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!

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SSAS    February 27, 2018 at 07:12 AM
Best Answer

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.

  • 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.


    • HappyTailz    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   Maddie's Fund Staff  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!

      • SSAS    February 28, 2018 at 01:46 PM

        Thank you, Kim <3 

  • 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.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  December 13, 2017 at 04:57 PM

      Thanks for joining the forum, Carolyn! Oh, those Goldens!!! 

  • 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!

    • Sheila.darpino   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!

    • Sheila.darpino   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!

    • Sheila.darpino   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!

    • Sheila.darpino   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... 

    • Sheila.darpino   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:29 PM

      Terry!  So gald to see you here! look forward to connecting here

    • 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!

    • HARTT Rescue    December 03, 2017 at 08:30 AM

      Staci is a great resource for our state and she has spoken at our Animal Care and Control Association of TN Conferences about shelter medicine.  She is very knowledgeable!

    • Sheila.darpino   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:27 PM

      Hi Staci!!  Glad to see you here!  How are you like your job in Nashville? I can't believe it's been two years already!


    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:04 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Staci. I love that you'll be sharing your shelter medicine expertise and experience in the Southeast US! And I agree -- cats are pretty phenomenal!

    • TerrySpencer    November 17, 2017 at 06:11 AM

      Hello Staci!  Nice to see you here on the forum.  I look forward to our discussions and thanks for all the great work you are doing in the great state of Tennessee.  

  • Cameron Moore    November 15, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    Hi everyone! My name is Cameron Moore and I'm the program manager for Million Cat Challenge.  I work for the University of Florida in Gainesville, but actually live in Jacksonville. I recently joined the MCC team after spending 3 years as a shelter consultant for Target Zero, which focused efforts on helping open admission shelters implement strategies to productively decrease shelter intake while increasing live outcome opportunities for those that enter the shelter system. It is very rewarding to empower shelter staff with lifesaving tips that also streamlines workflow and helps them get off the treadmill that always seems to be moving too fast. I look forward to continue helping shelters around the country in my new role!

    I also founded a small nonprofit cat rescue called Lucky Cat Adoptions which works closely with open admission shelters around Florida and Georgia. We pull cats and kittens for adoption to help shelters avoid overcrowding and euthanasia. Since 2005 we have helped over 8,500 cats and kittens.

    If I could be any animal, I would choose to be a sloth! I think their laid back personalities and love of naps are right up my alley!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 12:02 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Cameron. So excited you're here! 

      I think you're the first person who selected sloth. Laid back and naps -- sounds dreamy!   Did you see Zootopia? The sloths at the DMV were my favorite part of that movie! 

  • Kelly Duer    November 14, 2017 at 07:48 AM

    My name is Kelly Duer, and I'm the Foster Expansion Coordinator for a study of foster care for adult dogs that's based out of Austin Animal Center. If I could be any animal, it would probably be a raven. They can fly, which would be cool. They're also super smart and they sometimes work together-- one of my favorite stories from Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is that the ravens in their wildlife center made friends with the local wild ravens and have been known to sneak food out to them.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 11:58 AM

      Thanks for joining the forum, Kelly. We're all excited to learn about your findings on the adult dog foster care study! 

      I hadn't heard about the ravens at BF making friends with the wild ravens -- too cool!

  • Mikel Delgado    November 13, 2017 at 04:08 PM

    Hello everyone! My name is Mikel (pronounced "Michael") Delgado and I am a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. My background is in cat behavior, and cat behavior consulting -- I worked in the Cat Behavior Program at the SF/SPCA from 2001-2008, when I left to co-found my consulting business, Feline Minds. I recently finished my PhD and am just starting a research program to study the development and social behavior of cats in homes and rescues, while doing some work with Maddie's Fund! 

    My life's calling is to help people understand cats!!! And make the world a better place for animals. 

    And if I could be any other animal besides human hmmm, I would probably pick a crow because they are cautious, clever, kind of naughty, and good problem-solvers.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 30, 2017 at 11:56 AM

      Welcome to the forum, Mikel. So excited to have you share your expertise in all things cat! Go crows!!! 

  • emilydpfl    November 09, 2017 at 06:30 PM

    Hey Everyone!

    My name is Emily Grossheider and I am the Chief Innovation Officer for Dogs Playing for Life. Our organization is based out of Longmont, Colorado, but I am lucky enough to live in Santa Barbara, California! 

    My life's calling is to make sheltering a better experience for animals and the people that care for them. I am working on accomplishing that by working for Dogs Playing for Life-where we mentor shelter staff and volunteers to get their dogs out to play! 

    If I were to be any animal, it would be a caterpillar-my future would be so bright as a butterfly! 

    Can't wait to learn more about y'all and work on some solutions together! 

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 13, 2017 at 01:57 PM

      I agree with Sheila. Great animal choice. You figured out a way to choose TWO favorites!

    • Sheila.darpino   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 13, 2017 at 10:02 AM

      Hi Emily!   Good to see you here!! LOVE your choice of animal



  • roryadams    November 01, 2017 at 04:07 PM
    • Where are you from? (city, state, organization, etc.) 
      •    I live in Tucson, Arizona.
    • What do you do? (your job, volunteer position, life's calling, etc.)
      •   I am currently the Shelter Director at HOPE Animal Shelter in Tucson, Arizona.  We are a shelter and sanctuary dedicated to saving the lives of the dogs and cats in Pima County, who are most at risk.  We offer lifelong sanctuary whenever necessary for our dogs and cats.  I am a huge nerd when it comes to all things animal welfare.  You should see my google alerts.  I also love reading about behavior.  I love animal welfare, because of the animals, but also because there is always something to learn!
    • If you could be ANY animal, what would you be and why?
      •    Wow, hard question.  There are some Cooper's Hawks living in a tree by our shelter, who I am pretty mesmerized by.  This answer changes daily.  Today, a Cooper's Hawk. 
    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 05:09 AM

      Wow what a great totem for a Director!

      Hawk's Wisdom Includes:

      • Clear-sightedness
      • Being observant
      • Far-memory
      • Messages from spirit
      • Guardianship
      • Recalling past lives
      • Courage
      • Wisdom
      • Illumination
      • Seeing the larger picture
      • Creativity
      • Truth
      • Experience
      • Wise use of opportunities
      • Overcoming problems

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  November 06, 2017 at 05:42 PM

      Rory, I'm so happy to have you in the forum! I'm right there with you on all things animal welfare and behavior. After reading your answer, I want to change my answer about which animal I want to be -- I think my answer changes daily based on who I happen to be watching, too. 

      Looking forward to your contributions in the forum. Thanks for joining!


  • Don J    October 25, 2017 at 01:49 PM
    • Where are you from? (city, state, organization, etc.)
      Born just outside Philly, grew up in Western MA, currently living in San Antonio, TX, and working for the Humane Network.
    • What do you do? (your job, volunteer position, life's calling, etc.)
      Enthusiastically consult about anything found at the intersection of a three-region Venn diagram consisting of animal welfare, community-building, and tech/data.
    • If you could be ANY animal, what would you be and why? 
      A dragon! They're fictional, so I'd be the only one in the world. As a bonus, they're sentient, self-composed, and immortal. Seems like it'd be a hoot.
    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 05:24 AM

      Mythologicals are very important for totems because they evoke the imagination of what we could be!

      I have the Thunderbird as mine, he sits at my back.  (wolf on my left to help me receive, elk on my right to help me teach teachers, and hummingbird in front as the untimate warrior bird...)

      Dragon's Wisdom Includes:

      • Born of Fire

      • Protector

      • Exists between thoughts

      • Ability to move between worlds

      • Connection to the birth of the Universe

      • Red Dragon sleeps in the core of the Earth

        So wonderful because you work between the tech world and your reality world, helping to protect those without voices!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  October 27, 2017 at 03:42 PM

      Hi Don! 

      I love your Venn diagram -- It's exactly my life right now! 

      You've got a kindred spirit in the forum who also chose a dragon. Check out the post from Meghan McDermott at Humane Animal Treatment Society marked "Best Answer" on this question. I loved her answer because she included another bonus for you dragon folks -- you could make your own s'mores! 

      Thank so much for joining the forum! 


  • ChristineO    September 27, 2017 at 11:03 AM

    Hi Everyone!!  i'm playing catchup :-)  Sound familiar?  LOL  My name is Christine Orbeck and I am from Fountain Hills, AZ where I volunteer with Fearless Kitty Rescue.  I am their Director of Donor Relationships, working on building strong lasting ties with our community, donors, volunteers and such.  I work closely with co-founders Kim & Paula running events such as 3K's, Kitty Showers & of course, Strut your Mutt! Just a few of the events we currently have in progress.  I also work on the website, write articles for our newsletter, handy person for the rescue........ a woman of all trades. All my friends tell me in they want to come back as one of my cats.......... I would like to come back as a Koala, my favorite animal as a child.  

    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 05:34 AM

      When you see Koala' medicine it IS all Kim! 

      Koala's Wisdom Includes:

      • Ability to climb over obstacles

      • Recognizing the value of slow movement

      • Ability to remain above the fray

      • The power of yoga

      • Helpful advice giver

        She is a great Hero for the community and wow, what she has done for the Fountain Hills area is outstanding! I am so proundly humble to be in her circle of influence

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  September 27, 2017 at 11:46 AM

      Hi Christine!

      Catchup sounds VERY familiar!  Welcome to the Forum. We are huge fans of Fearless Kitty Rescue here at Maddie's Fund so we're thrilled to see you! Kudos to you for wearing so many hats at FKR. What kind of animal was Koala? (Love the name, btw!) 


  • Dar    August 25, 2017 at 04:39 PM

    Queens NY Lawyer Love all animals

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 28, 2017 at 03:58 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Dar! Thanks for joining in the discussion (and loving all animals)!

  • Ed    August 24, 2017 at 10:27 AM

    I am Ed Glassner from Heathers Foster Dogs, a small foster group (13 families) in the south suburbs of Chicago. I am a foster, controller, secretary, events coordinator, web fumbler & board member (most people in the group have multiple tasks). Heathers Foster Dogs began operations in early 2014. Most of us had earlier been in a local shelter foster program for up to 7 years. My fantasy would be to be a komodo dragon.

    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 05:47 AM

      We all need a warrior animal to sustain ourselves against the constant battles we fight!

      Komodo Dragon's Wisdom Includes:

      • Ability to enter long dream states

      • Warrior energy

      • Speed

      • Adept use of the Earth’s vibrations

      • Longevity

        Interesting that Komodo Dragon is part of my prayer alter because all my adult life I hae been a warrior and boy, with to effects of  four strokes behind me, I need the help of the speed and sensitivity to what is and isnt working, to minimize the efforts I exert, going on 7 years now.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 24, 2017 at 05:11 PM

      Hi Ed!

      Phew -- your list of roles is impressive. And web fumbler? I'm still laughing about that (but I totally get it)! We believe that fostering is the answer so I love hearing that your group is foster-based. Thanks for introducing yourself and taking on so many roles to help the dogs in your community!

  • eby   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 23, 2017 at 09:41 AM

    Hi everyone!  I'm Amber from Maddie's Fund in Pleasanton, CA.  I work in the Grants Department.  If I could be any animal, I would be a seagull because they can fly and swim and are comfortable at the beach, the park, or in cities.


    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 05:55 AM

      LOL I LOVE people like you! You can do so much with so little and can make things appear when others would say there is nothing there!

      Seagull Medicine are scavengers and opportunists. Even though most Seagull Medicine can successfully co-exist with humans, they can also be so aggressive that they will take food right out of a humans hand. Opportunistists? You betcha! Scavengers?  They can make hay out of sunshine!

      When there is an opportunity, they will in fact take it, which is something most humans still need to learn when it comes to reaching their own personal goals in Life.

      The word "opportunist" does not have to be a negative word. Simply stand in integrity as you take advantage of all opportunities laid out right before you. People like you are few and far between!

      • eby   Maddie's Fund Staff  June 29, 2018 at 08:25 AM

        Oh wow - thanks CJ - that is so nice of you!  I bet people like you would read things thoughtfully and take the time to respond with kindness are also few and far between!  You made my day!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 23, 2017 at 12:20 PM

      Great point, Amber. The ability to fly and swim (and walk) is a pretty cool combo!! 

  • Zella    August 19, 2017 at 06:56 AM

    Hi everyone!  I'm Zella Anderson, Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Animal Alliance (CPAA) based in Mechanicsburg, PA.  If I could be any animal, it would be one of my dogs, as they are living the good life and spoiled rotten!

    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 06:02 AM

      All though my "dog" is a wolf in my professional life.In my personal life I have made a firm understanding with God that if my health EVER takes away my companionship with my dogs, I am OFF of this planet! <vbg> They are our mirrors, our teachers, our healers! I could not exists without their medicine:

      Dog's Wisdom Includes:


      • Heals emotional wounds in humans
      • Understanding of the duality of doubt and faith
      • Companionship
      • Unquestioned loyalty
      • Love
      • Knowledge of all things sensual
      • Protection
      • Ability to smell trouble from a distance

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 21, 2017 at 11:31 AM

      Welcome, Zella! I'm with you -- I'd be one of my dogs, too. They have a pretty awesome life!

  • AJCOL269    August 18, 2017 at 07:34 AM

    My name is Amy-Jo Sites and I am the Director for Animal Care & Control in Fort Wayne, IN.  If I could be any animal it would be a dolphin.  They are intelligent creatures yet fierce when need be (hence the ability to scare off sharks)!  

    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 06:12 AM

      They ARE!  n my personal life, this is an animals that sits on my left, where I recieve my lessons and help me navigate through my challenges.

      Dolphin/Porpoise's Wisdom Includes:

      • Knowledge of the sea
      • Patron of sailors
      • Change
      • Wisdom
      • Balance
      • Harmony
      • Communication skills
      • Freedom
      • Trust
      • Understanding the power of rhythm in your life
      • Use of breath to release intense emotions
      • Water element magick

      (Water magick helps me understand the difference between emotionality and e-motions with is energy in motion. With my dogs activing as my mirrors, dogs help keep me honest because I am really good at lying to myself about what I am REALLY feeling!)

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 18, 2017 at 09:38 AM

      Thanks, Amy-Jo, and welcome! Love your animal choice -- intelligent, yet fierce...and fun-loving! What an amazing combination. 

  • Tammy    August 07, 2017 at 06:02 AM

    Hi, I am with PAWS Humane Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.  I am the Kennel Supervisor/Rescue Coordinator there.  I am looking forward to being part of this group.  We are a shelter that cares very much for our animals, and are constantly looking for ways to make it better, and ways to get our animals out to good homes.


    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 07, 2017 at 02:14 PM

      Welcome, Tammy! I love that your shelter is always looking for ways to improve and find homes for animals. Hopefully connecting with others in this forum will allow you to glean some new ideas and share some of your own!

  • CJ Anderson    August 06, 2017 at 08:38 AM

    LOL I am trapped. I registered as instead of emptybowlpetFOOD and it would not let me change it on chrome or firefox.  Also All the information I put in yesterday disappears so who is up with that? <vbg>

    While I am based in Phoenix Az, we serve Arizona,working to empower people and communities to better help themselves through their beloved pets.

    In 2010, I suffered the first of four strokes as one of four women who founded a pet food pantry with four bags of pet food and $40.  A couple years later, I was the last founder standing, with more strokes that left me disabled to the point that no one would hire this broken body.  So I charged how we did business in the non profit, became a state FEMA Animal Medical Reserve Corp unit, joined Governor Ducey's Arizona Citizen Corp Council and the Alliance of Arizona Non-profits Leadership Council.  I live to show that everyone can do something, no matter what has happened to them or what condition they are in.

    I walk a shamonic path so am many animals, but the main are to my left is Wolf a teacher, my right is Elk, a teacher of teachers, behind me the Thunderbird by day (univeral translator amnst other meanings) and Phoenix (rebirth/regeneration) by night. In front of me leading the way is my warrior bird - Hummingbird, on my path, the wave rider or eye of the storm.  You can have an adventure by eith using this website to help you or carry a Ted Andrews book.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 07, 2017 at 02:12 PM

      Hi CJ! 

      Welcome to the Forum! Sorry for the issue with not being able to update your email address. We are working on adding that functionality. In the meantime, I was able to update your email address. If you click on "Edit My Profile" in the top right hand corner, you should see the updated email address. That is where you should see the profile information you entered. If not, can you re-enter your profile info and hit the Save button. If you aren't able to see your info after that, please let me know. 

      What an incredible history you have. Thank you for sharing your story and animal spirits!

  • MyJodie    August 05, 2017 at 08:46 AM

    Greeting from Sharon Brasher in north central Arkansas.  Our group, Friends of Horseshoe Bend Animals, assists the city animal control facility by paying for spay/neuter/vaccination services for the animals adopted from the shelter. This is a low income, rural area and we assist the human community with spay/neuter services, emergency vet care and donate pet food to the food bank.  I started volunteering with animal shelters and animal welfare groups in 1990 in the Dallas, Texas area.  In 2012 I moved to Horseshoe Bend, Arkansas and began volunteering with Friends of Horseshoe Bend Animals.  I currently serve as the president of the organization.    

    Friends of Horseshoe Bend Animals is all about spay/neutering in order to Save Them All.  I spend my summers in western Massachusetts and marvel at the low incident of homeless pets in this area.  Strict spay/neuter laws are the key but until that happens nationwide, animal welfare groups will have to lead the charge.  I guess you could say "fix 'em!" is my life's calling. 

    I would like to be my sister's dog.  She was a stray adopted from animal control and is now living the good life.  These kind of "happily ever after" stories fuel my desire to stay involved.


    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 07, 2017 at 02:18 PM

      Welcome to the forum, Sharon! Thank you for finding your life's calling and doing everything you can to "fix 'em". By focusing on how you can help pet owners, you are saving lives every day. Kudos to you and your team!



  • jasper550    August 04, 2017 at 03:39 PM

    I am President of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies.  I live in Norfolk, VA.  I would love to be a Meerkat - they are so cute and entertaining to watch !  Of course, being one of my dogs wouldn't be bad either - they live a pretty cushy life!!

    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 06:17 AM

      What a great totem for a President!

      Meerkat Wisdom Includes:

      • Maternal nurturing

      • Caretaking

      • Watchfulness

      • Ability to live communally

      • Sacrifice for the good of the group

      and I bet every skill is true for you!

    • Matt Chan    August 08, 2017 at 02:03 PM

      Hey there my friend from Norfolk, Virginia!

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 07, 2017 at 02:20 PM

      Welcome to the forum, jasper550!  

      I'm with you -- those meerkats are adorable and so much fun to watch! It's funny (and maybe a little scary) how many Meerkat Manor episodes I could watch in a row when it was on Animal Planet. Very addictive!


  • Fearless Kitty    August 03, 2017 at 05:42 AM

    Hi all, my name is Kim Kamins and I'm the CEO (Cat Executive Officer) and a co-founder of Fearless Kitty Rescue in Fountain Hills, Arizona. I love, love, love being a crazy cat lady.  My job is 100% volunteer because I was lucky enough to retire from law enforcement a few years ago.  Any animal? I would be a honey badger because they are said to be the bravest ("Fearless") animal in the animal kingdom. 

    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 06:24 AM

      You bet Kim you have been one of our BEST warriors for the animals since I can remember!

      Badger is the best for our shadow warrior:

      Badger's Wisdom Includes:

      • Keeper of stories
      • Bold Self-Expresssion
      • Aggressiveness
      • Single-mindedness
      • Passion
      • Cunning
      • Revenge
      • Perseverance
      • Control
      • Antidote to passivity or victimization
      • Persistence in the service of a mission
      • Groundedness
      • Knowledge of the earth
      • Earth magick and wisdom
      • Creative action in a crisis
      • Protection of rights and spiritual ideas

      Mine is the wolverine who shares many of the same traits!  I keep hime right in front because both animals are the only two who hunt for the sheer pleasure of taking revenge so I (like you) keep him busy fighting for victims, for those who have no voice against preditors and those who enjoy having power over others who cant fight back!

  • StacyF    July 29, 2017 at 04:08 PM

    Hello, I'm Stacy and I'm the Treasurer and a board member of Last Hope, Inc. on Long Island in NY. My role outside of the financial responsibilities includes webmaster, merchandise sales, and cat volunteer. I'm a certified feline behaviorist so I also try to help prevent returns of our cats as often as possible when it's due to a behavior issue. The animal rescue work I do is truly my life's calling. It's all on a volunteer basis though, so to pay the bills I work in Strategic Sourcing. When the time comes to retire, it will all be to devote more time to the animals. I would love to be a tiger. They're fierce, but loving with their cubs and beautiful all at the same time. 

    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 06:28 AM

      Ahhh you do with the cat/tiger what I do with dog/wolf! Truly accessing your spiritual power!

      Tiger's Wisdom Includes:

      • Power

      • Energy

      • Strength and will-power in the face of adversity
      • Acting in a timely manner
      • Action without analysis

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 07, 2017 at 02:26 PM

      Hi Stacy! 

      Wow, you're a jack of all trades! I'm so glad you joined the forum and hope you can share some of your feline behavior expertise with other forum members. It sounds like you are doing exactly the work you're meant to do. Isn't it wonderful to be following your life's calling? And tigers... stunning!

  • Justine    July 26, 2017 at 11:58 AM

    Hello! My name is Justine Meyer. I'm with Louie's Legacy Animal Rescue in Cincinnati, Ohio, where I am a board member, volunteer handling web & social stuff, and occasional foster mom. I am a web developer in my day job and freelance, and a social media manager for freelance. I also volunteer with the local Girls Who Code chapter. So I stay busy. If I could be any animal, it would definitely be a sea otter. They just speak to my soul. :-D

    • CJ Anderson    November 07, 2017 at 06:36 AM

      Hi Justine, boy I wish we lived closer together!  As a Capricorn sun sign, I am all work work work! Last Oct 31 I almost didn't participate in a fundraiser  of GAMES and KIDS!  (=fun - bleh - vbg) I need a person with MORE otter energy in my life!

      Otter's Wisdom Includes:

      • Woman’s healing wisdom
      • Sensibility without suspicion
      • Guidance in unmasking talents
      • Psychic awareness
      • Faithfulness
      • Recovery issues
      • Understanding the value of playtime

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 07, 2017 at 02:29 PM

      Welcome, Justine!

      I've heard such wonderful things about Louie's Legacy. Thank you for fostering in addition to all of your other roles! It sounds like "I stay busy" might be a bit of an understatement!    And ohhhh, those sea otters. They are just so darn cute! 

  • New Beginnings    July 20, 2017 at 04:41 PM

    I am the president of New Beginnings Animal Rescue located in Orangeburg SC. I am a 60 years young, and happily retired. Seems I am busier now then when I was employed. I believe I have found my calling in the animal welfare community. The joy one gets from rescuing a frightened, untrusting animal, and watching it over time to transform into a happy, confident, and loving animal makes all the worry and heartache worth it.

    if I could choose to be any animal, I think I would want to be a rescued dog. I would want this because I would know I have a home, and loving family that will care for me regardless of my past. 

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 07, 2017 at 02:31 PM

      Hi New Beginnings!

      I love that you have found your calling in the animal welfare community and completely agree with you. There's nothing better than seeing a shy, fearful animal blossom into a healthy, happy confident one! 

      Thanks for joining the Forum!  


  • BrittR   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 19, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Hi, I'm Brittany Ransonet! I'm with Maddie's Fund and currently live in Salt Lake City, UT. I'm on the Marketing Communications team doing PR, email promotions, blog content and more. I love every minute of it! If I could be any animal I think I'd be a bird so I could have the ability to fly,  easily see the world and visit the people I love the most! 

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 20, 2017 at 03:16 PM

      Oooh, good answer, Brittany. I didn't think about being able to fly around. I want to change my answer now!  

  • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 17, 2017 at 11:19 AM

    My turn! I'm the Manager of Partnerships & Collaboration at Maddie's Fund in Pleasanton, CA (SF Bay area). I live in Fair Oaks, a suburb of Sacramento. If I could be any animal, I would be a dog because they bring such joy to their people!

  • HumaneAnimalTreatmentSoc.    July 17, 2017 at 10:16 AM

    My name is Meghan McDermott and I am the Community Outreach & PR Coordinator for the Humane Animal Treatment Society located in Mount Pleasant, MI. If I could be any animal, I would be a dragon (fire-breathing of course) and fly around the world, making bonfires (with my fire-breathing abilities) to make campfire snacks.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 17, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      Meghan, too funny! I love that your focus is ultimately on s'mores!  Hahahaha!


  • Audrey    July 16, 2017 at 07:37 PM

    Hi there,

       I'm Audrey and I am the Adoption Center Manager at Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, North Carolina. If I could be any animal I would be a goat, because they are highly intelligent, good at problem solving, agile, and fun.

    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 17, 2017 at 10:59 AM

      Looks like I'm gonna have to learn more about goats now. I love learning about animal behavior but haven't learned much about goats. Thanks for pointing me in a new direction.


  • LauraM    July 13, 2017 at 12:46 PM

    I currently live in Garland, TX and am affiliated with Duck Team 6 Street Dog Rescue (DT6) out of Dallas, TX.  I am the President / Director of Operations for DT6, a volunteer position and for a living I am currently in the process of starting a new company.  If I could be any animal I would be one of my dogs because they are spoiled rotten and live an easy life

    • Sheila.darpino   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 13, 2017 at 04:39 PM

      Hi, Laura!  So then the next question is.... WHICH of your dogs would you be?


      • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 17, 2017 at 11:01 AM

        Oooh, good question, Sheila. Just remember, Laura, the forum is a 'safe' place to answer...that is, unless your dogs can read!  


  • Sara Archer    July 13, 2017 at 08:11 AM

    My home is Walla Walla, Washington, the place so nice they named it twice. I am the Executive Director (aka Head Cheerleader) at Blue Mountain Humane Society. If I could be any animal, I would be an otter - because frolicking is my calling.

    • eby   Maddie's Fund Staff  August 23, 2017 at 09:39 AM

      Head cheerleader!  I love this--so true!


    • Kim at Maddie's   Maddie's Fund Staff  July 13, 2017 at 10:12 AM

      Welcome to Maddie's Pet Forum, Sara! I love your description of your home town and your reason for being an otter. Happy frolicking!