Honoring Westport Volunteer Valerie Juengst
Valerie Juengst is a Jack—er, Jill—of all trades when it comes to animal rescue. From walking the biggest and sassiest dogs, to promoting adoption at community events, to fostering newborn pets and donating to animals in need, she’s done it all as a Connecticut Humane Society volunteer. And on top of that, she’s even an adopter.
Val joined the volunteer team at the Westport Pet Wellness and Adoption Center over two years ago right after she retired. In addition to visiting family and traveling the world, her newly found spare time allowed her to support CHS’ mission in the way she had always wanted to.
As an experienced dog mom with a patience for pups who need a little more attention and guidance, Val is entrusted to work with the more challenging canines—ones who are still working on their manners, haven’t quite gotten the leash thing down yet, or are on the shy and nervous side.
When she’s not preparing CHS dogs for their future families, she’s spoiling her two princesses at home: Bella, a Maltese, and Luna, a Lhasa. Both are CHS Westport alumni and frequent attendees of CHS Yappy Hours. She’s always ready with a story of their sisterly shenanigans and proud that Bella and Luna show new friends everywhere they go the range of breeds and personalities you can adopt from a shelter.
But Val is not just a dog person. Her love for creatures extends to all species. She regularly fosters puppies and kittens, and although she had never had a small critter before, she jumped at the chance to foster a mamma guinea pig and her babies this winter. Ms. Rosie arrived at CHS from another rescue group as a pregnant guinea pig and soon gave birth to Basil, Anise, Peppercorn, Clove and Caraway. Val opened her home to the tiny family for close monitoring and socialization.
Val’s happiest volunteer moments are when senior pets go home—like Hope, a 12-year-old cat who found a family at the end of December. The tiger-striped kitty was a resident of Val’s home for several weeks while she took medicine to stabilize a thyroid condition and worked to put on a few pounds. Though all of Val’s fosters are memorable, Hope has a special place in her heart. Val enjoyed watching Hope grow stronger and become more social and playful after a long illness.
Val was motivated to join the volunteer team by her tremendous love of animals, and her work with pets—both big and small—shows that day in and day out.
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