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911fosterpets | The Women Watching Over Our Pets In Need - 911fosterpets

The Women Watching Over Our Pets In Need

I’ve been involved in animal welfare for most of my life.  I started volunteering at my local shelter at 18, and it has since taken me to places I would have never imagined, and allowed me to work with some of the most amazing, inspiring people.  Thanks to animal welfare, I was given the opportunity to work for Animal Planet,  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dr Jane Goodall, I’ve been to Ellen Degeneres’ home in Santa Barbara, and I currently get to work with iconic animal advocates like Betsy Saul (Petfinder’s founder) and Cathy Bissell (Bissell Pet Foundation). And throughout this time, I’ve experienced some pretty tough disasters and tragedies – but nothing like what we are going through now, and what’s about to happen next.So, I have to say, with what many would call the lack of direction in the human race, there’s a sense of north in the animal welfare world.  And I contribute that to some of the faces of animal welfare that are leading the charge… and yes, they’re all women.  Women like Kristen Hassen-Aeurbach of Pima, Susanne Kogut of the Petco Foundation, Mary Ippoliti-Smith of Maddie’s Fund, and Dr. Sandra Newbury DVM, University of Wisconsin … all incredibly intelligent, passionate, and inspiring women, who are navigating these uncertain times for many of us who are looking for that sense of direction to take us from point A to point B.

These women are ensuring communication is taking place within the animal welfare community on a national scale.  They are providing hard facts, learning and sharing from the shelters and rescues on the front lines, and putting the most important experts and contacts in front of the audience that needs the answers -the animal welfare workers themselves.  They have created social media groups and invited thousands of organizations to join and they communicate best practices on the topics that are immediately necessary – while all along providing inspiration through their own efforts.  We’ve seen shelters completely emptied by new innovative foster programs, curbside adoptions, video meet and greets, and “cuddle bus” transports. We’ve learned how to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers, and the pets themselves during this outbreak. We’ve been alerted on what to expect next, and where to find help. And throughout it all, there has been no infighting, no political agenda, just a sense of community and a true desire to help each other.  And it’s awesome.

Now, we all expect it to get worse…much worse for our furry friends and our colleagues over the next few months.  Pets will be dropped off in the masses due to economic hardships, the inability to provide care, and unjustified fear.  And I believe these women and many others (there are some great guys in here to) will continue to rise to the occasion, and do what they do best – keep our pets in need safe.

So, if you are in animal welfare, and you’re looking for a community of like-minded individuals during these hard times, I encourage you to join them and their thousands of followers on facebook at American Pets Alive! Shelter and Rescue Support during Covid – 19.


And don’t miss the weekly zoom meeting every Monday at 7 a.m. PST.

LINK: https://zoom.us/j/607482466

Thank you for all you are doing for all of us and our pets in need.  Stay awesome-

Eric Theis

Animal Welfare Specialist

Bissell Pet Network

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