Melanie has been volunteering with animals for years, but just joined up with Best Friends in May 2016. She volunteers at our adoption events, with the Community Cat team, and in Cat Care, and is just joining our Kitten Nursery team as well! Melanie is always pleasant and personable, and you can tell everything she does is truly for the animals. We are lucky to have such a diversely trained volunteer with us, helping both the animals and the new volunteers in each shift. Thank you so much for all you do, Melanie!
BFAS: What is your favorite part about volunteering?
MD: Hands down it’s helping animals and being with so many like-minded people. I’ve made many meaningful friendships since I’ve been at the adoption center.
BFAS: Do you have any pets at home?
MD: Yes, I have cats and horses. We moved to a rural area in west Ogden in 2001 and it didn’t take long to find several feral cats making themselves at home in the barn. I started making friends with many of the community cats there and was able to get them spayed or neutered through the Best Friends/NKUT program. Long story short, we have 9 formerly-feral cats living in the house and a thriving cat colony of about 25. While I’ve been able to put a dent in the feline birth rate in our neighborhood, there are always more cats to trap and add to the colony.
BFAS: What do you like to do for fun outside of volunteering?
MD: Ride horses, camp, hike, swim, work out, make trips to my “other” home state of California to visit my friends who live there.
BFAS: Do you have a favorite adoption story?
MD: I used to be a foster home for rescue horses through Wasatch Humane, now Utah Animal Adoption Center. I had a beautiful but unpredictable Arabian horse named Magic as a foster who was adopted by a couple from Tuscon, AZ. They had other Arabian horses and wanted to add to their small herd. They are still enjoying Magic and he couldn’t have gone to a better home.
BFAS: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
MD: Probably the foothills of northern California. It’s a very tranquil area with climate similar to that of northern Utah with rolling hills and vineyards everywhere.
BFAS: Aside from cats and dogs, do you have any other favorite animals?
MD: I’m a sucker for any animal. I’ve had dogs, cats and horses most of my life.
BFAS: What is one piece of advice you have for other volunteers?
MD: Keep volunteering, help and share your knowledge with new volunteers, and diversify your volunteer duties whenever possible. Strut Your Mutt is a really fun experience, don’t miss it. Adopt animals!