The Sunday after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, Samantha Bell DiGenova, Cat Behavior & Enrichment Lead at Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles, was called into her manager’s office, who started out with, “You know how Best Friends is helping with Hurricane Harvey…?”
Best Friends Animal Society, which has helped in disaster areas before, would be going to Texas to rescue animals in and around the storm-ravaged zones. While going to Houston was not mandatory, Best Friends needed to send two or three Los Angeles staff members to Texas, and Samantha knew immediately that she wanted to go.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with Samantha Bell DiGenova, the Cat Behavior & Enrichment Lead for Best Friends Animal Society in Los Angeles, and tour their impressive facility.
I met Samantha through volunteering with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation’s Cat Pawsitive initiative (she as a trainer-mentor to shelters and me as a writer) and asked her if I could drive up for a visit. Being the fabulous person that she is, Samantha immediately agreed, and she gave me a personal tour of the Los Angeles facility, which I’m happy to share with you today.
Founded by Valerie Ingram and Alistair Schroff in 2008, Lakes Animal Friendship Society (LAFS) is based in Burns Lake, British Columbia in Canada. The group is run by the husband and wife team and recently became a non-profit charity.
Today, the Jackson Galaxy Foundation (JGF) launches its sophomore Cat Pawsitive class! With nine participating shelters, led by four feline behavior experts, the 2017 class hopes to continue on with the success of the 2016 Cat Pawsitive initiative.