Helping with events, fundraising, fostering, photographing the dogs, helping with social media posts, walking dogs…..these are but a few of the things that Leyla Franco does as a volunteer for Last Chance at Life.
Leyla started volunteering for LCAL back when it was still Boxers and Birds, over seven years ago. She had lost her boxer and had also known she wanted to volunteer. Finding herself going through a major transition in her life, being both single and dogless, Last Chance at Life came along at the perfect time! She was able to spend some time mourning the loss of her boxer and also begin meeting new dogs until the right dog found her.
Currently, Leyla is a weekly dog walker and she has been doing that for the organization since day one. Once a week, she is at the adoption center to help by cleaning, walking, training and doing whatever else needs done. Recently, she began to help photograph each new dog and promote them on Facebook to help with their adoption. Leyla uses the opportunity her career affords her to network, raise money and place dogs in their forever homes.
When asked what she enjoys most about volunteering, Leyla notes that she has “met some amazing people here at LCAL that have become lifelong friends but I have really enjoyed seeing the resilience of the animals that I’ve been able to meet over the years. The things some of these animals have had to overcome are truly amazing to me and most of them are able to love so hard despite what they’ve been through. And on top of it getting to see them thrive in a new loving home is really the best feeling. I like to say that I’ve learned more about myself through these dogs than I could have learned from any human. I’ve learned patience, I’ve learned consistency, I’ve learned to conquer my fears and I’ve learned that I can do much more than I thought I could.”
Fast forward seven years…Leyla and her husband, Beau, have a 3-legged boxer baby named Kaelani. “Her journey has taught us so much!”, Leyla says. “Many people ask me how I am able to do this (not bring home dogs every week!) but I am a true believer in doing what is best for the dog and not myself, this way we are able to foster and help more dogs by fostering. We have fostered many dogs over the years, many of them being puppies. Kaelani helps us with this task by teaching the little ones how to become well behaved around other dogs and humans. She has enough energy to play with the puppies and helps drain some energy but she also has a nurturing part to her that teaches them manners.”
When Leyla isn’t volunteering with LCAL, she has a paying gig as a residential real estate agent, helping people buy and sell homes in San Diego and Riverside counties. She enjoys helping people find homes just like she enjoys helping dogs find homes. If there is any spare time left, she and Beau enjoy travelling.
THANK YOU Leyla!!!