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.

Deborah Kraus

Why HHS?

I was going through a difficult time in my life a number of years ago.  I began volunteering at HHS because I loved animals and knew being around them would be a welcome relief from other pressures.  While cat socializing, I found the kitties were so loving and appreciative of the attention.  I was helping them and they helped me too!  Over time, I made so many friends both four legged and two legged.  To see all of the hard work at HHS flourish in creating precious human/animal bonds is amazing and being part of the process is a most rewarding experience!

Town: Hinsdale

Pets: Sophie (cat) 2001 HHS Alum

Volunteer since: 1994

Volunteer jobs: Socialize cats, manage coin canister collection, work at promotional events, assist with admin tasks, pickup/drop off/distribute

Fun Fact: I love Formula 1 auto racing.

Bev DePhillips

Why HHS?

I am involved in several volunteer activities, but I have found that volunteering at HHS is the most rewarding.  I feel it is important for the dogs to get love and attention to help them stay happy and adoptable while waiting for their new family.  The thanks they give in return make it so worth while!

Town: Oak Brook

Pets: Ellie & Mia - Cocker Spaniels

Volunteer since: June 2002

Volunteer jobs: Red dog walker, special events.

Fun Fact: I golf, and in 2005, I had a hole in one! (I still cannot believe it)

Jimmy Hill

Why HHS?

I was living rather selfishly the past few years which led to some bad decision making. I wanted to make a change. I thought I'd start here, at Hinsdale Humane Society. I'm glad I did.  I've met some wonderful people who give their time and effort so unselfishly. I've learned a lot and its nice to feel productive and helpful again! 

Town: Downers Grove

Pets: 100 pound Yellow Lab, Cubbie

Volunteer since: June 2010

Volunteer jobs: Cat socializer, dog walker, shelter maintenance.

Fun Fact: Secretly want to be a celebrity chef....

Anjali Thakrar

Why HHS?

I've loved animals my whole life and after seeing what a differences HHS makes in so many cats and dogs' lives I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The animals are always ecstatic to see the volunteers and what better way to volunteer than play with adorable kittens and pups? The staff and other volunteers are all amazingly friendly and kind-hearted people and HHS will be a part of my life for a very long time!

Town: Willowbrook

Pets: Bichon Frise named Casper

Volunteer since: October, 2010

Volunteer jobs: Dog Walker, Cat Socializer, Pet Camp Counselor and Special Events.

Fun Fact: I almost never wear matching socks.

Connie Nelson

Why HHS?

After 30 years in the advertising business with pressured deadlines, weekly travel, and many clients to please, it is a luxury to have time to enjoy the animals and help the wonderful staff at the shelter. 

Town: Hinsdale

Pets: Parker (9 year old Chihuahua), Timmy (newcomer - 13 year old Burmese cat)

Volunteer since: March 2009

Volunteer jobs: Foster parent for dogs and cats, closing procedures, kitten weighing

Fun Fact: I worked with Morris the Cat for 5 years when I ran the 9 Lives account for Leo Burnett.

Elias Palamidis

Why HHS?

I volunteer at HHS because it gives me lots of experience with animals, and I can observe how each kind of dog breed behaves in its own way. I also volunteer at HHS because I find pleasure in dealing with all animals in general. 

Town: Clarendon Hills, IL

Pets: None

Volunteer since: October, 2011

Volunteer jobs: Dog Walking

Fun Fact: I want to be a veterinarian one day and work with both small and large animals.

Betty Tetens

Why HHS?

Four years ago I lost my dog Nikki. I needed the "sound" of a large dog, and I got that here at HHS.

Volunteering at Hinsdale Humane Society has been fun, as well as therapy. I've met many new people and have gotten my husband to volunteer here too.

Town: Forest View

Pets: Dexter, Buttons, Poco Chico, and Pepe (dogs; 2 from HHS)

Volunteer since: April, 2008

Volunteer jobs: Fundraising, and special events

Fun Fact: I swim a mile (72 laps) or water walk - four to five days a week. I also decorate cakes.

Kelly Corry

Why HHS?

I originally started volunteering at HHS to fill time during the evenings since the kids are on their own. Little did I know that volunteering on Wednesday evenings would snowball into fostering kittens and eventually adopting one of the foster kittens. 

The work done by HHS and staff is challenging, heartwarming, unbelievably sad and happy all at the same time. I feel so privileged and blessed to have the opportunity to work with such a dedicated staff and organization.

Town: Elmhurst

Pets: HHS Alumni, Meeko, and HHS foster kitten Moo.

Volunteer since: 2005

Volunteer jobs: Cat socialization and cat foster family.

Fun Fact: Married for 30 years to husband Pat; son, Michael and daughter Mary Alice.

Kym Iffert

Why HHS?

A few years ago my family adopted a dog from a shelter in Indiana. She was a beautiful dog that had unfortunately been abused and neglected for the first few years of her life. While she was wonderful with our family, she was left with some long-term mental and physical problems that led to her ultimate demise. Knowing only some of what she had been through and that she was still able to give so much unconditional love to our family, I decided the best way to honor her memory would be to give some sense of love and security to dogs who have been mistreated, neglected, or re-homed. Through HHS, I also trained my next (and current) dog, Dino to be a therapy dog so others could know the joy that dogs bring to our lives. Working at HHS with so many great animals has also inspired me to become a dog trainer to try to keep as many dogs out of shelters as possible.

Town: LaGrange Park

Pets: Dino (yellow lab), Sugar (Border collie Golden ret. mix), three teenage daughters.

Volunteer since: 2009

Volunteer jobs: Red Dog walker, Pet-a-Pet, CARe, READ program

Fun Fact: I was raised in a military family that moved every two years until I was in high school. Once my family settled down, I ended up marrying my high school sweetheart.

Sam & Madeline, Gaetano, Leea, Rosalia, Maria and Virginia LoPresti

Why HHS?

Dogs and Cats are God's Creations. They are helpless animals that only want to provide us with unconditional love. It is the least we can do to make sure their lives are safe, comfortable and filled with love. It gives us great comfort knowing we have made a difference in their lives until they reach a safe new home once adopted. 

Involving the whole family has allowed our five children to know that it is not all about them, but about volunteering and helping those in need. It teaches them about responsibilities, chores, sacrifice, giving your time and getting something more valuable in return than a paycheck, it's a learning lesson in life. It has deepened their feelings to care, love and have a giving heart for all of God's creations, something we feel will be important in their lives.

Additionally, during the years of volunteering, we have made many great friends with those that share our love for the care and safety to all animals.
Last, but not least, it is GREAT FUN for the whole family and we get more pleasure out of volunteering than the assistance we give.

Town: Hinsdale

Pets: Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahua, and 2 Cats. And then there is Timmy. Timmy is one our foster kittens that no one has the heart to tell him he is a cat, and acts and thinks he is our 6th child!

Volunteer since: April, 2005

Volunteer jobs: Various cleaning jobs at shelter when needed, fostering pregnant cats or dogs and caring for the litters until they return to the shelter for adoption, Pet Walk Sponsor, Pet Walk Sign Design & Creator, Pet Walk Set Up & Take Down Crew, and Pet a Pet visits at King Bruwaert with Charles, my Chihuahua.

Fun Fact: When I was growing up, my parents would often tell me, "if you meet someone that doesn't like or mistreats animals, be leery of trusting them!". I have found that to be an interesting measure to use when choosing my friendships.

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