Lotte Jehlik Volunteer of the Year Award – Margo Griffin and Hector Jimenez

Combined, Margo and Hector have given more than 2,200 volunteer hours to the Dumb Friends League and are regular fixtures around the Malone Center. Whether it’s cleaning dog kennels, walking pups, training new volunteers, or picking up a foster animal, they are always actively looking for ways to elevate their service. 

Part of what makes having them on our team so very special is their infectious positivity! They approach every human and animal with warm smiles, friendly “hellos,” and open hearts. To put it simply, these two make the League a better place. Thank you for bringing your initiative, compassion, and strong work ethic to the League, Margo and Hector, and congratulations!

A few words from Margo and Hector: Wow! What a surprise and honor it is to receive the Lotte Jehlik Volunteer of the Year Award! We are deeply grateful for this recognition and humbled to be placed alongside such a tremendous group of outstanding volunteers. Helping shelter animals is our passion and joy. How lucky we feel to work side-by-side with amazing volunteers, foster parents, and staff who share this passion and encourage and inspire us to put in a little extra every day. We are immensely proud to be part of the DFL volunteer family.”

Dedicated Service Award – Sue Johnson-Smith

For those of you who know Sue, it’s no surprise to hear that she is this year’s Dedicated Service Award winner! Sue has been a driving force for the volunteer team at Harmony for more than a decade now, serving more than 3,000 lifetime hours. She regularly volunteers in every role Harmony has to offer – from mucking stalls and helping at the intake barn to leading the charge with the Tales for Tails program. As one Harmony staff team member puts it, “Sue has been, no pun intended, a literal work horse.” 

Sue is a mentor and friend to her fellow team members, a true equine advocate, and a wonderful ambassador for the League within the community. Congratulations, Sue!

A few words from Sue: “Ten years ago I started volunteering at Harmony with a love of horses and a deep respect for the Dumb Friends League’s mission. In reflection, my time at Harmony has given me so much in return. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great group of people committed to the well-being of horses. The Dedicated Service Award is a huge honor that wouldn’t have come to pass without the best staff and fellow volunteers. I’m happy to consider them not simply ‘co-workers,’ but friends.”

Youth Volunteer of the Year Award – Dylan Duran

Dylan serves as a mentor for the League’s Humane Education program and, at just 17 years old, has served nearly 500 hours. She is eager, devoted, and passionate about her work with the League, and this shines through in her interactions with the youth she mentors. The team knows that “if Dylan is on the schedule, it’s going to be a good day.”

Thank you, Dylan, for your many contributions to the Humane Education team and to each and every youth you work with. 

A few words from Dylan: “Since I began my time as a junior mentor, the staff and volunteers [at the League] have been extremely helpful. Anytime that I have needed help from others and asked them, they have been more than willing to help! The community created at the shelter is something that I will greatly miss when I am in college. Thank you to all of the wonderful staff and volunteers I have worked with over the years. A special thank you to the wonderful Humane Education staff Lauren, Kyle, and Marie; you have not only supported me in the shelter but outside as well. Last but not least, thank you to all of the junior mentors I have worked with over the years, and good luck to those yet to come. Let us all keep up the good work because it takes a village!” 

Employee of the Year Award – Judy Zane

Judy started her tenure with the League in March 2014. Since then, she has progressively grown her career with the League and was recently promoted into her current role as the Associate Manager of Shelter Veterinary Services. Judy is passionate about her work and is dedicated to helping without hesitation, always with a positive attitude and smile on her face. 

Not only is Judy a valued employee, but she also volunteers with the League as a foster parent and is a member of the disaster response team.

Thank you, Judy, for your passion, compassion, and dedication. We appreciate the great work that you do. Congratulations!

Judy wanted to share with everyone that, “I am so humbled by this award. I believe you are lucky in life to truly say, ‘I love my job,’ so I consider myself very lucky! I want to thank everyone who voted for me and know that this amazing shelter team makes it a joy to be here to do my job. I am so proud of the staff and volunteers I have worked with over the last nine years and consider so many of you family. Thank you all for continuing to inspire me, and I cannot wait to see all the great things we all do together in the years to come.”