I have always had a passion for animals, especially dogs. After retiring from my medical practice, and at the very persistent urging of my neighbor and AFF cofounder Cindy Marshall, I began volunteering at Great Plains SPCA in Independence.
I developed and continue to run a program there called the F.A.S.T. Team. It is a program not only designed to enhance volunteer retention, but to encourage volunteers to advocate for dogs on their “team” through the concepts of Friend, Advocate, Socialize and Train. It was through this program that I became interested in forming a foundation for homeless dogs’ healthcare.
Angel, our foundations’ namesake, came to our shelter with an undiagnosed heart condition. There was no funding to investigate her condition, so she was not considered adoptable. Volunteer and AFF co-founder Susan Knittle worked determinedly to see to it that Angel got help. She organized consultations and funding, and ultimately Angel got her open-heart surgery that saved her life. Susan and others were inspiring with their determination to save her.
I am saddened by the fact that heartbreaking decisions sometimes have to be made when it comes to costly medical interventions, and am passionate about doing all I can to prevent these decisions from having to be made. I am committed to this foundation, thinking outside the box with respect to fundraising and exploring options for care and management. My associations with AFF co-founders Stacie Grobolshek and Alyssa Severn have provided motivation and brainpower to assist shelters and rescues in providing life saving and quality of life enhancing procedures for dogs in their care, allowing them to find their loving, forever homes.
I own 3 dogs of my own…an opinionated Shiba Inu named Yoshi, a bossy Border Collie named Panda, and a sweet velcro-dog Aussie named Roo.