Volunteer Spotlight Lori & Sophie

6 May, 2019
Bark Avenue Foundation

We are so grateful to have Lori and Sophie on our team as a Humane Education dynamic duo, spreading kindness, compassion, and responsible pet guardianship lessons to students throughout LA.

And the feeling is absolutely mutual, as Sophie says her favorite thing is: “Looking at the posters kids do during our 3rd visit and realizing they understood and remembered our message. On a more personal note, one of the best parts is to have met Lori whom I team up with and who became a friend.”

When asked what her favorite thing about teaching Humane Education is, Lori responded: “my top two favorite things is working with the kids, who are wonderful, inquisitive, and so responsive to our teaching. The other is working with my friend Sophie, who has a great sense of humor and loves the kids.  Working with her is great fun!”

These two have had so many experiences teaching, and we love to hear their stories of surprise and heartbursts. Lori shared this one with us, and it really shows how ingenious kids can be: “When we did the pretend animal shelter and a 5th grader wanted to adopt a Husky, his solution to keep her from getting lonely and then chew up the furniture, was to build a robot to play with her while he is at school.  A clever and empathetic response.”

When asked what the most rewarding part of teaching is, Lori said, “The most rewarding thing is the posters the kids make showing what they learned, because honestly, sometimes I wonder if they are paying attention, and it turns out they are!” We’ve all likely spoken to a kid at some point and wondered if they were listening, so this is so relatable, and also so encouraging!

And in case we need more evidence that the message is resonating, or that kids feel empathy for animals, this story from Sophie brought tears to our eyes: “In the last school we visited, there was a little girl who had a cat that was surrendered to the shelter by her parents. When we did the toys, she asked me to give the one she did to her cat and to tell him she loved him. It broke my heart.” Tissues anyone? We are hopeful that she will grow up to become a lifetime pet parent.

Everyone’s reason for volunteering is different, but all are equally valid and the end result is a team of people working for a good cause, so we are so appreciative of everyone who volunteers with us and the time they dedicate to our programs and shared goals of saving animals’ lives. We asked Sophie and Lori why they chose to volunteer with BAF and Humane education, and their responses warmed our animal-loving hearts…

Sophie says, “I am a strong believer that kids are our future and teaching them at an early age to be kind is the key of success. Moreover, since I adopted my dog, I also try to have people change their perceptions about pitbulls and stereotypes in general – after all, I come from a country where pitbulls are banned because they are considered dangerous.”

As for Lori, she says, “Christy works diligently so we can present at LAs Best after school program and it is an honor to volunteer for BAF. I am so thrilled that we are able to make these presentations and pass out free spay neuter certificates where there is a great need. BAF does a great job keeping the humane education accessible to everyone.”

Sophie grew up in France and moved here after university. She works for an airline but her favorite vacation involves local trips in the car with my dog Shadow (she is a 7 year old pitbull). She also loves to read.

Lori believes that education is the key to changing the future and creating a world where there is respect and benevolent stewardship for all sentient beings. She lives with her boyfriend and rescue dog Orson, is an attorney practicing animal law, and trust and estates and loves to create pet trusts. Lori also stays busy by writing a dog blog at Something To Chew On and is the CEO for Humane Education Resources Organization, making fun videos about pets.