Youngest animal volunteer ever?

Perhaps the youngest volunteer ever, this two-year-old girl loves interacting with the animals at Best Friends.
By Elizabeth Doyle

If she’s not the youngest Best Friends volunteer ever, she’s got to be pretty darned close! Hannah Vargas is just two years old, but she was at the sanctuary petting and walking the dogs just like a pro.

This is not actually her very first trip to the sanctuary. Her parents, Mario and Jennifer Vargas, came two years ago, when Jennifer was pregnant with her, so in a way, she’s been here already. But this is definitely the first time she’s been able to help out!

Young animal lover

The family comes from South Easton, Massachusetts, where Hannah is definitely being raised as an animal lover. Her mom takes her to their local SPCA, where she helps brush and pet the animals. So when it was time for their summer vacation, her parents thought they might be able to tempt her with photographs of the sanctuary. And it worked!

"We were skeptical about bringing her this early," said her mom. But it turned out there wasn’t a thing to worry about. Hannah had a wonderful time getting to bring a different dog back to their hotel room for sleepovers each night. (Arby, pictured here, was her favorite, and got to sleep over twice.) And she helped the staff go on walks with dogs, brush them, and, of course, the most important job of all – petting!

Toddler volunteer

So what made our youngest volunteer ever come to Best Friends? "Because I want to." Good answer. In fact, that’s why most folks work here, too!

Thanks for volunteering, Hannah – you were a big, big help! We hope to see you again for many years to come!

Find out about volunteering with animals at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

Photos by Troy Snow

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