Humane society volunteer celebrates 100 years, and decades caring for dogs and cats

A old lady holds a kitten.
Charlotte Beegle, a volunteer at the Humane Society in Golden Valley, Minn., had her 100th birthday on Tuesday, celebrated by staff members and kittens.
Peter Cox | MPR News

The volunteer carefully walks down a long hallway at the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society, and every few feet there's another dog to pet.

"What a beautiful boy, you are a beautiful baby."

Despite her last name, Charlotte Beegle is more of a cat person.

"So I just have one cat, Eddie. And during this last [year] when everything was toned down, at least I could talk to the cat."

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Beegle has spent 33 years volunteering at the humane society in the Minneapolis suburb. For her 100th birthday Tuesday, the staff brought out cupcakes — and kittens.

Four small kittens jumped out of a carrier and darted around the room. One of the volunteers scooped up Pepper, with gray and black fur, and handed it to Charlotte.

"It makes me feel good. I don't get many parties like this anymore. But no, I love the animals,” she said.

A old lady holds a kitten.
Volunteer Charlotte Beegle urged onlookers to bring home a kitten at her birthday party at the Animal Humane Society on Tuesday.
Peter Cox | MPR News

Beegle still volunteers here regularly. Her friend Carol Schneider drives her in. They met at the humane society 20 years ago.

"Well, she's an absolute hoot. You know, she always comes up with something funny,” Schneider said. “And so I just liked her right from the very start.”

Beegle used to walk dogs, but over the last few years her volunteering has shifted to filing paperwork and cuddling animals.

"Because some animals are better than people. Am I wrong?”

Beegle kept Pepper in her lap, and entertained the staff who came into the room to wish her a happy birthday. Her party ended with a plea. She is a humane society volunteer, after all.

"He should get a home right away. Doesn't anyone here want a kitten?”