One day Vicki Haig went to the store for a few grocery items and came home with two kittens. Along with their siblings, they had been in a box outside the store entrance, and the person who found them was asking shoppers to adopt them.
Vicki is always ready to open her heart and her home to neglected or abused cats, and so she adopted two of the tiny kittens that day and named them Samson and Delilah Lucille. Samson has passed away, but Delilah, now 15, still enjoys cuddling beside Vicki. And she’s a big part of what inspires Vicki to volunteer every week at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Salt Lake City.
For years, the team at the pet adoption center has been able to count on Vicki to arrive every Wednesday, ready to roll up her sleeves and do whatever it takes to help cats and kittens get adopted. No task is too small or big for Vicki, who does everything from clean cat areas to help with adoptions.
In the following Q&A, Vicki reveals what motivates her to help save the lives of homeless pets in Salt Lake City.
Why did you decide to volunteer with Best Friends and what motivates you to continue to help animals?
I’ve been volunteering ever since my girls were very young. For years, I volunteered with the Assistance League of Salt Lake City, where I gave books and clothes to underprivileged children. Later, when my daughter Jaimi joined Best Friends in Utah, I started volunteering there at the adoption center every Wednesday and absolutely loved it. I’ve been volunteering at the center ever since.
What inspires you most in your volunteer work?
I love all animals ― and especially cats. Getting a chance to help cats and kittens at the adoption center go home to loving families is so rewarding. Recently, a cat named Tsoren[KH3] , who was having a difficult time finding a home and had been waiting to get adopted, finally met the perfect person for her. They looked like they were meant to be together. It was so wonderful to see, and we were so happy for her when she went home that day.
Recently, a group of six kittens came into the kitten nursery ― three girls and three boys who were named after the Brady Bunch children. The kittens were all very young, and everyone worked together to make sure they could become strong and healthy enough to come to the adoption center where we will be able to find them homes.
Do you have any pets at home?
I have two older cats and I love them both dearly. One is named Delilah Lucille. She’s 15 and I met her and her brother, Samson, when I went to the grocery store one day. My other cat, Niki Blu, is 17. He was left outside abandoned one day and a friend asked me if I could adopt him. I said, “Of course I will.” How could I not?
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I love to paint, especially with water colors or acrylic.
What would you tell others who are thinking of volunteering with Best Friends?
I’d tell them that they would absolutely love it. You get so attached to the animals, but seeing them go home is such a wonderful experience.
In terms of your volunteer work for Best Friends, what are you most proud of?
Well, every day that I volunteer at the adoption center is rewarding. I’d say that the work I’m most proud of is actually the work we all do at the center as a team together to save lives.