KVUE — Austinite Lois Rodriguez got a special surprise on her first day of volunteering with Austin Pets Alive, when she was teamed up with celebrity Renée Zellweger.
"I know volunteering isn't always sexy, so I was okay to be put on laundry duty, heaping loads of stinky laundry," said Rodriguez. "But then I got the best co-volunteer ever — Renée Zellweger!"
Rodriguez said she treated her partner as she would any other new friend, but that was because she didn't know she was working hand-in-hand with a celebrity.
"In the initial small talk of getting started, I mentioned that I had wished I’d stopped for something to drink before I left the office and headed straight over," Rodriguez recalled. "In her typical bubbly spirit, she was compelled to run and grab a water for me. Something she said as she went off to get me a water made me recognize her voice."
In their three days of volunteering together, from sorting donations to cleaning crates to visiting animals in need of special care, Rodriguez said they chatted about the typical things two ladies would discuss when getting to know a new friend. But they also discussed the events that brought them to APA in the first place: Hurricane Harvey.
"She lives in Los Angeles and said she was compelled to come down and do something to help," Rodriguez said. "She looked online to she where she was most needed and when she saw Austin Pets Alive was doing much work, her decision was made."
Rodriguez said that Zellweger told her she used to work at APA while she was going to school in Austin, and that she had gotten her dog, Dylan, at the shelter.
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