Manager of Partnerships & Collaboration
Posted July 12, 2017 at 11:16 AM Under "Everything else!"
Welcome to Maddie's Pet Forum!

Please take a moment to introduce yourself by answering these three questions:

  • Where are you from? (city, state, organization, etc.)
  • What do you do? (your job, volunteer position, life's calling, etc.)
  • If you could be ANY animal, what would you be and why?

And feel free to be creative!

  • OrphansoftheStormRIck    Yesterday at 12:28 AM


    I'm Rick, I'm at Orphans of the storm in illinois.

    I am the shelter manager

    If I could be an animal....hmm, does a teddy bear count? Big growly bear but totally cuddly and loving!

  • Raya at Best Friends    April 18, 2019 at 01:06 PM

    Hi! I'm Raya Greenbaum with Best Friends Animal Society. I'm originally from around Wichita, Kansas, but roam happily nowadays and work as the network digital resource specialist for Best Friends. I've always loved communicating and connecting with others, and find my job of sharing lifesaving resources with animal welfare advocates to be a dream.

    As for what animal I would love to be... I have to say a Manta Ray. They are pure magic to me, and words fail to describe the bliss of being near them.

    Excited to meet and collaborate with even more compassionate people here!

  • Kcody    April 11, 2019 at 07:35 PM


    My name is Krista

    From Arlington, VA

    Foster for the "Kitten College" at Animal Welfare League of Arlington (AWLA)

    I would definitely want to be a 🐈 cat! Plus my sign is ♌ Leo!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  April 12, 2019 at 11:11 AM

      Welcome to the forum, Krista! And thank you for being a foster to the itty bitty kitties!

  • SandraOKHS    April 11, 2019 at 06:46 AM

    Happy Thursday!

    My name is Sandra, I live and work in Oklahoma City with the Oklahoma Humane Society (formerly Central, we are rebranding). But I don't live at work, although it would be super easy to do. I'm the Director of Clinical Operations, therefore, if it's a medical program within OK Humane, it's my responsibility.

    If I could be any animal, I would be any one of my dogs (a Boston, Cattledog, and a mixed breed). They are well loved and I think that's what everyone wants in life anyway.

    Thank you Maddie's for providing this platform and so many forums. I can't wait to dive in!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  April 12, 2019 at 11:09 AM

      Thanks so much for joining the forum, Sandra! We can't wait for you to dive in either!

  • MDaschbach    April 10, 2019 at 08:26 AM


    My name is Madeline and I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! I am the Pet Helpline Coordinator at Humane Animal Rescue. This is a brand new position at our organization and I am really excited to hit the ground running. I was previously an admissions counselor.

    If I could be any animal I would be a Bernese Mountain Dog like my own personal dog, Daphne. She is majestic and loving in every way. If I could be just like her I would be a pretty happy camper!

    • Erika   Maddie's Fund Staff  April 12, 2019 at 12:35 PM

      If you need staff training for pet retention, Maddie's University has a free online apprenticeship. It's five classes long, but the first class also works well as a standalone. It's called Shelter Staff as Crisis Counselors. Students can listen to audio samples of conversations between shelter staff and owners. It helps staff respond in a non-judgmental way to owners who are considering surrendering their pets and offer owners hope. The apprenticeship also has a strong behavioral component, for talking with owners about how to deal with specific behaviors. You can find it in the Maddie's Apprenticeship section of

      • MDaschbach    April 13, 2019 at 10:50 AM

        This is amazing! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. We will also be working to get volunteers to help us out so all information is super helpful!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  April 10, 2019 at 11:45 AM

      Awww, I love those Berners, too. Welcome to the forum, Madeline!

      I love that your organization has dedicated resources to a Pet Helpline Coordinator. Keeping pets in homes and out of the shelter/rescue in the first place is a game-changer! All the best to you in your new position!

  • agower613    April 04, 2019 at 10:44 PM

    Hi, I’m Amanda, I’m 25, and I’m from Scranton, Pennsylvania. I’m a stay at home cat mom to Pumpkin (4 years in June) and Freddie (8 weeks 4 days - I just adopted him). My family also has a sweet Yellow Lab, Jack (just turned 12 years old).

    I graduated from Penn State in December 2016, and I really wanted to go to grad school to become a research librarian. Unfortunately, life had other plans; I’m unable to work or go back to school due to chronic illness. My pets give my life so much meaning, and I’m happy to be a cat mom.

    I used to want to be a hummingbird, owning the freedom of sprite-like flight and sucking sweet nectar from beautiful flowers. Now, I know I would love to be a cat. Cats are beautiful little aliens. They don’t always trust easily, but when they do you get an amazing companion. They are so graceful, even when they’re not, and their speed and stealth is amazing. They also sleep most of the day, and I wish for their peaceful slumber. So, definitely cat, or Flerken for any Captain Marvel fans out there. 😁

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  April 05, 2019 at 10:41 AM

      Welcome, Amanda! I'm sorry to hear about your illness but glad that you have Pumpkin, Freddie and Jack to surround you with love. Congrats on your new addition, Freddie!

      Thank you for teaching me what a flerken is. I googled it and now I understand why you said cats are beautiful little aliens. So cool that a flerken looks like an ordinary cat to us but are SO MUCH MORE! I think I need to see Captain Marvel now. ;)

  • KSpar    March 27, 2019 at 08:56 AM

    From Long Island, NY originally, but now at Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission in Milwaukee, WI.

    I am the Executive Director and Humane Officer.

    I would be an Orca. I love wearing black, love the ocean, love to hang with my family and I am totally a type A(for Apex) personality!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 27, 2019 at 10:27 AM

      Welcome, KSpar! Orcas rock...and your reasons for wanting to be one are spot on! LOL

  • TDHill    March 27, 2019 at 05:16 AM

    Tiffani Hill from Glynn County Animal Control in Brunswick, GA aka "The Golden Isles". I'm the manager - in 30 years in animal welfare, this is my first municipal and my first animal control shelter. Native southern Californian who married a southern veterinarian :) Trying to figure out how to bring SE GA out of the dark ages from a responsible pet ownership perspective. I'm also the Bunny Lady - started the first rabbit rescue between Atlanta and Gainesville, FL (an 8-hour gap). Would I want to be a bunny? Only if I could be a house rabbit :)

  • Aconlon    March 26, 2019 at 03:48 PM

    Hi Everyone!

    My name is Amanda!

    • Where are you from? Walnut Creek, California - Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) with the Pets and Vets Program
    • What do you do? Pets and Vets Program Coordinator. I do a little bit of everything, intake dogs specifically for the program, work with fosters, help with the adoptions and a lot of random little things.
    • If you could be ANY animal, what would you be and why? If I could be any animal I would to be a bird so I would no longer have to deal with traffic :)
    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 27, 2019 at 10:20 AM

      Welcome to the forum, Amanda! I'm laughing right now after reading your animal choice. I lived in the SF Bay area for 15 years so I completely understand the desire to be anything that keeps you out of traffic! smiling face-with-open-mouth-and-tightly-closed-eyes

  • deniseangeleyes    March 26, 2019 at 07:42 AM
    • Denise Liske - Willseyville, Tioga County, NY
    • Candor/Berkshire/Richford/Newark Valley Dog Control Officer
    • Nichols Deputy Dog Control Officer
    • AngelEyes Animal Rescue & Wildlife Rehabililation Administrator
    • NYSDEC Wildlife Rehabilitator
    • Tioga County Animal Response Team (TCART) Coordinator
    • Wolf - Excellent Intelligent & Amazing Intuition / Instinctual Need For Freedom Yet Dedicated To Their Pack
    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 27, 2019 at 10:19 AM

      Welcome, Denise! Wow, you've got a lot of experience. Love that you worked with both domestic animals and wildlife. Thanks for all you do!

  • lew93    March 24, 2019 at 09:59 AM

    Hi my name is Lyndsey!

    • Where are you from? SPCA of Tompkins County (Ithaca, NY)
    • What do you do? A little bit of everything - Primarily veterinary assistant, but also sometimes adoption counselor and on-call emergency animal control. I would like to improve our dog foster program as right now it is geared towards puppies and not adult dogs... So possibly Dog Foster Coordinator in the future!
    • If you could be ANY animal, what would you be and why? I would like to say dog, but honestly probably a free fed house cat. That way I could sleep, play, eat, etc. whenever I wanted!
    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 27, 2019 at 10:17 AM

      Welcome to the forum! I hope the resources already shared in the forum help you on your path to improve your dog foster program. Search "foster care", "foster", "foster manual" to find previous discussions and resources. Good luck!

  • Anitra Holley    March 14, 2019 at 10:44 AM
    • Where are you from? Paws Humane Society - Columbus, GA
    • What do you do? Manager of Volunteer Services
    • If you could be ANY animal, what would you be and why? I would be one of MY dogs b/c they have the BEST life and are loved and spoiled beyond belief!
  • ColleenO    February 19, 2019 at 04:14 AM

    I’m Colleen with the nonprofit Friends of Oakland Animal Services (FOAS), and a dog volunteer at Oakland Animal Services (OAS). I socialize hard to place dogs, train volunteers, fundraise, and help at our free spay/neuter clinics in Oakland, CA. My life’s calling is saving the underdogs and spay/neuter. If I could be an animal I’d be an otter and play play play all day.

  • dixieandcharliesmom    February 17, 2019 at 07:21 PM

    Hello, my name is Sarah and I am originally from California, but currently live just southeast of Omaha, Ne. I am the volunteer coordinator for Town and Country Humane Society, but I really enjoy hanging out with the animals. I always say my own dog Dixie is my "spirit animal" as she has the same personality as me but in dog form!

  • spetee    February 10, 2019 at 08:56 AM

    Hi! My name is Sandi Petee and I am the Outreach Coordinator at the Humane Society of Hobart in Hobart, Indiana. My position is a catch-all position: Volunteers, Social Media, Events, Fostering, Fundraising and whatever else comes up! I have been involved in animal welfare as both an employee and volunteer for over 25 years. I have two human teenagers, 3 dogs (Shepherd mix, Schnauzer mix and black pug), two cats and a revolving door of foster cats and kittens. Animal Welfare is my passion as well as my job and has been my whole life. If I could be any animal I think I would be a whale or a dolphin because I am a scuba diver and love the water!

  • arice    February 04, 2019 at 12:37 PM

    Hi! I am Amanda Rice with Asheville Humane Society in Asheville, NC. I am the Relocation Coordinator. Outside of work I have 3 human kiddos, 3 fur kiddos and one reptile.

    If I could be any animal I think I would be a Panda Bear. panda face

  • SMRobbins    January 12, 2019 at 12:47 PM


    My name is Shanna and I am the Foster, Spay & Neuter Coordinater with the Friends of Madera Animal Shelter in Madera Ca. All 3 positions are fairly new but I have high hopes to implement a new and improved foster program to our small community and shelter with the help of this wonderful program.

    As to what animal I would like to be I guess it would have to be either a bird or a sea turtle.

  • lisa.amundson    December 07, 2018 at 01:02 PM

    Good Afternoon! My name is Lisa, I am an Administrative Assistant at Pitt County Animal Services in Greenville, NC. If I could be any animal I would be a Sea Turtle, because I love the beach and the ocean.

  • Mitsuchic    September 19, 2018 at 04:57 PM

    Hey y'all!I'm Amy Owen, from Marshall, TX. I am the Vice President of our non profit, Friends of Marshall Animals. Currently, I am also taking over the foster program, help plan all events, fundraising and anything else that needs done. I teach 3rd grade, and if I was an animals, I would either be a dog or a dolphin.

  • CHatch    September 19, 2018 at 11:11 AM

    HI everyone. My name is Candyce. I am originally from Seattle, Washington. I have been in the Orlando, Florida area for roughly ten years. During this time I realized what I truly am passionate about, and that is animal welfare. I worked at Disney the first 7 years I was here, doing everything on the spectrum of ESPN Wide World of Sports and runDisney, so I have a great background in Customer Care and Event management. I was lucky enough to land a job at Pet Alliance a little over 3 years ago, and I have been on cloud 9 ever since. I have had a few different roles at Pet Alliance, but my current title is Customer Care. That being said I do several things at Pet Alliance including playgroups, transport trips, community outreach, employee appreciation committee, safety committee, and training committee.

    If you could sum up my life it would be Family (including my dogs), beach, beers, playing games, and football. I spend almost every Sunday during the season watching football as I am an avid Fantasy football player and just love the sport. I do appreciate all sports, but football is my favorite. I love going to the beach with my dogs, and trying different different beers at breweries. Speaking of, I have three dogs. Schooner is my labradane male, Tripel is my lab hound mix from a transport trip I went on to Miami to get dogs from Puerto Rico, and Hops is the white mix of who knows what from a different transport trip I went on to get dogs coming from St. Thomas.

    If I could be any animal in the world I would be a wolf. I LOVE dogs, but I think it would be neat to be a wolf and be part of a pack and run wild in the wilderness. Their free spirits and the pack mentality are appealing to me.

  • Butterfly2128    September 14, 2018 at 11:25 PM

    Hello I am new to this room my name is Monical I'm living in Midlothian, Tx Im am a CNA loving working the elderly I just adopt my second dog/ fur baby from forth amimal shelter and I m loving them l. Me adopting them is saving my life my girls are grown so it's just me now I have them to keep me movitated and in good spirits everyday

  • jojo    August 19, 2018 at 07:29 PM

    I am from Chicago, Illinois! My name is Jo Dee Sharps Walsh but in the animal and children's world, I prefer "jojo."

    A friend of mine looped me in to do some volunteer development work for AnimalVILLAGENM which is a large, NO KILL, rescue & adoptions center. So now I'm hooked! My self-given title is " Volunteer Development Coordinator."

    If I could be any animal I think I might choose a well - loved cat.

    Thanks all!

  • Team Bridge    August 10, 2018 at 08:18 PM

    Hi! My name is Debbie Clark and I am the Grant Administrator for Bridge to Home Animal Rescue. We are a foster based dog rescue in Eighty Four PA. If I could be any animal, I would like to be a golden retriever. I adore goldens, as well as Labs.

  • Kathy McCloskey    August 07, 2018 at 12:09 PM

    Hello Everyone, my name is Kathy McCloskey and I'm from Peoria Arizona but grew up in a tiny town in the Northern part of New Jersey. I currently volunteer and foster for an amazing local rescue by the name of Fearless Kitty and I am working on building my own rescue. We have the land and now we need to start building! It will be one heck of a ride I'm sure but I look forward to it as this work we do is my passion and my inner peace. I hope to be able to turn to the forums here when I need advise, info, or just a nudge in the right direction!

    Any animal, huh? That's a tough one because I always wished I had the grace and agility of the cat but the beauty, strength, and swiftness of the horse would be amazing too. Let's split it down the middle and spend 6 months a year as a cat and six months as a horse!

  • Encore    August 01, 2018 at 08:51 AM

    I'm Julie Madden, from Alabama. My husband and I co-founded Encore Enrichment Center for Shelter Dogs (Anniston, Alabama). We pull 4-6 dogs each day from local shelters and bring them to our Center. We work with the same dogs for 2 weeks so we have time to fix basic behavior issues like leash pulling and jumping. We also work with shy dogs - some of those come back a number of times. We also do nose work (I'm a certified NW instructor), socialization, baths. and pictures to share on social media. We thought we were going to have a quiet retirement but after volunteering at local shelters for several months, we were moved to try to do something more for the dogs. Shelters in rural north/central AL don't have much in the way of time or space for enrichment! If I could be any animal I guess I would be a dog - so I would finally know what they were thinking.

  • cat whisperer    July 27, 2018 at 09:57 AM

    I volunteer at local shelter, Durham, NC. I have only been active there for about 1 year. I am a member of the "Cat leadership Team." My personal specialty is providing music played on CD in the cat rooms when I am there. I introduced it. I also am also trying to initiate a "cat retention" program and am seeking any advice how to proceed. What best practices, etc? Communicating with cats is my specialty. This is done in a way that socializes them almost immediately.

  • Menominee Animal Shelter    July 24, 2018 at 10:33 AM

    My name is Nancy and I'm the manager of the Menominee Animal Shelter. We only handle dogs and cats and are located in the very bottom of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan right on the Wisconsin boarder. We take animals from both Menominee, Michigan and Marinette, Wisconsin. We average about 1,300 animal a year.

    I have been employed here for 15 years and the manager for 13. I always wanted to be a vet, but couldn't afford to go to collage for that. But now I know why. I wasn't meant to be a vet, I was meant to be right here where I am.

    If I were to be an animal, I think it would be a Vulture. Sounds weird, i know. But really, they are beautifully created birds. And not too many people hunt them. LOL

  • HeatherC    July 14, 2018 at 05:44 PM

    Hi all! I'm Heather Carr living in Naples, FL. I've been a volunteer photographer for several years with my local organizations and started fostering kittens a year ago with our county shelter. I couldn't love it more! I'm always looking to expand my knowledge in all areas of fostering, promotion and shelter photography!

  • Rebel Rescue    June 30, 2018 at 10:17 AM

    Hi my name is Christy Bear from Rebel Rescue in Victoria, TX. I am the President of Rebel Rescue and we are all volunteer.

  • kym cyr    June 26, 2018 at 06:04 AM

    My name is Kym Cyr. I live on Martha's Vineyard in MA. I work full time as a secretary for Special Ed in the school system. I'm the founder, Director of a non profit, no kill, cage free animal rescue, Second Chance Animal Rescue since Dec 2005. The rescue is based out of my home. I lived in South Carolina for 15 yrs and saw the tremendous need for the animals. When I moved back to the Northeast, I felt a tremendous urge to continue to help the South. We pull from high kill shelters and are working with other agencies to help the animals. We do the cats, kittens, pups and dogs. We have everything spayed and vaccinated before transport. We are a small group but we are devoted to finding the best family for each of our animals. We've met many people due to social media and have become friends even thou we've never met. To know other people have the same heart is incredible.

  • LisaP    June 26, 2018 at 05:26 AM

    My name is Lisa Pearce and while I'm originally from Southern California, after living in many states and raising my three children, I am happy to call Charleston, SC home now. Having been in the non-profit world over the years, I am feeling blessed to be working with Charleston Animal Society as grants administrator. Although animal welfare is new to me, I bring all I have to the table when lifesaving and cruelty prevention is in the mix! I truly believe that a more humane society begins with caring for our most vulnerable, no matter two legs or four.

    If I could be any animal is a tough one to answer. A bird of some sort. To fly would be amazing, soaring freely and enjoying beautiful trees, scenery, and sunshine. Can you tell that I spend most days indoors at a laptop? Ha Ha!

    Happy to be a part of this generous and dedicated community. You all amaze me with your kind stewardship of animals.


  • Merrie    June 25, 2018 at 11:54 AM

    I'm a freelance medical copyeditor and live in Albuquerque, NM. I volunteer for a local rescue, NMDOG (;, that serves the chained, abused, and forgotten dogs of New Mexico. I'll have to get back to you on what animal I'd be. Probably a big cat of some kind—although I volunteer for a dog rescue, I'm basically a cat person. :-)

  • Border Collies Rule    June 25, 2018 at 01:36 AM


    I am a Registered Nurse, but I am currently taking time off to raise my two adopted kids. I volunteer with a local Border Collie Rescue as they Intake/Foster Coordinator. I am from Omaha, NE. If I could be any animal it would definitely be a Border Collie. They are loyal, smart, energetic and loving.

  • Matt Chan    June 22, 2018 at 04:04 PM

    Hey there! My name is Matt, and I most recently completed an amazing Executive Leader Fellowship at Charleston Animal Society. The fellowship was provided by Maddie's Fund, and I had the incredible opportunity to learn from some of the best in animal welfare in the no kill community of Charleston (the city and the County of Charleston), South Carolina.

    One of my core values is building meaningful relationships; everything is propelled forward by them. And one of my core specialties is organizational development.

    I am a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator, and have been a leader in animal welfare since 2009. Please message me if you would like to get to know me or my skills better--I am currently searching for the next great role in animal welfare leadership!

    Thank you for everything YOU do every day to save more lives and make the world its safest, most compassionate self.


    Matt Chan, CAWA

  • AmyDuskiewicz    June 21, 2018 at 01:10 PM

    Hi Kim!!

    Nice to 'see' you again! I'm sure we'll bump into each other again in real life, though I'm over in New York state now.

    -Amy D

  • Iris    June 17, 2018 at 09:43 AM

    I am the director small foster based rescue, West Jersey Volunteers for Animals, in South Jersey, outside of Phildelphia. We have been together for almost 20 yr. starting out volunteering at a private shelter that had contracts with about 15 towns. We got our 501c3 in 2000 officially. And we were able to support the medical needs for the dogs and cats The Euthanasia rate was terrible in the beginning and adoptions were to just about anyone. We were able to change policies and helped the dogs find better homes, that matched their needs. Euth rate went down. We also started enrichment and walking programs and doing events. We all learned so much about the shelter system, especially the negative. We were all hands on from scooping poop to cleaning kennels, to sitting with animals when they were Euth. The shelter closed in 2006, and we got 98% of the dogs and cats adopted before hand, and took a few with us, and went out on our own. It was an experience I will never forget, and will treasure, even though it was so stressful and emotional. We learned so much and were so lucky that the owner of the shelter loved us and our help.

    What animal would I be? Dog, Horse, Swan, Robin, Dolphin? Really hard to say, I want to say an animal that is safe or respected, and not hunted. Very hard question to answer depending on where the animal lives. I guess that is a weird answer. Sorry.

  • MustLuvDogs    June 16, 2018 at 06:49 AM

    Hi. My name is Cindy Shotwell. I’m the founder & Exec Director of a foster based rescue called Must Luv Dogs. I live just a few miles north of Baton Rouge Louisiana. I’m a retired legal professional and long time volunteer & and animal advocate. Still Married to my high school sweetheart. Mother of 3 grown sons. Military mom (my youngest son is USAF pilot). Have 2 grandsons. Mom to 5 pups (2 rescues & 2 foster failures). 2 Rescue cats. I’m an artist & poet (when I have time). Lifelong learner (currently learning guitar & 2nd language). I travel a lot to visit 2 of my sons. One in Chicago & one in the military. As to my calling, I live in a part of the country where there is zero animal control. No animal ordinances or animal control officers. My team & I routinely rescue dogs off the street and rural highways where they’ve been dumped & discarded. I knew rescue was my calling a very long time ago l but never dreamed I’d be doing it full time at 54 & for free! Lol. I see many of you are professionals in this area. I need guidance in a lot of areas, but will try my best to keep my questions to a minimum lol. My husband says he wants to come back in his next life as one of my pups so I guess that’s what I’d choose!

    PS. I need suggestions on where I can get training to do behavioral training!

  • Debi    June 15, 2018 at 06:52 AM

    My name is Debi, I'm originally form Wilmington Delaware, but reside in Picayune Mississippi, I work at prcspca a small county open admission shelter. I've worked with shelter for about 20 years now, I'm currently the cattery manager, my life calling has always been with animals. this is my second shelter to have worked at. this is my only choice I would ever have.

  • KimMel    June 11, 2018 at 10:19 AM

    My name is Kim Melanson I am a certified canine behavior counselor and trainer. I live in Natick MA with my 2 dogs, 8 year old SF ACD mix and a 15 week old NM Corgi/American Eskimo mix, my husband and 12 year old son. I currently teach training classes, puppy, basic, tricks, advanced CGC, agility for fun and do private consults for a fatality in Natick and Cambridge. I also do my own home consults and volunteer and consult for a shelter, Bay Path Humane Society in Hopkington MA. I also do some consulting work for Maddie's Fund, Tufts and Mass Animal Coalition. I worked at the Animal Rescue League in Boston for 11 years as a Behavior Counselor, preforming, evaluations, behavior plans, training dogs and volunteers. If I had to be an animal ai would be an elephant tin a protected park. They seem to live very enriching lives and their structure is female and in depth! ;-)

    • AmyDuskiewicz    June 21, 2018 at 12:59 PM

      Hi Kim!!

      Nice to 'see' you again! I'm sure we'll bump into each other again in real life, though I'm over in New York state now.

      -Amy D

  • heathergHSP    June 09, 2018 at 07:11 AM


    I am the Behavior Department Manager for the Humane Society of Pinellas in Florida. I manage programs including offsite training outings, behavior foster engagements, dog training, cat training, and a public consultation, training class, and helpline service.

    If I could be any animal, I would have to pick the dolphin! <3

  • LisaL    June 08, 2018 at 07:39 AM

    Hi everyone, My name is Lisa and I am the foster care coordinator at the Rhode Island SPCA. I have been with the RISPCA for eleven years now and have fostered two hundred and six dogs/pregnant and birthing dogs, orphan puppies and cruelty cases. I have adopted five dogs who all have medical/health problems and all are on daily medication. I have two who have seizures, one who has double aortic stenosis who wasn't suppose to live past the age of 8 months but is now two years old and going strong, and finally Mary who came into the shelter with puppy strangles who I cared for for seven months and then adopted. I believe in quality of life. I am also a Reiki master and provide healing and stress reduction to our shelter dogs. If I could be any animal I would be a Chihuahua because they are little and mighty.

    • APA!Ann    June 09, 2018 at 07:52 AM

      Lisa, I believe that you are scheduled to attend our Maddie's Dog Foster Apprenticeship in Austin this month? I look forward to meeting you and hearing more about all these wonderful dogs you have saved!

      • LisaL    June 09, 2018 at 04:12 PM

        Thank you I am looking forward to meeting all of you.

  • sarabragg    June 05, 2018 at 06:38 PM

    Looks like intros are still rolling!

    Hi! I’m Sara and I’ve worked for Tony La Russa’s ARF in the SF East Bay Area since ‘12.

    My role here is community programs director and it’s quite honestly my dream job. I worked in/managed shelters for 11 years but my focus now is on human-animal bond programs (therapy animal team, shelter to service dogs for veterans, etc), humane ed, intake diversion/pet retention, owner support, and collaborations. I plan a regional animal conference every spring for local groups/shelters. My other life calling is musical theatre...but these shelter acoustics leave a lot to be desired!

    If I could be any animal, I would be a very pampered house cat with a devoted instagram following.

  • lashinneman    June 05, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Hi all! I'm Lisa from Gainesville, Florida.... home of the University of Florida and the Gators football team. I volunteer for Plenty of Pit Bulls. We rescue and rehabilitate dogs who are at risk in overcrowded shelters and place them in permanent homes. We also advocate for Pit Bulls through educational and outreach programs.

    • APA!Ann    June 09, 2018 at 07:58 AM

      Hi there, is this Lisa? I think you are scheduled to attend the July class of our Maddie's Dog Foster Apprenticeship in Austin? I look forward to learning more about your rescue organization and the work you do! BTW, I'm a Wisconsin Badger myself but have many Gator friends!

  • lou    June 04, 2018 at 11:01 PM

    Hi, My name is Louise Basgall. I am a devoted animal rescuer. I volunteer with a dog rescue group as foster home and I help to do fundraising and as much as I can to support my rescue. I am a supporter of those innocents that have no voice. If I could be any animal, I would love to be a horse. They are amazing majestic creatures, although I think I do have the soul of a dog.

    • lou    June 04, 2018 at 11:05 PM

      Sorry, I ended my introduction too soon. I am from a suburb of Chicago and the rescue I volunteer with is Fetching Tails Foundation. They are awesome, dedicated people who do rescue the right way. They work in collaboration with a community support group called CRISP which focus' on helping to keep dogs from entering Chicago Animal Care and Control. They do this by working with families who come in to surrender their dogs. They will aid them by giving food, behavior and care advise. Assist with finding homes and apartments that are pet friendly and if needed they work together to find foster homes for those that still need to surrender their dogs. It's a wonderful program.

  • MaryF    June 04, 2018 at 03:39 PM

    My name is Mary, I am from the Bronx, NY and am a volunteer with Posh Pets Rescue. I foster the little specially abled dogs. I am also the Executive Assistant at HaysVentures LLC based in NYC. Little Miss Lexi is a front wheeler and we are a Pet Therapy team with the Good Dog Foundation. We visit the VA Hospital in Manhattan.

  • LaurenWickmanHSSV    June 04, 2018 at 02:43 PM

    Hi Everyone!

    I'm Lauren. Our shelter, HSSV - Humane Society Silicon Valley, is located specifically in Milpitas, Ca. I am the adoption programs manger and oversee adoptions at our main shelter and our 2 neighborhood adoption centers located in Petco stores. I have 2 spirit animals - the camel and the stingray. As for human spirit animals, I also have 2 - Michael Scott and Leslie Knope. I am passionate about animals and people. I'm looking forward to seeing this forum grow as there are so many groups out there doing really innovative and exciting work.


    • HappyTails    July 11, 2018 at 08:27 AM

      I love both your spirit animals and your human spirit animals. person raising-both-hands-in-celebration "Yeah, I have flaws. What are they? I sing in the shower. Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering." - M.G.S

  • Katie Campbell    June 01, 2018 at 07:01 AM

    HI all. I'm Katie Campbell, Outreach and Partnerships Coordinator, with RedRover. I've enjoyed living on both coasts (grew up in NC and spent 12 years in Sacramento, CA) and am currently living just outside of New York City. We've certainly got some fun stories from our cross country trip with 4 dogs and 3 cats! I've been with RedRover for about 2 1/2 years now and feel so fortunate to have a job that allows me to help both animals and people.

    My calling is definitely to be outdoors...anything from ultimate frisbee, hiking, trail running with our dogs. If I could be any animal, as cliche as it sounds, I think I'd want to be a dog. Their endless happiness and willingness to take on the new day with a positive attitude is infectious and something I strive for.

    I'm ecstatic to be a part of such a great group of people and thankful to Maddie's Fund for putting this forum together!

  • Sam    May 31, 2018 at 12:15 PM

    I'm originally from the Detroit, MI area. My "rescue career" started by volunteering at a horse rescue in Howell, MI when I was in high school. I didn't volunteer during college, although I did adopt my first cat from the Michigan Humane Society the summer after my sophomore year. After college we moved to Wisconsin, where I started volunteering at my local humane society, the Humane Society of Jefferson County, and helped found a horse rescue organization. After a year of volunteering at the shelter, I was hired as a full time employee. It's now 12 years later and I'm still working as a cat caregiver. I also take care of pretty much everything involving computers -- tech support, website administration, social media, photo editing, graphic design, etc. I'm also a cat (and sometimes rodent) foster home for both my shelter and a local cat rescue. Mostly I take in special needs, hospice, or under socialized cats. I used to do bottle babies and kittens, but I found that there were more people willing to step up for the youngsters, so I focused my efforts on the adults and seniors.

    If I could be any animal, it'd be a Thestral. If we're talking real animals I'd probably go for a raven. While I love cats, I feel like my life and well being would depend too much on chance and the kindness of humans -- too much of a gamble for me.

  • SushiBailey19    May 31, 2018 at 10:33 AM

    Hi, I'm Bonnie and I currently live in Missouri. I am the Feline Care Manager at Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, MO, and I have a certificate in Feline Training and Behavior. If I could be any animal, I would want to be a cat because they have such great personalities, get to do what they want and rule the roost.

  • APA!Ann    May 28, 2018 at 02:04 PM

    My name is Ann Lindholm and I'm currently the Maddie's Dog Foster Program Advisor. Mostly that means that I am doing the Dog Foster Apprenticeships in Austin, Texas as well as providing consultation to dog foster programs across the country. It's my dream job as I get to work with wonderful animal advocates such as all of you! I started with Austin Pets Alive! in the summer of 2008 and out of sheer necessity grew the dog foster program into an all volunteer team that fluctuated between about 35-40 people and supports hundreds of fosters. The strength of our foster program was a key factor in Austin becoming a no kill community within just a few years. I share my home with my foster "win", a tripod Miniature Pinscher who has taught this "big dog" girl so much about living with a little "shark".

    • Alison   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 12, 2018 at 08:37 AM

      Hi Ann! So....which animal would you be? One who is smart and kind - just like you!

      • APA!Ann    July 14, 2018 at 07:04 AM

        Thank you Alisonheavy black-heart Ah so many wonderful options but I guess I would have to say a dog. A greyhound, so that I would be tall and could run fast and still enjoy my couch potato time with my human. But if I were really smart I would be a cat!

        • Alison   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 16, 2018 at 10:00 AM

          LOL maybe in an alternate universe you can be both!

  • PetsConnectKat    May 28, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Hi, I'm Kat, from South Bend, IN. I work with PetsConnect!, a local rescue. I foster cats and kitties and while I am working on my Masters' degree in Sociology right now, I have a passion for Shelter Medicine and it's starting to seem somewhat inevitable I'll end up going to school even more to educate myself further!

    If I could be any animal, I would be a unicorn. I'm a bit obsessed.

  • Michael    May 27, 2018 at 09:21 AM

    Hello All! My name is Michael Broe. I live in Connecticut, but I'm a Board Member with BarkTown Dog Rescue & Sanctuary based in Jasper GA. We are an all volunteer foster based rescue. Our mission is “We are dedicated to rescuing all breeds of dogs from those most in need, to those readily adoptable, from any shelter situation where their life may be in danger. We are committed to finding each of these dogs a loving and caring family to be their forever homes.” Now, I'm sure your next question is why work with a rescue in GA, while living in CT. My wife and I have partnered with the wonderful BarkTown Team to open a new division in the Northeast. We started in April, with our first transport to CT. was two weeks ago!

    If I were to be an animal it would be a dog, specifically a GSD. They are loyal, driven to complete the job, athletic and a partner with the U.S. Army (my service branch).

    • Alison   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 12, 2018 at 08:40 AM

      Bravo Michael! So inspiring what you and your wife are doing!

  • clw    May 26, 2018 at 11:45 AM

    Hi! I am the Director of the Humane Society of Polk, County, Inc., located in Crookston, MN. We are a no-kill shelter, providing rescue for strays, abandoned, and sometimes surrendered animals. My position as the Director involves paperwork for the animals, as well as some of the financial work. I first became involved simply by checking to see if the Pitbull which had gone through my backyard was found. She was the dog, but it took several weeks before I was brave enough (with all of the misconceptions) to walk her. That was the beginning of volunteering which has evolved into my present position. As with others, I too hold a full-time job elsewhere (working with people) but love both.

  • Pat    May 26, 2018 at 06:40 AM

    Hi: I am Pat Rock and I live in Oshkosh WI. I am employed at the Oshkosh Area Humane Society as the Cat Adoption Manager and Business Administrator. I have been in the Animal Welfare for more than 20 years. Started as a volunteer and stayed. I would love to be a cat, so I could do whatever I wanted

  • Karen QAS    May 26, 2018 at 05:41 AM

    Hi! My name is Karen. I'm from the volunteer run Quincy Animal Shelter in Quincy, MA. I'm the medical manager. My team of "meds" people are in charge of giving the meds as instructed by the veterinarians that assist us. I make sure all cats and dogs in our care have the things they need to be available for adoption. I also monitor the stress and health of animals in our building along with those in foster. There's lots more I do at QAS and I'm also a hairstylist! I have adopted a high energy Bengal that came to QAS in 2013 and am currently trying to introduce another Bengal that came to us this winter. I am definitely a cat 😸

  • federlein    May 25, 2018 at 07:46 AM

    I'm originally from California and after moving around for work have retired and now live on Camano Island in Washington State. I a a volunteer for the Community Cat Coalition - we are an organization with the mission of improving the lives of community cats through spay/neuter and training and mentoring in Trap-Neuter-Return. Our goal is to get the entire community involved in caring for the community cats. I would love to live the life of a very spoiled indoor only cat.

  • MichelleB    May 25, 2018 at 07:19 AM

    HI I'm Michelle Boswell, founding member of the Friends of the Pasadena Animal Shelter. I'm a volunteer in the Pasadena Animal Shelter. I work an outside full time job outside the shelter, not related to rescue at all. But I spend just as much time volunteering for the shelter.

  • Kmadere    May 24, 2018 at 11:23 AM

    My name is Kristina Madere! I just joined this forum and I am the office/adoptions manager at South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights, IL! I just returned from maternity leave and I am thrilled to be back!! If I could be any animal, I think I would want to be a cheetah! I was an avid runner throughout middle school/high school and part of college until an injury side-lined me.

  • tracya09    May 24, 2018 at 07:16 AM

    Tracy Arvidson, Animal Welfare Investigator at Sand Springs Animal Welfare. Freelance photographer in my spare time

  • Cara Sue    May 24, 2018 at 06:40 AM

    I'm Cara Achterberg from New Freedom, Pennsylvania. I foster dogs through Operation Paws for Homes (based in Alexandria, VA but spread out from there to four other states). We're on foster #108.

    I'm a writer by trade (novelist, columnist, blogger, freelancer) so in addition to fostering, I write about it extensively. In fact, I have a memoir coming out about our experiences (Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs) being published by Pegasus Books this August. I plan to combine the book tour with adoption events/rescue awareness and visit many of the shelters that we pull dogs from in my travels to bring donations (collected at events) and publicity for the adoptable dogs. So this book isn't just a book, it's my mission. I hope it will inspire other people to open their hearts and homes to fostering rescue animals.

    For the rescue I help by editing promotional materials and grant applications and whatever else they throw at me. Recently I helped create a program called K9&Kids. We take rescue alumni and adoptable dogs to libraries, girl scouts, etc and teach kids how to safely interact with dogs and shine a light on rescue.

    If I could be any animal, I think I'd be a cat. They're so self-sufficient and they can sleep in nearly any position/space/place. Plus, they're unequivocal about their feelings - purring when happy and taking action when not. They put up with very little.

    I'm excited to connect with this community and grateful for all the work you do to open hearts and save lives.

    • Maddie's Pet Forum Admin   Maddie's Fund Staff  May 25, 2018 at 02:33 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Cara! Congratulations on your new memoir, the book tour coinciding with adoption events sounds like such a great way to connect & inspire people to foster rescue animals.

      Looking forward to learning more about you and your work! Please be sure to keep us updated on your book tour and the wonderful people & shelters you visit along the way.

  • felineranch1    May 23, 2018 at 09:42 AM

    My name is Cheryl Johnston. I am late answering because that is how I roll. My organization is the Forever Home Feline Ranch - cat rescue and sanctuary located in Rochester, Illinois. I wear so many hats it is crazy- official hats are Vice President and Co-Founder. If I could be any animal I would be a cat because hello....I run a cat rescue. I grew up with dogs but have gone to the other side.

  • Irgriffin2    May 09, 2018 at 11:22 AM

    My name is India Griffin. I am from La Mirada (Los Angeles County), California. I recently founded FAR Side Journey Rescue and I'm now working on expanding its reach. I'm looking forward to learing from all the experience in this forum.

  • Teresa Bateman    May 04, 2018 at 09:57 AM

    Hi!! My name is Teresa Bateman and I am the SNyPS and Foster Care Coordinator with the SPCA of Northern Nevada located in Reno, NV. I was raise in a small town in Texas (San Marcos) most my life and moved to Connecticut to finish off high school. I moved to Nevada in 2002 where I began a career as a Program Assistant for the mental heath and completed my Associates Degree in 2012 for Health Care Administration. I started working for the SPCA of Northern Nevada in January of 2018 and it has been the best career decision I have made. If I could be any animal it would be a wolf.

  • Lydia    May 03, 2018 at 12:30 PM

    Hello! Lydia here.
    I'm from the Netherlands and I currently work as a cat behaviorist and I volunteer as a coordinator foster families (for cats) for an organisation. I'm currently studying my second cat behavior study (forever student) which I enjoy.

    If I could be any animal, I'd be a cat. They have quit the relaxed life and of course, staff.

  • Susan Willard    May 02, 2018 at 02:10 PM

    My name is Susan Willard. I am from Lake Jackson, TX. I am the shelter pet health manager for the SPCA of Brazoria County. I would like to thank Maddie's for the invitation and look forward to learning from all of you.

  • knilsson    April 27, 2018 at 02:57 PM


    My name is Kalyn Nilsson, I am from Lynnwood, WA, where I work for PAWS! I grew up about 3 minutes from the shelter I currently work for, and I am so happy to give back to my community. I began as a volunteer for PAWS in 2012 after graduating college with a degree in Zoology. My first position was as an intern who did Meet Your Match assessments on the cats and the dogs in the shelter. About a year and a half later, I was hired to work at our Cat City location as an adoption advisor, and now I have TWO positions at PAWS! I am a Customer Service Representative and a Foster Care Assistant at our shelter, and have been working in foster care for over two years now. It is absolutely one of my favorite parts of my job. If I were to be any animal, I would be any one of those big cats out there. So fluffy and fierce!

  • Donna Casamento    April 05, 2018 at 06:15 PM

    Hi everyone! My name is Donna Casamento, I am the Chief Program Officer at Michelson Found Animals Foundation. My primary focus is on our Microchip Registry and our two Adopt & Shops in the Los Angeles area. You can often find me at various Animal Welfare conferences around the country. If you ever find yourself attending one please stop by our booth and say hello!

  • keithacctphilly    March 27, 2018 at 03:00 PM

    Hi everyone!

    My name is Keith Mikus, and I'm the Canine Programs Coordinator for ACCT Philly (Philadelphia Animal Control). I'm from right outside of Philly and have lived here all my life. As Canine Programs Coordinator, I am essentially a Jack of all Trades where I help with general shelter flow of dogs once intaked at our shelter, but I focus mostly on dog triage, coordinating and creating onsite programs, coordinating for onsite events, and running the Dog Foster Program by myself. Needless to say I'm very busy, but I've been working on cultivating a base of dedicated, trained volunteers who are taking up leadership positions so we can be more effective as a team.

    In terms of what animal I would be, I really don't know. Probably a bird due to the freedom, but I think echolocation is pretty amazing, so maybe a dolphin!

    • APA!Ann    May 28, 2018 at 01:43 PM

      Hello Keith, I started as the lone volunteer Foster Coordinator for Austin Pets Alive! and grew it into a team of approximately 35 volunteers, including 5 teams with team leads. I've developed tips for growing a dog foster program that I would be happy to share with you. It's also something we cover in the Maddie's Dog Foster Apprenticeship

  • Karly Noel    March 23, 2018 at 03:13 PM

    Hello from RedRover! My name is Karly and I work in Sacramento, California as the Director of Education and Outreach. Like many of us, I wear many hats at our organization. I oversee our education and training programs including our RedRover Readers program, dabble in HR and Operations, serve as production manager for our new Kind News magazine, facilitate workshops and oversee staff on-boarding and ongoing staff development and management. I volunteer with the Association of Professional Humane Educators (APHE) serving as a Board of Director for APHE helping with marketing and development efforts mostly. I am excited to join you and can't wait to learn with each of you on the various discussion boards. I am not sure what animal I would be, maybe an eagle? I travel a lot for work and love being above the clouds in the smooth air gliding forward.

    • Maddie's Pet Forum Admin   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 26, 2018 at 08:27 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Karly! Looking forward to learning more from you. Let us know if you there's anything we can do to help you get the most out of Maddie's Pet Forum!

  • Caitlin Quinn    March 23, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    Hi all! I'm Caitlin Quinn and I'm the Director of Operations for a nonprofit organization called HeARTs Speak, whose mission is to provide photography and marketing resources, tools, and training to shelter and rescues. We all know that marketing --the images, stories, and ways we promote our work in the animal welfare field --is critical to connecting with new adopters, donors, volunteers, and clients who need our help. Our team is incredibly passionate about making all-things-marketing more easily accessible and accomplished for every organization, no matter the resources or skill set.

    I'm from the Hudson Valley region of NY, where I live with my dogs and husband. And if I could be any animal, it'd be an eastern blue bird - I've always loved birds of all kinds, and blue birds are some of my favorites. They have a beautiful song, are exceptionally colorful and bright, are a symbol of happiness, and while they were once on the decline, have made a strong comeback, speaking to their resilience and perseverance. Plus they are NY's state bird

    • Charlotte at Maddie's Fund   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 26, 2018 at 09:10 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Caitlin! I love the mission of HeARTs Speak. A lot of my background is in marketing with a focus in social media brand management, content, marketing designs & emails so in that vast world of marketing, the need for an org like HeARTs Speak sounds like such a great resource for shelters & rescues. I'm such a sucker for marketing so the idea of coming up with great strategies and campaigns for rescues & shelters to help find homes for their animals sounds like a treat each time. Do you have any success rates of increased adoptions since working with specific shelters or rescues?

      I recently moved to Oregon and now am lucky to take in the beautiful sights of Mountain Bluebirds making nests in the trees around my house. I still can't get over their brilliant colors and can't wait to see more of them this Spring!

      • Caitlin Quinn    April 06, 2018 at 08:37 AM

        Hi Charlotte, it's such a pleasure to meet you! Will you be at Animal Care Expo? I'd love to meet in person! Yes, the work that we get to do at HeARTs Speak is a real treat --we have so many ideas and plans, the only thing that stops us is time/resources We have been collecting pre/post data from one of our programs, the Perfect Exposure Project (1 and 2 day intensive workshops on photography and marketing topics), and in the majority of cases (we've done 25 workshops thus far) there is a decrease in length of stay and an increase in live release post-training, pointing to some encouraging information regardinghow marketing training may be a contributing factor (among other lifesaving innovations!).

        • Charlotte at Maddie's Fund   Maddie's Fund Staff  April 09, 2018 at 01:19 PM

          Yes, I'll be there! You can find me at the Maddie's Fund booth talking about Maddie's Pet Forum! Come by, would love to meet you too and talk more. Is the Perfect Exposure Project done all in person? I'm definitely not surprised by hearing those rates go up. I'm someone who thinks in content so teaching those best practices to organizations and shelters who have nothing but adorable cat & dog content to capture and share with the world to find them homes is a win all around.

  • Christie Keith    March 16, 2018 at 08:15 PM
    • Where are you from? (city, state, organization, etc.)

    I'm originally from San Francisco, but I currently live in Michigan.

    • What do you do? (your job, volunteer position, life's calling, etc.)

    I've been a communications consultant for Maddie's Fund since 2007. I do the same work for a number of other animal welfare and veterinary organizations and brands.

    • If you could be ANY animal, what would you be and why?

    I'm good with homo sapiens, because I really like the human brain. I'm also very fond of technology and opposable thumbs.

  • Patricia Pacc    March 14, 2018 at 10:16 AM

    Hi! I have just moved to Tuscon AZ from Maryland. In Maryland I was a rescue coordinator for the Prince George's County Animal Services Division. Here in Tucson I will be the Adult Dog Foster Coordinator for Pima Animal Care Center! I am so excited to start this new journey with PACC and Maddies Fund! I look forward to being able to lend a hand to building something new and exciting.

    There are so many wonderful animals to choose from for the question if you could be any animal what would you be and why...

    I'm going to have to say a Dog though. because they are my absolute favorite. The human canine bond is so special. And when my owner has to go to work in the morning I will lay in all the pillows and blankets and look over my shoulder at them, giving one thud of the tail on the bed as if to say "Have a nice day at work, I will lay here and hold the fort down today"

    I cant wait to get to meet everyone on the forums!

    • Charlotte at Maddie's Fund   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 26, 2018 at 08:37 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Patricia! I love your animal choice. It would be pretty amazing to experience the human canine bond from the dog perspective. Plus to of course lay on all the pillows and blankets possible, preferably near a heater. I also think it'd be great to be a ranch dog that gets to roam the land, making sure operations are running smoothly and all other animals are behaving.

  • SouthEast Beagle Rescue    March 12, 2018 at 09:30 AM

    My name is Jack Novoselski and I am president of the SouthEast Beagle Rescue in Tampa, Florida.

    • FLASh    March 14, 2018 at 03:50 AM

      Hi Jack! Welcome to the group! (We in Louisiana LOVE Jack and SEBR! He is an amazing rescuer!)

  • huntcountypetsalive    March 05, 2018 at 07:37 PM

    LD Garrison from Lone Oak (Hunt County), Texas and I am the president/founder of Hunt County Pets Alive. I am also a rural mail carrier in my small town. There are 2 kill shelters in my county where we keep hitting brick walls with when we try to get them to open a few hours on Sat for adoptions and rescue transfers. I would want to be a horse and run like the wind!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 06, 2018 at 11:12 AM

      Thanks for joining the forum, LD! Ah yes, wouldn't it be amazing to be able to run like the horses!

  • phack    March 04, 2018 at 11:13 AM

    My name is Patti Hack, work for the Humane Society in El Paso Texas. I am the Adoption Ambassador Program Manager. I would definitely be a cat, a black cat with emerald green eyes!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  March 06, 2018 at 11:11 AM

      Welcome to the forum, Patti! A sleek black cat with emerald green eyes -- beautiful combo!

  • SSAS    February 27, 2018 at 07:12 AM

    My name is Rain Jordan. I'm late to introductions! I'm originally from the San Francisco bay area of California; the farthest from there I had ever lived was the Monterey Bay area of California, until late 2015, when my hubby and I left almost everything--except our pets of course--behind, including a fairly successful real estate business, and sold our Santa Cruz home in order to get down payment funds to purchase a more suitable property for the dog rescue. What we sought for the rescue was not affordable for us in California, so here we are in Oregon now.

    I run the rescue full time, which includes a lot of emotional rehabilitation as well as behavioral and skills training for the dogs to help them prepare to live happy lives as companion animals. I am also a behavioral trainer separately from the rescue (R+, clicker training, CC/DS, force free, etc.) though currently my time is mostly taken up with the rescue, the rescue's dogs, and programs offered by the rescue. Previously I was an artist (painting, sculpture, drawing) and still do art when I can find time. I also taught college for several years (English, creative writing, poetry), and have been a published author under a nom de plume since the early 2000s.

    If I could be any animal, I would be an as-yet undiscovered animal: This animal would have amazing, unstoppable powers of Persuasion (convincing humans to support animal rescue, be kind to animals, etc.), Endowment-Attracting (easily bringing in all the funding needed for all of us to succeed in our missions of helping animals), Courage (to speak up and stand up for animals--in a constant effort to put a stop to their suffering), and Enchantment (able to cast magical spells over the entire planet, so that even if the other, more human-like qualities of this new animal failed, this quality would still be able to save all the creatures of this world).

    This new animal is the softest we've ever known. Its body is covered with Rapunzel-long hair. Its face, just huge, sad eyes.

    This new animal is the most priceless discovery of our time.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  February 28, 2018 at 10:22 AM

      Welcome, Rain! I love, love, love your answer and have selected it as the new Best Answer in this thread. Your as-yet undiscovered animal IS priceless! Congratulations to you and your husband for making such a huge life change to follow your hearts and make your dream come true!

  • BrianJ    February 23, 2018 at 08:46 AM

    My name is Brian Meade. I am the shelter director for Port Jervis Humane Society in southwestern NY, along the Delaware River. I have a long history of wildlife rehab, farm animal rescue and avian welfare & behavior under my belt as well.

    If I could be one animal... a Raven. Those birds are large and intelligent enough to handle themselves, but also know how to have a good time!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  February 26, 2018 at 12:29 PM

      Hi Brian! Thanks for joining the forum. With your history, you've helped so many different species of animals. Love it!!!

  • mbrignac    February 19, 2018 at 10:28 AM

    My name is Michelle Brignac and I am the Director of St.Martin Parish Animal Services in St. Martinville Louisiana.

    If I could be any animal, I would be a Dolphin they always seem to be happy, they are very social and I cant even imagine all of the wonderful things that they know that humans may never discover. Plus I love the water so swimming every day..... nothing would be better than that!!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  February 21, 2018 at 04:12 PM

      Welcome, Michelle! Oh, what fun it would be to be a dolphin -- swimming, jumping, playing, hanging out with friends... you're right!

  • sjrussell4731    February 15, 2018 at 04:05 AM

    Hello everyone: My name is Susan Russell, Executive Director of Chicago Animal Care and Control, and if I could be any animal, I'd be a fat cat owned by my dad.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  February 16, 2018 at 03:08 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Susan! Ya gotta love the fat cats...and their people who love them!

  • lschuette    February 08, 2018 at 09:16 PM

    Hi! Lisa from Carson City, Nevada. I'm am a new member of Humane Network, with a background in teaching, law enforcement, and creating a non-profit to help build a shelter (which we did!). I'm honestly thinking it would be pretty nice to be Hank, our crazy rescue...

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  February 14, 2018 at 03:06 PM

      Welcome, Lisa! I love your varied background -- you're a renaissance woman!

      • lschuette    February 17, 2018 at 09:51 AM

        Thank you! I have a lot to learn but I'm an eager student.

  • Luke Westerman    February 07, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    Hello! I'm Luke Westerman. I left Wall Street and the VC biz to devote 100% of my energy to my true calling in life, which is saving animal lives, advocating on their behalf and improving the laws that protect them (while encouraging and empowering others to do similarly). I'm currently the Executive Director of the Humane Society of El Paso where my goal is to help make El Paso a passionately No-Kill community. If I were an animal, I'd choose to be a lion and would relentlessly hunt the poachers responsible for eradicating endangered species.

  • Scott    January 08, 2018 at 10:12 AM

    I'm Scott Trebatoski. I run the Pet Resource Center in Hillsborough County, FL (Tampa). We are the public shelter and animal control agency for the county. Our intake is around 20,000 per year and we try to be as transparent and progressive as we can be. Our volunteer program is growing and being integrated into the very fabric of all operations thanks to Best Friends and the Points of Light Foundation which are helping us become a service enterprise that values volunteerism at all levels and operations. It is a major shift in long-term culture here but the dividends are worth the investment and stress of culture change. I've been working as the director of various animal control organizations for nearly two decades in three different communities and am always willing to help where I can with support or information. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or ideas for public open admission animals shelters and/or animal control programs.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  January 08, 2018 at 04:59 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Scott! We love what you're doing and are excited to have you share your experiences! Thanks for joining!

  • Town Cats    December 21, 2017 at 04:12 PM

    Hello! I am Samantha Sullivan, the operations manager for Town Cats in Morgan Hill, CA. If I could be any animal, it would be a wild cat. I am not picky, I would happily be a tiger, leopard, cheetah, snow leopard, sand cat, you name it! They are majestic and beautiful, each and every one of them in their own way!

    • Nik    December 22, 2017 at 08:36 AM

      Hi Samantha, I don't think we've ever met. I was on the board and a volunteer director at Town Cats under Rosi 2003-2010. I started Wine and Whiskers and the Calendar. Town Cats is where I started my career in Animal Welfare. From there I moved to Nevada and started working at Nevada Humane Society. I try to keep up on TC stuff through the web site and emails. TC is near and dear to my heart. I had two Town is still with us. Glad to see you on here and glad TC is still going strong.

  • Carolyn    December 13, 2017 at 04:37 PM

    I am from Underhill VT with All Breed Rescue, Inc. I am a volunteer, the President and the Treasurer. If I could be any animal I would be a Golden Retriever. That is probably why I adopt so many.

  • Karen Green    December 05, 2017 at 04:40 PM

    I'm from Portland, Oregon where I'm the executive director of the Cat Adoption Team (CAT). I think I'd be either a big cat or a dolphin.

  • Nikita    December 04, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Hello, My name is Nikita and I'm from Placerville Ca. I work for the Sacramento SPCA as the Staff Training and Retention Coordinator. I recently accepted this position within our organization and am currently in the process of building this program. I have worked at the Sacramento SPCA for the past 10 years in a few different positions including Animal care, Supervising our high volume Spay and Neuter clinic, and managing our Adoption program.

    I'm hoping to gain more insight from other organizations who have programs such as Staff Training and Retention in order to build a successful program at our shelter.

    Thank you for any help you can offer.

    • Kirsten    February 08, 2018 at 09:10 AM

      Hi Nikita,

      I'm from IndyHumane in Indianapolis, IN. I'd love to hear more about how and why your position was started. I love this idea as we strive to retain our talented staff. What a great initiative by SSPCA.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  December 04, 2017 at 11:11 AM

      Hi Nikita ~

      Welcome to the forum! So glad you joined! I love that your position includes retention along with training.

      I just adopted a new family member from Sacramento SPCA in October and had a great experience. Your adoption counselors and behavior staff were great helping with a meet and greet with my other pup! Meet Dexter, the smallest dog I've ever shared my life with. I'm all about the big dogs so this is a whole new experience!

      • Nikita    December 05, 2017 at 09:36 AM

        Hi Kim,

        I'm so happy to hear that your experience was pleasant and that he is fitting well in your family. I completely understand the size adjustment. I myself have 2 dogs over 110lbs and just the thought of adopting a tiny would be a huge adjustment. One I think I would enjoy but still a big difference.

  • Tori F    November 30, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    My name is Tori Fugate, and I'm the Director of Marketing & Communications for KC Pet Project, the nonprofit operating the Kansas City, MO municipal shelter. I think I'd have to say a Pomeranian as my animal. I have one and if I could live the life of luxury with grooming appointments, endless naps, and yelling at squirrels, I'd take it.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 01:37 PM

      So glad you're here, Tori! You have such great marketing initiatives -- looking forward to your posts! Endless naps and yelling at squirrels, huh? Sounds like my retired dad... HA! j/k

  • PattiR    November 29, 2017 at 01:09 PM

    Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville County Animal Care. Head of Shelter Operations. I think I would like to be a swan - so graceful and elegant

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 01:34 PM

      Hi Patti~ Thanks for joining the forum! I think you're our first swan so far. You're right -- so graceful and elegant!

  • Bubba    November 27, 2017 at 12:26 PM

    Salem Oregon Willamette Humane Society. Current role is raising sponsorship. I would still be a human. I think I am pretty good at it :-)

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 01:33 PM

      Too funny, Bubba! I don't know you yet but I think you're a pretty good human, too! Welcome to the forum!

  • Rita UFPR Brazil    November 24, 2017 at 05:57 AM


    My name is Rita, I´m form Brazil (Curitiba, Paraná. I´m Professor (Shelter Medicine, Legal Medicine and Public Health).

    If Ii could be any animal, I would like to be a bird, FREE BIRD!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 01:32 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Rita! Looking forward to hearing your perspective from Brazil!

    • Dr. Sheila Segurson   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:33 PM

      Hi Rita,

      Welcome to the forum! I think you're our first person from Brazil Do shelters in Brazil tend to be small or large? Do they house dogs and cats or just dogs?



  • Nik    November 22, 2017 at 01:32 PM

    Hi There! My name is Nikole Nichols. I worked in animal welfare for almost 15 years, first as a volunteer director at Town Cats, a no kill cat shelter in Morgan Hill, CA, and then at Nevada Humane Society as the Community Programs Manager in Reno, NV. At NHS I managed the Volunteer, Foster and Feral Cat programs as well as a variety of community service and children programs. Sadly, a year ago, I had to leave animal welfare for health reasons. I feel like I've learned and experienced so much in animal welfare that I'd love to share. My heart and passion still belong to animal welfare and hope I can pass along some of my experiences.

    If I could be any animal...most people would expect me to say cat as I'm a big cat person. However, before I ever became a cat person, I fell in love with moose. They seem big, clumsy and wise.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:39 PM

      Hi Nik ~ Thanks for joining the forum. You have such a great variety of experiences that others can learn from. I'm sorry to hear that you had to leave the animal welfare field but am glad that you're still helping by participating in the forum!

  • Stacy    November 21, 2017 at 08:42 AM

    Hi, I am Stacy LeBaron from Warren, Vermont(we had snow last night!)

    I am the host of the Community Cats Podcast and the Online Cat Conference. I am from Warren, Vermont.

    If I could be any animal I would be a bunny because of the story of the Tortiose and the Hare..... I tend to work in sprints- just like the Hare-so I get it!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:37 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Stacy. (Can't believe you already had snow two weeks ago -- hello Winter!) I'm looking forward to reading your posts and learning more from you!

    • Dr. Sheila Segurson   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:30 PM

      Hi Stacy!

      Thanks for joining the forum. I totally get your choice of bunny. I feel like i'm tortoise and hare every other day these days! Hare one day cos i'm so busy, and tortoise the next day cos i'm so tired, lol

  • Kristi B. at Cat Adoption Team    November 20, 2017 at 03:57 PM

    Hi everyone! My name is Kristi. I'm from Tualatin, Oregon (south of Portland metro area). I'm the director of operations at Cat Adoption Team, and I foster kittens. If I could be any animal, I would want to be a dolphin in the wild.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:35 PM

      Thanks for joining the forum, Kristi. We love Cat Adoption Team and your amazing foster resources. So glad you'll be able to connect with others in the forum!

    • Dr. Sheila Segurson   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:31 PM

      Hi Kristi,

      Thanks for joining the forum, its nice to see you here! How are things at Cat Adoption Team??


  • Terri    November 20, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    Good morning! My name is Terri Duncan, and I'm the founder of Allie's Pals Cat Rescue. I've got about 18 years of feline rescue experience, but running your own organization, I've found, is a whole new kettle of fish! I'm particularly grateful for the support of Maddie's Fund! You guys are the best.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:34 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Terri. Your experience with all things kitty, starting your own 401k rescue group, and running a rescue group will be a great resource for other forum members. I'm so glad you've joined!

    • Dr. Sheila Segurson   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:32 PM

      My two favorite Terries joined the forum at the same time Welcome!!! So glad to have you here!

  • TerrySpencer    November 19, 2017 at 10:42 AM

    Hello All,

    I am Terry Spencer. I work as the online curriculum coordinator for the Maddie's Online Graduate Program in Shelter Medicine where I develop courses for the Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine and the MS Concentration in Shelter Medicine offered through the University of Florida. While I work for UF as an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor, I also work full-time as a veterinarian in Chattanooga, TN.

    I am very happy to be here on the Maddie's Forum and just created a new group to connect with others on the forum who spend their days teaching shelter medicine around the USA and the planet. Please ask to join the group if that includes you!

    My totem animal has always been an owl. I often think of myself at a tiny Burrowing Owl, but sometimes I feel stronger like a Great Horned Owl. Depends on the day...

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:23 PM

      So happy to have you join the forum, Terry! Thank you for creating the Shelter Medicine Educators forum group and inviting others to join. And thank you for everything you have done to get Shelter Medicine where it is today!

      If there are shelter medicine educators who want to join Terry's group, click on the Groups tab at the top of the page and then click on the 'Ask to Join' button next to the Shelter Medicine Educators group in the Private Groups column.

  • Sasha Protopopova    November 18, 2017 at 09:56 AM

    My name is Dr. Sasha Protopopova (full first name, Alexandra) and I'm an assistant professor in the department of Animal and Food Sciences at Texas Tech University. I conduct research on shelter best-practices in all kinds of programs ranging from intake procedures to increasing adoptions. Aside from the research, my lab works closely with several West Texas shelters to improve life-saving. If I can be any animal, I would be an indoor/outdoor cat in a busy family- I would be able to go exploring, meet up with cat acquaintances, bask in the sun, but also go home and get cuddles, food, and play with the family.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:18 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Sasha! Looking forward to hearing your research results on shelter best practices when you're able to share them!

  • Shelly Fontenot    November 18, 2017 at 07:27 AM

    Hi, I’m Shelly and I’m a veterinarian in Lafayette, La. I’ve been in shelter practice/spay/neuter for about 9 years. Currently, Lafayette has a goal to get to No Kill at our municipal shelter by 2020. Exciting things happening here!

    If I could be any animal, it would be a bird, so I could fly above traffic!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:16 PM

      Thanks for joining, Shelly. It's great to hear that Lafayette is working towards No Kill by 2020! I hope our forum members can help provide all the resources you need to make it happen!

  • DrGray    November 16, 2017 at 01:10 PM
    • Where are you from? (city, state, organization, etc.)
    • What do you do? (your job, volunteer position, life's calling, etc.)
    • If you could be ANY animal, what would you be and why?

    I am Liz Gray, a veterinarian at the Humane Society of Central Oregon in Bend, OR. I have a background (masters degree, CPDT cert, etc) and special interest in animal behavior, and worked as an associate vet at the Animal Behavior Clinic in Portland for a year and a half. I also have worked as a behaviorist and vet in two separate shelters in this area. So I think my life's calling is optimizing animal mental health as a component of their physical health, but I'm still sorting out how to make that a reality. If I could be any animal, I would have to go with bald eagle. Amazing to soar like that!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:14 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Dr. Gray! I'm an animal behavior geek, too. I love what you said about optimizing animal mental health as a component of their physical health. The more experience I have with animals, the more obvious it is that mental health affects every aspect of their lives.

  • Dr. Staubus    November 16, 2017 at 11:08 AM

    Hi, I'm Lesa Staubus, rescue veterinarian for American Humane. I live in Stillwater, OK, with responsibility over the South-Central region of the US, but work wherever our disaster response team is deployed. I have a background in veterinary education at Oklahoma State University.

    If I could be any animal, I would be a jaguar, ideally living deep in the Amazon. They amaze me with their power and beauty, and how great to be a cat that loves to swim. I can only imagine what my mate might be like... probably a little scary, but exciting and brutally good-looking!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:10 PM

      Thanks for joining, Dr. Staubus! I'm so glad we have your expertise in disaster relief. I'm sure you've been quite busy this year! Jaguars -- stunning!

  • Susan Houser    November 16, 2017 at 05:44 AM

    Hello. I'm Susan Houser and I live in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I moved after retiring from my job as an attorney with the Department of Justice in D.C. I write the Out the Front Door blog and its associated social media. If I could be any animal it would be a New Caledonian Crow, because I'd probably gain some IQ points.

    I'm very excited about this period in No Kill because it seems like everything is coming together and we're making incredible progress. There are so many new ideas and new No Kill communities that it's really hard to keep up! I'm hopeful about the possibilities of this forum, because there is a huge need for a No Kill platform where people can get information and network.

    • TerrySpencer    November 17, 2017 at 06:10 AM

      Welcome Susan! I am glad to meet you here. I read your blog regularly and have always wanted to know more about the author. You write some well-researched pieces that are a very important part of the digital discussion about animal shelters. Thank you for what you do in your retirement.

  • StaciCannon    November 15, 2017 at 08:23 PM

    Hi there! My name is Staci Cannon and I live in Nashville, Tennessee, but I grew up in Aiken, SC, and spent 8 years in Athens, GA. I'm pretty attached to the Southeast! I am a veterinarian, and I have been the medical director at Metro Animal Care and Control in Nashville for a little more than 2 years now. I am board certified in Shelter Medicine Practice, and I really enjoy learning and working with other folks in the sheltering world to improve the care that we provide to animals in our communities. I struggle trying to pick an animal, but I think cats are pretty phenomenal - I could be athletic, beautiful, quirky, cunning, and lounge around for the majority of the day!