September 2015 Volunteers of the Month: Jean Lesniak & Brian Beardsley

by Jen Cohen • Posted in: Volunteer of the Month, Volunteering

Thank you to September’s Volunteers of the Month, Jean Lesniak & Brian Beardsley. Jean & Brian dedicate countless hours at Town Lake Animal Center to keep the animals fed and cared for.

This is what their peers have to say about them:

Jean, Brian & Peaches

These two individuals work most every Saturday and Sunday mornings until all the dogs are fed and taken care of for the day. Also both Bryan and Jean bring in supplies from time to time and Bryan has ordered and repaired one of the washers to get it in working order. This is way above and beyond expectations! They both are awesome and well deserving of some recognition for their efforts! — Anonymous

Deeply cares for the well being of the dogs. Bryan volunteers every weekend and doesn’t leave until all the dogs have been fed and cared for. — Kennel Tech

Jean cares deeply for the dogs. She volunteers every weekend to ensure the dogs are fed and cleaned, and she makes me feel that I am making a great contribution to the shelter. — Anonymous

Here’s what they said when we got to know them a little better:

How did you get interested in volunteering at APA!?
Jean: I really wanted to be around dogs, I’ve always been a cat person and didn’t have any experience with pups and was actually a bit nervous about it. I need some good karma in my life and volunteering at APA! killed two grackles with one stone.
Brian: I personally believe (nor for everyone) it is our responsibility to take care of these incredible animals that we created. That maybe radical for some but it is what I personally have come to bear. So looking around Austin one evening on Congress I saw the once landmark silver camper with the pups outside I had to stop and visit. Once I found out that you could volunteer, I started with lawn mowing and then saw the posting for Kennel Tech help and the rest is history.

What are you most passionate about at APA!?
Jean: Keeping the dogs as happy as possible while they stay at TLAC. It might suck to be there, but I feel better knowing they have clean blankets, kennels and food!
Brian: I have to go with what Jean said. Keeping them happy, comfortable, clean, and giving them all the best chances to find a family that wants them to be a part of their family.

What is your favorite thing to do at APA!?
Jean: Feeding the puppies, duh. Oh, and let one lucky dog lick the gruel spoon when we’re done feeding. It’s usually Forrest Gump.
Brian: Coming in the morning and saying hi to all the dogs and getting a chance to be with them. I am sure it drives my two four legged sons crazy when I come home and they sniff me like crazy trying to figure out what the heck I have been doing all morning.

What are some words of wisdom for new APA! volunteers?
Jean: Always make sure the laundry is running. Bring your own cleaning supplies, and always always always put liners in the trash cans. Also, even though the puppies will fit in your purse, you shouldn’t actually steal any of them.
Brian: Listen to Jean!

Do you have a favorite dog at APA!?
Jean: Darcy, Forrest Gump, Sophia, and HRH Marie.
Brian: All of them.

What’s an interesting fact about you people may not know?
Jean: I found APA! through my scooter club mates Anthony Thomas (works in the clinic) and Kelly Forester (volunteer/foster). You can often find my chocolate Vespa parked in front of the shed.
Brian: I am a huge comic geek. I have an idea for a compilation book to raise money for APA! and hopefully bring attention to the longest staying dogs. I think it could be something that could easily have sequels.