We lucked out in the beginning of May, 2017 when 30 year old Bethany Googled around and began following Animals for Awareness on Facebook. She began volunteering shortly afterwards, jumping in with both feet! Not only does Bethany feed and water and clean cages when she’s not loving on the critters, but she has already helped out with educational programs, earning her the coveted purple AFA shirt! While she never worked with wild or exotic animals until she happened upon AFA, and worked mainly with dogs, cats and rabbits, Bethany fell right into the routine! As is true with most of our volunteers, her least favorite part about volunteering is dealing with the poop! However, her favorite part of volunteering is cuddling and bonding with the animals, and we do allow time for that!! In fact, one of Bethany’s memorable bonding moments was when bunny Joey kept hopping into her lap while she was sitting in his pen. Perhaps that was his way of saying sorry for continually taking off with the dustpan while Bethany was trying to clean his pen! Although she claims not to have favorites, Bethany does enjoy the company of Joey the bunny, Cocoa the skunk and Dale the Richardson’s ground squirrel.

A Michigan native, Bethany now lives in Downers Grove with a very outgoing and precious little three-toed box turtle named Raphael that she adopted from AFA in late July 2017. She is used to having more pets in her life, so coming to AFA to volunteer helps her to get her animal fix! Bethany works as a Case Manager for adults with developmental disabilities and a behavior therapist for children with autism. She’ll be pursuing her Master’s in Social Work in the near future, and she actually hopes to mix social work and animals by doing some type of animal therapy for people with mental illness. (I think we already do that, Bethany. It’s called our Volunteer Program!! LOL) In her spare time, Bethany plays guitar, keyboard and drums. She also enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and kayaking!

We absolutely adore Bethany and love to have her around. She’s always smiling and jumps in on every project with both feet! It’s clear to us that the critters love her too, and we hope she sticks around for a long time to come!