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Couple finds purpose and love volunteering at Dumb Friends League

Chris Hansen and Jim Slater honored as Denver7 Everyday Heroes for their work at the Dumb Friends League
Posted at 5:24 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 19:24:16-05

Chris Hansen and Jim Slater have been fostering animals at the Dumb Friends League for years.

Chris remembers the first time she walked in the door 30 years ago.

“All of these cats were screaming and whining, and I walked in and went, 'This is where I belong,'” Chris said, remembering her first day volunteering.

A few years later, Chris was teaching a class on fostering animals that Jim attended.

“I went to one class and we chatted, and I went back to another class and went back to another class,” he remembers.

Chris knew Jim was special on one of his first visits to her home.

“I was over at her house one day and she was fostering some kittens and I picked up one of the kittens and kissed it and she just looked dumbfounded,” Jim said.

The couple has now been together for nearly eight years, married for the last five.

Staff at the Dumb Friends League know the couple well.

“Any cat that has severe medical, needs lots of medications, and needs somebody special — it's always Jim,” said Karissa Gerondale, who said she believes Chris is also wonderfully gifted.

“Even kittens who, you know, are on the brink of not making it — she'll bring them back to life,” Karissa added.

It’s Chris and Jim’s years of dedication that really help them stand out to staff.

“If we don't have volunteers like Chris and Jim, it's really hard for us to stay on top of everything we have to get done with all the kittens that we have,” said staff member Taylor Curry.

Chris and Jim have no plans to stop fostering any time soon. In fact, Chris said their home almost feels empty when they don’t have foster kittens around.

“We take a little break here and there in between our fosters, and as soon as we get back from a trip or whatever, it's like, ‘OK, it's time for another foster,’” she says. “Our lives wouldn't be complete without it.”

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