Judging from her work as an adoption counselor and her role as a team lead for Best Friends in New York’s PetSmart weekend adoption events, Christina Liew has limitless passion and enthusiasm for connecting homeless cats with their forever families. Thanks to her, every weekend, cats are going home with new families.
Read what Christina has to say about volunteering for Best Friends and what she loves doing in her free time — besides making a big difference in the lives of New York City’s homeless pets, of course.
What is your favorite part of volunteering?
Everything! Working with the other volunteers and staff makes my volunteer experience an exciting one. Everyone is so warm and friendly - and everyone shares the same passion: finding homes for the cats. Another favorite of mine is speaking to potential adopters about the cats and seeing them bring a furry family member into their household.
Why did you start working with Best Friends?
I've always wanted to volunteer for an animal rescue organization, but never had the time. I heard about Best Friends from a friend of mine who volunteers for the organization — and I knew Best Friends was in Utah, but at that time, I did not know they had volunteer opportunities in New York. After looking up more information about what Best Friends does, I wanted to help out in any capacity. That's when I decided to sign up to volunteer.
Do you have any pets of your own at home?
Yes, I have two cats at home: Riley, who is a pastel calico, and Tyler, who is a grey tabby. I got them when they were both kittens — Riley at about three weeks old (I had to bottle-feed her) and Tyler when he was about a month old. Both were rescued from the streets. They both were supposed to be fosters but I fell in love with them and decided that their forever home was with me.
What do you do for fun outside of volunteering?
I started to take up knitting, but I only know how to knit scarves. Since that’s the only thing I know how to do, I knit scarves for my cats! I also like film and photography, and have slowly been going out on the streets to take photos of moments that happen in the city. Lately, it’s been photos of street and bodega cats.
Outside of cats and dogs, what is your favorite animal and why?
This is a tough one, since I love all animals. I would have to say rats. I’ve had six rats and each one had a different personality. The reason why they’re my favorite is because they are smart little creatures. My rat Lucas was the one who changed my opinion (and he was my favorite). If called, he would come running up to me. He loved scratches on his head and would always wag his tail. If he knew he did something wrong, he would scurry away. Although he always bothered my childhood cat, he was a total sweetheart.
What is your favorite holiday?
Although not your traditional holiday, I think National Cat Day would be my favorite. However, any day that appreciates any kind of animal is my favorite.
What is one piece of advice you have for other volunteers?
Have fun volunteering and enjoy the time you spend with all the amazing volunteers, staff and cats.