although it is a lot of work, the experience is priceless.  You are helping an animal get off to a good start in finding a forever home.  There are lots of opportunities to foster.  If you are interested work with the staff to find a good fit for you.

Town: Clarendon Hills

Pets: Max - Boxer who was adopted from HHS, Myka (doxy/cocker mix), Otis - cat adopted from HHS, and Star - adopted form HHS. Other than Max most of my animals are what I call a "failed foster" - where I fostered the animal and they just ended up staying with me.

Volunteer since: 2004

Volunteer jobs: Foster Family

Fun Fact: I do dog training at night and on weekends.

Bill Tietz

Why HHS?

It's just plain fun. I come once a week to walk dogs. What I like about it is if it's a dog you've never seen before you can come in, leash it up, take it out and it's your best friend.

Town: Oak Brook

Pets: 2 cats, Angel and Siamsa

Volunteer since: 1997

Volunteer jobs: Walking dogs

Fun Fact: Hung out with Kangaroos in Australia.

Alyssa Christoffer

Why HHS?

I love improving an animal's life by giving them the attention and care they deserve. Even if it's just by cleaning a cage or refilling a water bowl.

Town: Western Springs

Pets: 3 cats (Sophie, Pheobe, and Lil' Bit)

Volunteer since: July, 2012

Volunteer jobs: Green Dog Walking and Cleaning, watering and feeding the animals

Fun Fact: I rescued all three of my cats when they were kittens. Sophie and Pheobe when they were 6 weeks and Lil' Bit when she was 3 weeks.

Emily Alsip

Why HHS?

I can’t bring any more guys home with me, but I can help the cats and kittens at HHS feel loved and comfortable until they find their forever families. I like to find that one super shy guy and try my best to help him or her feel more at ease. I also enjoy scouting out potential candidates for my friends and family who are looking to adopt.

Town: LaGrange Park

Pets: 4 cats (Sammi, Anni, Gus - a mom and two of her grown up kittens; and Holland). They’re all former strays from Chicago.

Volunteer since: February 2012

Volunteer jobs: I come in once a week to socialize the cats and kittens. I also work in the community to make sure cats are neutered or spayed.

Fun Fact: The first feral cat I helped to TNR (Trap Neuter Release) was in Rome! I was backpacking and came upon a colony that lived behind a very tall fence surrounding a church. After visiting several days in a row to bring them food, I noticed another girl inside the fenced area feeding them. We didn't speak each other's language, but together we worked to TNR one of the cats.

Keaton Donahue and his mom Devera

Why HHS?

We share a love of animals, and if given the chance, would have a house full of them!  Volunteering together is a wonderful way to spend time with many different animals while helping them to become more adoptable. But the best part of volunteering is being witness to when an animal leaves the humane society for their forever home.  If you look closely you can see the smiles on their faces.

Town: Burr Ridge

Pets: 3 dogs and a bearded dragon lizard

Volunteer since: Keaton - 2011; Devera - 2009

Volunteer jobs: Socializing cats and walking dogs.

Fun Fact: Our family became a licensed foster care family for cats and dogs this year.

Elaine Jans

Why HHS?

I am not able to commit to a dog full-time right now, but love helping walk and socialize all the wonderful dogs at the shelter and seeing them adopted into good homes.

Town: Brookfield

Pets: All the dogs at HHS

Volunteer since: January, 2012

Volunteer jobs: Dog walking, opening procedures, laundry, and events.

Fun Fact: Will be participating in the 2nd Annual Scooby Doo and Cesar Milan National Family Pack Walk in Washington D.C. for the purpose of rescuing and rehabilitating shelter dogs.

Victoria Kilinskis

Why HHS?

I love animals, especially dogs.  Always hearing wonderful things about HHS, I want to give my time to help animals in need.  Working with the animals not only brings joy to their lives, but also adds positive experiences to mine.  When I step out the door with a dog, nothing beats seeing the joy in a dog's eyes and his playful demeanor.

Town: Clarendon Hills

Pets: Grant, a lovable and silly Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Volunteer since: June, 2011

Volunteer jobs: Walking red dogs, assisting in working with dogs for the website videos, aiding with fundraisers.

Fun Fact: I was chosen for a wine tasting segment on Windy City Live.

Cynthia Dionne-Rohr

Why HHS?

There have been many times in my life when a dog has mended a broken heart for me.  I want to give back to the little canine souls who love us all so unconditionally.  As the supervisor of Respiratory Care at Hinsdale Hospital, Cindy and her department  sponsor a new shelter dog every month as a community project.

Town: Hinsdale

Pets: Kaiden and Palin

Volunteer since: 2009

Volunteer jobs: Green Dog walker

Fun Fact: Cindy just married her swing dance partner, Wayne. Cindy and Wayne travel the country competing in West Coast Swing. They are currently 2nd the country in the Masters West Coast Swing Division.

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