Paying it Forward: Jennifer Hart

Volunteer of the WeekJennifer Hart-Furry FriendsName: Jennifer Hart

Current employer or place of business: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine.

Organization I volunteer with: President of Furry Friends, a no-kill, all volunteer, nonprofit cat adoption agency in the Vancouver area.

How I got involved: I had been volunteering at the Humane Society for Southwest Washington with my niece and nephew, but when their home and school responsibilities brought that to an end I decided to move on. About that time same time, in 2004, I met Nancy McMartin while she was at the Furry Friends booth at the Pet and Companion Fair in Portland. The rest, as they say, is history.

Why I give back: How can I not give back? How can we all not give back to our community? Whether it is once a week, once a month or once a year, everyone needs to get out of their bubble and do something selfless for others around them. There are so many organizations and causes that need your help.

Proudest moment as a volunteer: It will be the day Furry Friends moves into its permanent home! The organization will have to move from its present location that it is renting by October. We have been putting a lot of effort into fundraising so we can buy a permanent location to house the cats that we have for adoption.

What local challenge or issue are you most passionate about? People that dump or abandon their cats. There is an idea out there that it is okay to dump cats in the woods or a parking lot or to leave them on the doorstep as they drive away to a new home. They tell themselves someone else will take care of them or that since cats are carnivores they will eat birds and mice and survive just fine. This is just not true. Yes, they may kill birds and mice, but they don’t always eat them for food. These are pets and they want their kibble in a bowl. Abandoning any animal is inhumane and ignorant.

Just for fun: What are your hidden talents? I dabble in a lot of different arts and crafts, a little bit of gardening and I enjoy and feel empowered when I work on house projects. I enjoy creating art for the garden. I have made glass garden sculptures and flowers and also made mosaic pieces.

“Paying it Forward: Volunteer Businessperson of the Week” is sponsored by Pacific Continental Bank.

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