- What inspired you to get involved with animal rescue?
I like speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.
- What were you doing prior to attending the AmPA conference?
I would find stray animals (or some would say, the animals found me). I would get them vetted and adopt them to my friends and family. I did rescue on a small, one-off scale.
- What prompted you to attend the AmPA conference? What were you hoping to get out of it?
An old friend, Larry Tucker, told me about the conference. I originally was in advertising and met Larry through a media deal I was brokering. He said if I wanted to create No Kill in Houston, I should do what Austin Pets Alive did. I started attending conferences and following closely what APA did.
- What were some key takeaways you learned at the conference? How did implementing these help you with life-saving?
Growing our foster program is the bread and butter of our organization. I attended a lecture by Palmer Neuhaus where she introduced an animal tracking sheet. The tracking sheet allowed us to track animals in our program more efficiently.
- What was a struggle or two that you ran into? Was it able to be solved? If so, how? If not, what approaches have you taken?
A current struggle we face is large breed behavior dogs and what to do with them while they are in our foster program. I haven’t learned of a solution but hope to learn more about behavior.
- Describe what groups of animals your group focuses on and why.
HPA focuses on anyone set to be euthanized. We look at the EU list every day. We pull by the following priority: puppies and kittens approximately 7-12 weeks, small breed young dogs, small breed dogs, purebreds, friendly adult cats, large friendly dogs
We just launched a community cat program and will focus on community cats which will include a bottle baby program.
- You’ve come back to the conference for several years. What keeps you coming back?
I gain so much from the conference and leave learning something new every time I attend. But the thing I enjoy most is being surrounded by people who are as passionate about animal welfare as I am. I leave energized to work smarter, harder and faster towards No Kill.
- What keeps you up at night about your organization?
The hardest part of being in my position is when my team feels beaten down and I have to redirect their attention to all the positive we are doing. I wish we could save everyone and have the same idea how to.
- Describe what your plans are for the future of your organization.
I’d like to be the Starbucks of animal rescue. We should have an adoption center in every neighborhood. I’d love to have a barn cat program, bottle baby ward, ringworm ward, parvo ward, full-time behavior team and space to do all of this.
- How are you different from other groups?
HPA is focused on No Kill. We implement proven programs to save animals who would otherwise be killed. We are these animals’ last resort.