Meet Foster Dogs Cali & Christen

Could you use some more laughter in your life? Meet Cali & Christen, the goofiest dogs around!

Cali is a one-year old female and Christen is her two-and-a-half-year-old big brother. These long-legged bonded Chihuahuas were getting stressed out in the shelter, so they moved in with a foster family to prove what good dogs they are. Since then, they’ve been doing great and now it’s time for them to find a permanent home. 

Both pups are super friendly, sweet and LOVE to be with people as much as possible. They’ll love you – but they LOOOOVE toys! Stealing them from each other, chewing them, wrestling over them, moving from one to the other, finding every single one and stealing them again. The fun never ends with these two dopey pups!

They do well with other dogs and are very gentle with kids. They’re great on walks and car rides (which seems to relax them).

Cali and Christen love each other to pieces, and even enjoy sleeping in the same bed together.

They’re Chihuahuas, so they can be chatty – they are not built for apartment-living (besides, they need more room to PLAY!)

Ready for a fun life with these two? Contact vbasfosterinfo@gmail.com for more info on adopting Cali (A079709) and Christen (A079710)!

Interested in offering dogs like these a chance at peace and stability so they can blossom? Become part of the Adult Dog Foster Program’s foster network! Email vbasfosterinfo@gmail.com to find out how you can help dogs like these find their forever homes.



Featured Volunteer – Kelly Rodriguez

Kelly-3 (1)Kelly is a returning volunteer, having come back to the VBAS at the end of last year. Since returning, she has been a whirlwind of volunteer activity! She is active in working with the medical team, dog socializing and helping show our animals via Instagram. Here photos and videos make our animals shine. Thank you Kelly for all of your amazing work!



FEATURED VOLUNTEER: ANGELA GLANZER

Angela photoAngela is one of our super-dedicated bunny volunteers.  She knows everything there is to know about our little fluffy friends – and is happy to educate the public in the hopes of making the perfect adoption.  You can always find her in the bunny corral, giving our rabbit residents attention, exercise and love.  Thank you, Angela, for everything you do!



Volunteer Spotlight: Jennifer Heeber

jHeeber

Jennifer is an all-around wonderful volunteer. She has been an integral part of the KFP team for a long time, helping with adoption fairs, coordinating medical needs and helping wherever she is needed. Over the last year, she has also become involved in many other aspects of the VBAS, including helping out with volunteer services and becoming part of the training team. And in everything she does, her upbeat attitude, sweet personality and kindness shine through. Thank you, Jennifer for everything you do!



VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: BIANCA BAHENA

BPOC-2Bianca uses her skill and talent to take beautiful pictures of the cats at the Shelter. She comes in and works by herself, not only taking the photos but somehow getting the cats in just the right pose and attitude to take a great picture. If you ever want to be amazed, just watch her single-handedly wrangle and photograph a litter of kittens! She is dependable and can be counted on to come get the kitty photos, no matter how many hours she has worked that week.

Thank you Bianca for lending your talents to the cats of the BAS.



VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: ED CANAVAN

IMG_1955Our Volunteer of the Month for June is Ed Canavan! Ed is one of our dedicated dog volunteers and also has excelled at providing wrangling services for the Photo Team each week. He is reliable, committed, communicative and consistent – all the things a good volunteer should be! Thank you for all your hard work, Ed and congratulations!



Volunteer Spotlight: Andy Mesecher

Andy VOM photo

Andy is an indispensable part of our social media team. He works tirelessly to post photos and stories that will help get the word out and get our animals adopted. He researches what will work best on social media and communicates that to the entire team. When in the shelter, Andy can be found socializing, bathing, and just giving needed love and attention to our dog residents. Thank you, Andy, for everything you do!



January Volunteer of the Month: Paulina Logan

Paulina and BernieOur Volunteer of the Month for January is Paulina Logan!  Paulina is one of the members of our wonderful Photo Team, helping to wrangle the animals for the photographers.  In addition, she uses her talents to create great videos of our adoptable animals set to her wonderful original music, to get them more exposure to potential adopters.  Paulina is always upbeat, friendly and helpful, and we are lucky to have volunteers like her!



November Volunteer of the Month: Dawn Allen

Dawn AllenAlthough Dawn has only been a volunteer with us for a relatively short time, she has certainly become an indispensable part of the VBAS! Between cleaning, working with the dogs, adoption counseling, helping with events, working on the distribution team, having new volunteers shadow her and bringing in new ideas to raise awareness and adoptions, Dawn is a whirlwind of volunteer activity. Thank you, Dawn! We’re lucky to have volunteers like you!



October Volunteer of the Month: Eric Reyes

Erik ReyesErik is the epitome of a good volunteer!  Always cheerful, helpful and kind, Erik has been instrumental in the buddy training program.  When not washing, walking or showing dogs to potential adopters, Erik is always looking for someone to help.  Thank you, Erik for everything you do!



SEPTEMBER VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: DEBBIE PETERSON

Debbie_smDebbie is a long-term volunteer with the VBAS who has been actively involved in every aspect of the organization. Whether she’s training new volunteers, working with insecure or frightened dogs, interviewing potential adopters to make the perfect forever match or just spending some quiet time giving love and attention to all the shelter animals, she does it all with enthusiasm and confidence. Deb’s commitment to the animals and her fellow volunteers are an example for all of us to follow. Thank you, Debbie!



June Volunteer of the Month: Jacie Brain

DSC_0009 Although Jacie Brain has been with the VBAS for less than a year, she has certainly made her mark! When not cuddling and socializing a hissy kitten or exercising one of the big dogs, Jacie is busy as a key member of the buddy training program. She enthusiastically shows volunteers how to properly wash dogs, exercise them in the yard or safely walk them around the Shelter. As an athlete herself, she understands the importance of getting the dogs enough exercise, and has taken on the job of agility training with many of the large dogs. She can often be found in the yard, patiently teaching them to jump through hoops. Thank you, Jacie, for all you do!



APRIL VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: CHRISTINE HOFFMAN

DSC_0040Christine Hoffman has been the KFP recruiter for several years, and can often be seen managing kitten foster adoption fairs and helping out at the shelter on the weekends. Christine comes up with innovative ideas to recruit Kitten Foster volunteers, meets each prospective volunteer for a one on one orientation, and is always willing to help out wherever she is needed. Christine keeps track of all the kitten foster volunteers contact information and maintains our adopter database. While many might not know Christine, she is always working in the background, often from home and behind the scenes to get the job done. Without Christine the Kitten Foster Program would not have 60 foster families ready to take on kitten season each year.



MARCH VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: IRENE OROZCO

IMG492Irene Orozco is an absolute angel.  Nicknamed “Mama Irene” by the staff, she has been a volunteer with the VBAS for many years.  She comes in after work at 4:00 most weekdays to help.  She socializes the shy cats or dogs, cleans anything and everything, and basically tucks in the animals for the night.  She can take the most fearful and hissy kittens and turn them around to be adoptable.  Some days she comes in with her daughter Marisol and they are a tag-team of efficiency taking care of the animals.  Showing cats and dogs, poop patrol, litter box patrol, checking food and water, and helping the medical staff put away animals after surgery are just a few more things she does in those 2 hours.  Mama Irene is a huge help to medical and kennel staff – and especially fellow volunteers!

 



January Volunteer of the Month: Your VBAS Photo Team!

photo The VBAS Photo Team
This team meets weekly on Thursday’s to photograph the animals that are available or are becoming available for adoption. When days are light, the team doesn’t just pack up and go home, they reshoot animals that have been at the shelter for awhile to continuously get our adoptable animals seen by the public. It is the collective effort of the wranglers, photographers, and coordinator that makes the Photo Team such a vital part of the success of the VBAS.

Thank you!



December Volunteer of the Month: Your VBAS Team!

VBAS 2012 - Group Photo_Web Size-1

As we close out 2012, we wanted to take the opportunity to thank each and every member of the VBAS. You’re all our December Volunteers of the Month!

Our VBAS volunteers work in almost every aspect of the Burbank Animal Shelter. They’re on poop patrol; they’re sitting on a bench with a harder to adopt dog so (s)he has the opportunity to be noticed by the public. You may have talked with a volunteer about their foster kitten; you may have had a volunteer smile and greet you at one of our recent events.

No matter how you slice it, each of our volunteers is truly special. They all come to the VBAS with one goal in mind – to help find homes for every animal that walks through the Burbank Animal Shelter doors. And this month, we celebrate all the time, energy and spirit our volunteers put into their work with our organization… and most importantly, with the shelter residents they work with.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your hard work. Can’t wait to see the successes 2013 will surely bring!



Volunteer of the Month: November

Picture this: a long-time volunteer tirelessly dedicated to making sure the community knows about the shelter and the animals that are cared for here. But no imagination is necessary, because that volunteer is Lorry Izor, our Volunteer of the Month for November. Lorry is the leader for the VBAS photo team that takes pictures for the shelter website, publicity materials, and the photos that appear on Pet Harbor. She helps wrangle the animals for their close-ups, ensures that the photos get to shelter staff, and maintains a database of pictures of the pets that have passed through our doors. In addition, she can be found helping out in many other ways, including the Adopt-A-Pet Show, community events, program planning, email communications, or wherever an extra hand is needed. She gives many hours of her time every month and is always a happy and enthusiastic person to work with. In the month when we traditionally give thanks for our blessings in life, it’s only appropriate that we honor Lorry and give thanks for her continued service.



VOLUNTEERS OF THE MONTH: CONSTANTINO COSTA AND CAROLYN MALDEN

Back to School, Football, Labor Day … all these great things happen during the Fall months, but for VBAS one of the most important things about Fall is selecting the people to honor as our Volunteers of the Month! Tino Costa and Carolyn Malden represent September and October and we are thrilled to present them as great examples of the heart and soul of the VBAS.

September Volunteer of the Month

Constantino Costa, Tino for short, grew up on his father’s cargo vessel and traveled the world before landing in Burbank, California. Although Tino has sailed around the Greek isles, through the Indian Ocean, and been through most of Europe, he has found a home socializing the feline companions at the animal shelter. Tino’s worldly perspective has given him a calm and accepting attitude that soothes the hissiest kitten or the angriest cat into loving submission. It is here that Tino has found his calling by being an instrumental figure in our feral cat program, constantly documenting our available animals on Pet Finder and assisting the staff with tricky cat adoptions. Like the ship he grew up on, Tino sees how each individual and every action, no matter how small, contributes to the success of the overall organization and that’s what makes him successful in supporting every program he joins.  Along with his amazing contribution to the hissiest cats, he’s also been an instrumental Volunteer helping in the Volunteer Services department as well.  He’s interviewed and met several  of the current VBAS Volunteers.  This drive, attitude, and eye for cooperation make Constantino Costa our September Volunteer of the Month!

October Volunteer of the Month


Superheroes are popular choices for Halloween costumes, so October seems the perfect month to recognize someone who has become a shelter superwoman, helping so often and with so many things, it’s hard to believe she’s a mere mortal! Carolyn Malden began volunteering with the bunnies, bringing them fresh greens and consistently offering to come in to take care of them whenever needed. The turtles, chickens, and other animals enjoy her thoughtful care for them as she tends to their food and water as well. Carolyn has applied her incredible attention to detail in tidying up and organizing the Bunny Corral. She brought in containers for the hay and other items, and she posted whiteboards with calendars and a task chart to help us track what has been done each day. When the washer and dryer weren’t working, she even took home dirty towels to launder them herself. Additionally, Carolyn has graced the shelter with her great sense of aesthetics, including prepping and decorating for the Black and White Catillion as well as adding some autumn flair to the bulletin boards in the main hallway. On top of all that, she took in foster kittens and helped at the Warner Bros. event. Staff and other volunteers have been amazed by Carolyn’s investment of time and energy. With her loving heart and industriousness, she has made an incredible impact. For all of that and more, we are delighted to announce Carolyn as our October Volunteer of the Month!



Volunteer of the Month: Amy Reynolds

Though many people call this time of year the dog days of summer, for us at the Burbank Animal Shelter that just means a time to give special attention to our canine guests and to those who help care for them and help them get adopted. Therefore, we are proud to announce that our Volunteer of the Month is Amy Reynolds. Amy has been volunteering at the shelter for two years and has devoted much time and energy to keeping our dogs happy and helping match them with the perfect forever home. She is one of our Level 2 dog trainers, and her wit and personality make her classes fun and informative. If she’s not leading a training class, she can be found exercising a dog in the yard or talking with potential adopters.
Amy is also a talented photographer and puts her skills to work taking pictures of all our adoptable animals. These pictures are then shown on the shelter website, Twitter feed, Facebook page and in the weekly Pet of the Week features, helping the animals look their best for the public and drawing in potential adopters.
Amy has shown great dedication and enthusiasm in whatever she does and is well-deserving of our thanks and congratulations as the Volunteer of the Month.



July Volunteer of the Month: Scott Hewitt

This month’s Volunteer of the Month, Scott Hewitt, is someone who has a true feline fancy. He doesn’t just see that the basic needs of our cats are attended to, he takes the time to get to know each and every one and seems to understand their personalities. Armed with that specific knowledge, he is a master at finding just the right fit when potential adopters walk in the door. To him, it’s not enough to find a home for our precious cats, it is his goal to find them the “purr-fect” home.

When you see Scott around the shelter, which is an awful lot, he always has a cat in his arms because he wants them to have that one-on-one attention so they feel loved and cared for. With Scott, every cat is unique and therefore every cat needs personalized attention. A devoted volunteer who always responds when a call-out for help is made, Scott is always willing to come in at a moment’s notice. He did just that when Univision recently came to the shelter unexpectedly and assistance was needed with cat adoptions.

We are truly blessed to have Scott as a part of our group. Please join me in thanking and congratulating him as our July Volunteer of the Month.



June Volunteer of the Month: Pat McCauley

The saying goes if you want a job done well, give it to a busy person and that sentiment certainly applies to the Volunteer of the Month for June! Busy volunteer Pat McCauley always takes on new tasks with a smile and gets the job done well. The list of her jobs at the shelter is long, and yet she willingly steps up to the plate for another task whenever asked. Pat not only does Into Training, keeps the training logs up to date and has helped to organize Level 3 Cat Training, she also always finds time to be involved with Orientation for new volunteers. As Happy Tails Coordinator she organizes the classes and she never misses a Sunday hike into the local hill area. Many a new volunteer has learned the ropes by shadowing Pat during a normal shelter workday. A class in Reiki was led by Pat to introduce this technique and its application with our animals. She has also been instrumental in writing and compiling the shelter’s Wellness Newsletter. Pat has been a true inspiration to our new volunteers, a talented, energetic and resourceful member of both the Training and Volunteer Services teams, a friend to all who step into the shelter, and above all, an advocate for our shelter animals. We love you Pat!



April Volunteer of the Month: Tara Causland

April represents spring, sunshine, and the Easter Bunny! What a perfect time to honor a volunteer who is the epitome of such positive things. Tara Causland’s cheery attitude and loving, caring manner have made her a favorite amongst the staff, the volunteers, and the public. Whenever her name is mentioned, the consistent response is “Oh Tara, we love her!” …and that’s just what I hear coming from the Bunnies!!

Tara is the self-designated Head Easter bunny! You will find her each and every Saturday cuddling our bunnies, exercising them, bringing them treats and giving them the attention they so deserve. During St. Pets day, it was Tara that made sure our bunnies got their chance for a home. She gathered them up and brought them to the conference room so they wouldn’t be overlooked. In a shelter that typically focuses on the dogs and cats simply because of the numbers, it is nice to know the bunnies have such a devoted advocate looking out for them.

And bunnies aren’t her only passion, she makes sure all the smaller animals like the hamsters don’t get ignored. I guess you could say she looks out for the “little guy!” Tara has a proven track record of reliability and consistency here at the Shelter. Her care and concern for the well being of our animals is truly remarkable. Accordingly, we would like to recognize Tara as our April Volunteer of the Month.



March Volunteer of the Month: Jonathan Mendoza

Our volunteer of the month for March is Jonathan Mendoza. As a Level One dog trainer, Jon familiarizes new volunteers with the policies and procedures of the shelter and guides them through their first step in caring for and working with dogs. He loves sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm with others and is committed to getting everyone through the first level, even if that means holding sessions every weekend in order to accommodate people’s schedules. This positive and passionate attitude stays with his trainees as they progress through the Parker System and continue on with their work at the shelter. Jon shows great selflessness and commitment to the shelter and is a model of a dedicated volunteer for us all.



February Volunteer Of The Month

Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches! Webster’s dictionary defines “Love” as “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” And how appropriate it is that Love also defines how Tiffany Brain feels about the Animals here at the Shelter!
Though only a VBAS volunteer for less than a year, Tiffany is already a fixture here at the shelter. Her work ethic and commitment to the animals is remarkable. She comes in each and every weekend to clean the shelter before it opens so our furry friends will have a tidy place to live and the public will see just how much we care for them. Tiffany is certainly not afraid to get her hands dirty.
Tiffany has taken the initiative to get the “Buddy System” in place and has plans to formalize it even more for the new and more senior volunteers. As you all know, this is a critical part of our Volunteer training program as it lets us all work with “training wheels” for a while before we go solo.
Terms such as responsible and reliable are often used for Tiffany but, along with that steadfast dedication, her personality is one that simply wins over anyone with whom she comes in contact. Her sweet disposition, positive attitude, and charming style make it a pleasure for the staff, other volunteers, and the public to interact with her. I can’t imagine a more positive face to put forth to represent our VBAS efforts so it’s no surprise that she is a key member of our Shelter Relations Team.
Tiffany is also determined to bring VBAS into the social media age as she is spearheading our Twitter program efforts, which hopefully will energize our message to the next generation of animal lovers.
Please join me in honoring, thanking, and congratulating Tiffany for being selected as our February Volunteer of the Month!



January Volunteer of the Month

At the beginning of every new year, we all stop to reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. It’s a time for reflection and introspection as well as a time for dedicating ourselves to new goals and new challenges. For shelter volunteers, we may try to draw inspiration from the others around us, and one of our greatest examples is David Freedman.

David works in many capacities to care for our shelter dogs and to help each of them find the perfect forever home. He volunteers weekly on the Adopt-A-Pet Show as well as helping out for appearances on KTLA, showing television viewers in Burbank and all of Los Angeles the wonderful animals waiting for them. In addition, he regularly participates in Happy Tails Hikes, giving the public another look at some available dogs as well as giving the dogs and volunteers some well-deserved fresh air and sunshine.

But David isn’t just in it for the glitz of the television cameras. He’s not afraid to get his hands dirty with less glamorous tasks like cleaning up, carrying heavy loads and just being available wherever he’s needed. Through it all, he keeps a sharp sense of humor, sometimes aimed at the VBAS president, but always in the spirit of good fun.

It’s this combination of enthusiasm, adaptability and wit that makes David Freedman the Volunteer of the Month for January 2012.



December Volunteer Of The Month

I have a special holiday recipe I want to share with you all. Take 2 gallons of committment, stir in a healthy dose of compassion, just the right pinch of persistence, a cup-runneth-over of devotion and a full bag of talent. Mix it all together and you get the most wonderful holiday gift the animals of the Burbank Shelter could ever want……Basia Lew!

Basia has only been in the LA area for about 2 years, but has made her presence known in our world of animals. She is the Audio/Visual Manager for the LA area PETA and has been a volunteer with VBAS now for 10 months. She uses her ingenuity and talent for video production to give our shelter animals a personal identity, which has proven to increase their chances of adoption.

Whether it is producing video/music montages for our shelter animals to be shown on the website or actually traveling to foster kitten homes to make sure the uniqueness of these special, hard to place little ones is captured on film, Basia is always willing to do what it takes. Sometimes that involves reshoot after reshoot till she is satisfied. Basia infuses just the right amount of humor and personality into her films and truly gives these animals the ability to tug at the heart strings of prospective adopters.

We are blessed to have Basia as a member of our VBAS team and if I can speak for the animals, they are the true beneficiary of this wonderful person – Basia Lew, Volunteer of the Month for December, 2011.



November Volunteers of the Month

Volunteers Take a Hike! 

On the first and third Sundays of every month a group of dedicated VBASers head to Stough Canyon in Burbank for a Happy Tails Hike. Several lucky shelter dogs get the opportunity to enjoy some exercise and new scenery, meet potential adopters, and have an experience that is a world away from the shelter environment. The hikes are a perfect opportunity for a “mental health day” for both the dogs and the volunteers who come along. To learn more about the Happy Tails Hikes, email Erik (erik@thevbas.org).
Hiking is just one of the activities that our wonderful volunteers are involved with. We clean cages and kennels, socialize the animals, assist in the medical department, facilitate adoptions, participate in adoption events, take care of tiny motherless kittens, write and design publications, and organize fundraisers, just to name a few activities. These hardworking volunteers are an essential component to the Burbank Animal Shelter, and we’d like to honor each and every one of them this month. To learn more about the volunteer program at the shelter, go to http://thevbas.org/volunteer.



September Volunteer of the Month

A Dream Come True!

I am proud to announce that our volunteer for the month of September is Chris DeZorzi. Chris began his volunteer service with us after a VBAS visit to the Dreamworks Animation campus where he works. Since then, he has truly been a “dream come true” for VBAS and more importantly, for the cats. Chris is one of our valued cat volunteers who has truly done it all. He began by learning the ropes in the cat room as an adoption counselor on weekends. He exhibits such a loving manner and style with potential adopters that all he has to do is show them the precious little faces and the deal is sealed! As time passed, Chris expanded this devoted, caring style to socializing the more timid kittens and feeding them prior to being picked up and placed in foster care. Chris, however, has not rested on his laurels. He seems energized by the more he does. He began fostering kittens himself and has successfully raised a litter and adopted them out. He stepped up to the plate one evening when a litter of tiny bottle-feeders arrived at the shelter at 6pm. He not only assisted in the medical room to check and stabilize these small, sickly kittens, but took all four of them home for their first night. I can’t imagine them being in better hands. Chris has also used his influence with Dreamworks to have two much needed computers donated to VBAS and is helping the VBAS Treasurer with the bookkeeping! I can only say that if all volunteers had his level of commitment, energy, and compassion we would have a bunch of empty cages in the back right now. Please join me in thanking Chris for his wonderful contributions to our shelter and to the animals that so much depend upon us.



August Volunteer of the Month

Of all the fun one could be having in August—a popular vacation month that conjures images of boogie-boarding, picnics and general frivolity—you have to admire the dedication of a volunteer like Merayda Flores. Instead of hanging at the beach or lounging about in her free moments, Merayda gives up her would-be leisure time to make a different at the VBAS. Merayda serves a pivotal support role on the medical team. She immerses herself in making certain that all shelter animals receive proper care, even a chihuahua with an attitude who reportedly would have devoured the entire medical staff if Merayda hadn’t come to the rescue! She works with Dr. Howe and Jeanette to ensure that each furry friend is as healthy as possible, and we all know, the work of the medical team is as crucial as it is abundant. What’s even more impressive than Merayda’s courage to go up against perturbed chihuahuas, is her talent (and love) for “hissy” kitties. She has that gentle, loving touch and a smile on her face that apparently even grumpy animals are no match for! If you see this quintessential volunteer this Summer, you’re not likely to find her floating on the surface of a sparkling blue pool or lazily swaying in a hammock. You’re more likely to see lovely Merayda nurturing her foster kittens or in the trenches with the medical team, comforting the shelter’s toughest and most distrusting patients, so they might feel better, be healthier, live happier and, with any luck, find a forever home. Thank you, Merayda!



July Volunteer of the Month

Why is Lindsay Neumann such a “treat” to have as a volunteer of the VBAS? Combine two parts cheer, one part fun, add a dash of enthusiasm, and now mix in a heap of sweetness… We couldn’t cook up a better work-ethic if we tried! That’s why this sunny month of July, we must take a moment to honor a volunteer who radiates warmth and happiness day in and day out. When she’s working in the cat room on Saturdays, she takes a lot of time to help animals find forever homes and customers can’t resist her welcoming smile. She’s not just a lovely face, Lindsay knows a great deal about pet care, and serves up her wisdom to help educate the public. Soon she’ll be dishing up lessons to fellow volunteers as a Level 2 cat trainer. Whenever Lindsay’s at the shelter, she pours her heart into every task­big or small. She spoils the cats ­lavishing them with attention ­and they eat it up! Lindsay’s great attitude reminds us to savor the good in those we meet, in both people and animals alike. When it comes to the perfect balance of hard work and joy, Lindsay demonstrates the recipe for success!



June Volunteer of the Month

Michelle Leonard shines on and off camera. She makes sure all runs smoothly with the taping of the Adopt A Pet Show each week, and performs her job wonderfully, whether it’s during her close-up or behind the scenes. She helps assign animals to the volunteers, writes the tip and ensures every show is picture-perfect. Michelle also lends her show-running savvy when it’s time for a KTLA segment. She really knows how to keep the dogs happy, relaxed and get them ready to go on air.

Off camera, Michelle assists with photographing the dogs and cats for the VBAS website and has been the one to take the initiative to start keeping a database of the animals shown on television. Michelle keeps a log of all animals that appear on both the Adopt a Pet Show and KTLA so that we can refer back and see who’s been adopted!

What’s most extraordinary about Michelle is her humility and drive to do all she can in support of the work of the VBAS, even if it calls for less glamorous tasks. Michelle has worked information tables at many community events, and was part of the team that stuffed the gift bags for 100 Dog Days of Summer. She even enlisted her young daughter to help out.

Michelle is beautiful inside and out. We honor her achievements and hard work because it would be impossible for it to all go unrecognized. When it comes to outstanding volunteers, Michelle is truly the star of the show!



May Volunteer of the Month

May is the month to remember the efforts of Mothers—to take time to honor these brave women for all that they have given their children. How fitting it is that we take May to honor a loving “mother” among us… a kitten foster mother, that is!

It’s not easy being a mom, especially when your charges are kittens. Working as a foster parent since 2009 in the VBAS’s Kitten Foster Program, Elaine Miyake has mothered the weak, the shy, the malnourished, the downtrodden, and the downright feisty. Elaine can be counted on time after time to find an inexplicable way into each tiny little kitten heart in an effort to bring out their true potential. Elaine is known for her extraordinary ability to find the perfect, forever home for each of her foster kittens. Just like many great moms, she makes it look easy!

When Elaine isn’t looking after a litter of fuzzy felines, she can be found cleaning the cattery and helping out at the KFP adoption fairs on weekends. She became a full-fledged VBAS volunteer in 2010 and has been a major asset to our animals. In addition to her maternal spirit, she brings a “can-do” attitude to the team. Elaine also holds the official title of Medical Records Coordinator for the KFP. Unofficially, she is a go-to person for many of her fellow volunteers, and is always willing to lend a hand or offer some wisdom. And we all know that Mom knows best!

Elaine works hard caring for her kittens hands-on and thinks beyond the present by pushing to obtain grant funding to help them further. Like all moms, she wants to ensure bright futures for her little ones.
Mothering and volunteering are often thankless jobs. Although we know we could never thank her enough, we’re pleased to take this opportunity to honor Elaine. On behalf of kittens and grown-ups alike, we thank you!



April is National Volunteer Month

For the month of April the VBAS wants to acknowledge the amazing work of all the volunteers who helped support the Burbank community. In April the VBAS participated in many events including Burbank Library Trivia Night and Burbank on Parade. Also, the VBAS held a successful vaccination clinic where countless volunteers helped the public keep their dogs current on vaccines. Thanks to all the volunteers who dedicated their time to help make April such a successful month.



March Volunteer of the Month

2011 March, Tiffany Victor
What can Tiffany Victor do? Everything! As a volunteer, Tiffany
spends hours working behalf of the VBAS. She has made ADOPT ME
bandanas for the dogs to wear for their close-ups on KTLA, selects the
PET OF THE WEEK for the Burbank Leader and posts certificates and
biographies on kennels and cages, helps John out at the front desk,
sits on the Disaster Preparedness Committee and is ready to foster
puppies at a moment’s notice.

Who can Tiffany Victor help? Everyone! She is the kind of gal that
isn’t deterred by a BIG dog. Tiffany has a special way with the
bigger doggies, and is excellent at handling, exercising, socializing
and acting as a “personal assistant” to large pups when they go for
their KTLA spots. Tiffany is also good with introverts. She can
bring a scared or shy dog out of his or her shell. She finds a way
into the heart of every dog she meets, but in Tiffany’s case—not just
dogs fall for her, people do, too! If you are to ask anyone about
Tiffany, you are answered with a huge smile and glowing sentiments.

Where can you find Tiffany Victor? Check the take-out line! Tiffany’s
natural caretaking ability doesn’t just affect the heart; it has an
effect on stomachs as well! It has been said that Marissa and
Jeanette might go hungry some busy days if Tiffany wasn’t always
willing to bring them lunch.

Why is Tiffany Victor the Volunteer of the Month? She’s not only an
amazing volunteer; Tiffany’s a unique friend to dogs and people alike.
We honor Tiffany because of her extraordinary ability and
willingness to give all in any way that she can to everyone–creatures
great or small, confident or frightful, helpless or hungry.

Most of all, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank Tiffany for
making it so we never have to answer the question: How would we
manage without her?



February Volunteer of the Month

‘Going the Distance’ is a boxing expression referring to boxing matches where an opponent tries to win by points rather than by a knockout.  As a Volunteer of the VBAS, Alexis Cole succeeded with plenty of “knockout” initiatives, including the Parker System, Sponsor a Kitten, Train a Dog, the charitable catalog and the VBAS email campaigns.  Under her watch as President, Happy Tails was created, The VBAS website was completely revamped, with Alexis co-writing a grant proposal that has paid for the site in current and future operations, and the VBAS Facebook page secured over 1000 fans.  And all of these “knockouts” are just a part of Alexis’s history with the VBAS because the rest of the story is really about her extraordinary ability to go the distance–to not only win, but to ensure that she did, and continues to do, everything in her power to keep the people of our organization strong, vital and thriving.

A few years ago, when a friend asked why she wouldn’t consider volunteering at a different animal shelter or rescue, one that is perhaps closer to where she resides in Redondo Beach, Alexis responded that she wouldn’t want to volunteer anywhere else because she “had found her people.”  Her statement confirms her loyalty to all of us, but it’s also an actual fact.  One of Alexis’s many talents is finding people. Many volunteers at the VBAS are here specifically because of Alexis and many of our leaders were recruited by her, as she has convinced talented volunteers to become more involved.  Among Alexis’s many recruits is Alaina Kovel, who Alexis recruited to be a trainer and then later became the Director for the Parker System. Today Alaina is the Vice President of the VBAS. Alexis also convinced Denise Fleck to commit to handling publicity for the VBAS for a six month period and now Denise serves as our President.

While she has helped organize her fair share of fundraising events, today she is collaborating on yet another. Alexis is helping to organize the VBAS fundraiser “Laugh Your Tail Off” after using her straightforward, yet careful approach to negotiate a great contract with Flappers, the event venue.  She aided in the promotion of this fundraiser and in securing the raffle/auction prizes in addition to keeping up with her managerial duties for the new VBAS website.

Alexis is tireless. She has fought long and hard. Countless of her opponents have tired, but Alexis continues to fight with passion, professionalism and a sense of urgency on behalf the animals and the people of the VBAS. And like every great fighter, she has had to suffer the jeers as well as the cheers. Like all leaders, she has had to make choices that were difficult and even, at times, unpopular.  No matter how the match ends, let the record show how Alexis Cole traveled across town to stand by her people, how her ideas and initiatives help to raise thousands and thousands of dollars, how her efforts helped make it possible to enjoy our new website, how her stamina ensured our growth, how her recruits became amazing leaders themselves poised to face the challenges ahead, how Alexis worked on behalf of the animals, never showing fatigue , continuing to give her best, forever going the distance.



January Volunteer of the Month

It’s been said that those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. The contributions Kjerstin Williams has made to the VBAS challenge this notion.  Not only is KJ, as she is affectionately called, an idea-woman and a problem-solver, she also recognizes the importance of leading and educating fellow volunteers.

KJ leads as a computer guru, chief technical consultant and lifesaver on the VBAS’s new website.  She also acts as a vaccination coordinator for the volunteers. She goes above and beyond without being asked, and she won’t let a hurdle, or even a brick wall stop her. She utilized her WordPress and technical skills to get the website up and running for a December 2010 launch just in time for the holiday season fundraising.  Since the new site has launched, the VBAS has received a record number of online donations.  She doesn’t just have amazing suggestions, KJ possesses the know-how and the dedication to implement these changes and results are seen right away.  The VBAS’s website is now more user friendly and this means that our connection to the community is more solidified and opportunities for fundraising in 2011 and beyond are increased.

And although KJ can and does offer her expertise and hard work time and time again, what makes her even more extraordinary is that she also teaches others along the way.  Her innate patience, generosity and humility make her a natural educator.  KJ is going to train a team of volunteers how to manage and update the new website moving forward, and she has that unique ability to explain things in layman’s terms, allowing those less technically inclined to understand, collaborate and continue important work.

We honor KJ not only for all that she can do, but we express our deepest gratitude to her, as she continually shows us how to do things better and grasp what may be possible for the future of VBAS through technological advancement, intelligence and elbow grease.  KJ takes the time to do and then takes the time to teach.  As we begin a New Year, we are a stronger, more savvy and more enduring team because of her.

Thank you, KJ.

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