Volunteer Spotlight: Claire Bergman

Volunteer Spotlight: Claire Bergman

Claire started volunteering at HFS after she moved to Madison from the Chicago area in September 2022. She stayed helping in Verona until the last of our rescued residents made the move to Stoughton. She also was a summer camp counselor last summer.

When asked why she wanted to volunteer at Heartland, Claire says, “As a kid, I attended camps at a local zoo in my hometown that provided animal education and homes for farm animals and native wildlife, many of whom needed rehabilitation. I was enamored with the residents there and the enrichment we were able to provide. As a teen, I started volunteering at the local animal shelter near my home and eventually worked my way up to fostering neonatal and feral kittens with some dogs in the mix. I have a passion for caring for animals who have had difficult starts to their lives and need a little extra love and attention. I knew I wanted to continue volunteering in the animal realm when I moved to Madison and HFS ended up being the perfect fit!”

Claire loves volunteering to create a safe and loving environment for the residents. She says, “It is fun learning each of the residents personalities and interacting with them on a more personal level. Also, shoutout to the Monday night crew! I have enjoyed getting to know my shift team and they make volunteering even more fun.”

When asked about her favorite resident, Claire didn’t hesitate to choose Hank the goat. She says, “First off, his little smirk will melt you. I have never met a more photogenic goat! I met Hank right when he came to the Verona location. He was in such rough shape and had no reason to trust anyone. During the summer, I spent a lot of time sitting in his stall after camp to get to know him better and he learned to trust me more and more. We got to a point where he would hang out next to me and let me give him butt scritches. He has come so far! Can’t forget about the noises he makes…so ridiculous!”

Outside of Heartland, Claire enjoys spending time with family, trying new coffee shops and pastries, and reading. She also loves to get outside and explore new parts of the state.

In closing Claire says, “I am so grateful to be part of the Heartland team! I am a school social worker by trade, and I am always looking for ways to decompress from work. I often call my time at the sanctuary my ‘fuzz therapy.’ The power of the residents on boosting your mood and giving you love is priceless!”

THANK YOU, Claire, for boosting our mood by being such a committed, compassionate and caring member of the Heartland crew.