Janelle Batta, BC ’11, might be a boring paralegal by day (she thanks LionSHARE for that), but by night she saves the animals of New York City. There’s a fundraiser from 7-10 pm tomorrow night—Pawty at Pourhouse—where your alcoholism can benefit the animals of the animal rescue All Sentient Beings. Bwog’s Feline Fanatic Sarah Faith Thompson couldn’t pass up an opportunity to talk to one of her own kind.
Bwog: First off, you’re BC ’11—what did you major in and what sort of job did you get after graduation?
Janelle: I majored in Environmental Policy at Barnard, with a minor in French. After graduation, I spent the summer job hunting. In September 2011 I was (finally!) offered a job as a paralegal at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.
B: How did you get into doing animal rescue work?
J: I’ve always been an animal lover, but for whatever reason, I never did a ton of volunteer work. In a fit of guilt I signed up for a bunch of local animal shelter/rescue volunteer orientations. Now I volunteer at Animal Haven in SoHo, Animal Care & Control’s Manhattan location in East Harlem, and All Sentient Beings, a rescue network operating out of midtown.
B: How do you divide up your time between that and your job?
J: I generally spend normal business hours at the law firm, reading and writing in the name of getting a paycheck and preparing for law school. In the evenings I work on animal rescue projects remotely, things like updating adoption listings, processing donation acknowledgments, event planning and managing web content and social media. On the weekends I work in the shelters, walking dogs, cleaning, grooming and playing.
B: What are the things you have seen that have made you the happiest and saddest there?
J: Seeing so many unhappy caged animals is always upsetting, but the saddest part (warning: real talk) is seeing Animal Care & Control’s “to be destroyed” list published everyday and knowing you can’t save every animal. On a happier note, it’s great when we get “happy tails” from recent adopters, which often include pictures of the animal with their new family.
B: Have you been tempted to adopt animals from the animal rescue?
J: It’s infinitely tempting to adopt all the animals. Bonds form quickly and everyone has their favorites. Selfish as it may sound, it can be bittersweet when they’re adopted.
B: Tell me about the two cats that you’re having a fundraiser for!
J: Gianni and Giovanni were both pulled off of Animal Care & Control’s “to be destroyed” list by All Sentient Beings. These kittens are absolute dolls. They’ll nuzzle into your neck and purr until you’ve died and gone to heaven.
When they came to us, Gianni’s eye was infected and they both had kennel cough. All Sentient Beings nursed them back to perfect health. Their adoption is pending, so now we just have to pay the vet bills! That’s why I’ve organized a casual fundraiser this Friday at Village Pourhouse from 7-10 pm. Recent BC/CC graduates will be greeting at the door, so gather your animal-loving friends and join us for a drink!