Episode 11 – Pets for Life Program

The Pets for Life (PFL) program reaches out to underserved communities to offer free pet care resources, services and information. PFL incorporates strategic door-to-door outreach, builds a consistent community presence and uses an extensive follow-up process to build relationships and trust within a segment of the pet-owning population that has largely gone untouched by animal service providers. PFL employs a three-pronged methodology to address the systemic challenges people and pets living in poverty face:

Direct Care – Delivers pet services and information

Mentorship and Training – Guides and supports local organizations in implementing community outreach programs

Policy and Enforcement Reform – Influences organizations to be focused more on pet owner support and less on punishment.

Jason Schipkowski from the Humane Society of the US joins the podcast today to share about the program and the benefits for everyone involved. 

Jason Schipkowski is a Program Manager for the Humane Society of the United States’ Pets for Life program. In his role, he provides in-depth guidance to organizations on how to sustain their outreach efforts in under-served communities. Incorporating a holistic approach to program sustainability, including elevating individual and organizational understanding of social justice issues, communications approaches, and fundraising best practices, he provides organizations with the tools, strategies, and confidence to nurture their pet owner support work long term.

Podcast Jason referenced:  https://onbeing.org/programs/john-lewis-love-in-action-jan2017/#transcript

Watch our Pets For Life video here: https://youtu.be/k3RaWQUdi6k


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Episode 10 – Fear Free with Dr. Marty Becker

America’s Veterinarian, Dr. Marty Becker and his wife Theresa, join Mandy in the studio to talk about Fear Free Vet and Shelter practices, vet suicide, and other animal welfare topics.

Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian,” has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them. In recent years, “taking the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified'” and ensuring every pet and pet owner can experience a Fear Free veterinary visit has been his area of greatest commitment and dedication, culminating in the launch of Fear Free certification for veterinary and pet professionals in March of 2016. This was followed by a website for pet owners, FearFreeHappyHomes.com, and in 2019, by FearFreeShelters.com, which provides free training for all staff and volunteers of animal shelters, rescue groups, and animal welfare organizations.

Dr. Becker was the resident veterinary contributor on “Good Morning America” for 17 years. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Humane Association as well as its Chief Veterinary Correspondent, a founding member of Core Team Oz for “The Dr. Oz Show,” a member of the Dr. Oz Medical Advisory Panel, and a Today contributor.

An adjunct professor at the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, and the University of Missouri, he has lectured at every veterinary school in the United States. He also serves on the advisory board of World Vets, an international veterinary and disaster relief programs to help animals.

A passionate advocate for the human-animal bond, Dr. Becker is as an adjunct professor at the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

In April 2012, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association named Dr. Becker the recipient of their annual WSAVA Hill’s Excellence in Veterinary Healthcare Award (also known as the Global Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year). He has also been named Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year by the Delta Society (now Pet Partners) and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Born in Twin Falls, Idaho, in 1954, Dr. Becker practices at North Idaho Animal Hospital because he loves veterinary medicine, pets, and the people who care for them.

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Episode 9 – Dr. Sara Pizano on Embracing the Community as Partners

Dr. Sara Pizano has 30 years experience in animal welfare that includes work as a shelter veterinarian and surgeon, management in both non-profits and government shelter and is a sought after public speaker on the national stage. As an Animal Shelter Consultant, Dr. Pizano helps organizations establish responsible public policy, community programs and implement Best Practice standards in a cost effective way that ends the use of euthanasia as population control. Dr. Pizano has served on the Companion Animal Council for the Humane Society of the United States and currently serves as an advisor for both the Million Cat Challenge and Best Friends Animal Society. Consulting work ranges from hourly to project/workshops and community/shelter assessments to longer term retainer projects.

Dr. Pizano joins Mandy on this episode to discuss engaging the community as partners and other aspects to animal welfare from a sheltering perspective.

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Episode 8 – Mirror Neurons

According to Wikipedia, a mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting. Such neurons have been directly observed in primate species.

Mandy takes the mirror neuron concept and uses it as an example of how our attitude can impact others.  

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Episode 7 – What it Means to be Authentic

Being authentic doesn’t mean you get to be rude to someone else just because it is how you’re really feeling. Being authentic is identifying your feelings and moving past them if they are negative or unhelpful emotions. Mandy talks about what being authentic really means in this podcast.

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Episode 6 – Technology in Animal Welfare

Mandy talks about the advancements in technology in animal welfare, specifically animal sheltering.  There are many people/businesses that are trying to make sheltering and the lives of those working in shelters and the lives of pets who live in shelters easier.  Mandy highlights some of those advancements.

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Episode 5 – Vet Clinics vs. Shelter Medicine

Historically, there has been ongoing conflict between veterinarian clinics and veterinarian care being provided in and by animal shelters.  They are very different beasts with different purposes but as animal shelters transition to being more of a community pet resource center rather than strictly a shelter, there is potential for toe-stepping.  Mandy discusses the issues and offers solutions for working together and finding common ground.

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Episode 4 – Fear

Fears. We all have them. Do we allow those fears to control us? Lets own them and deal with them.

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Episode 3 – Brain Bullies

We all have voices in our heads.  These voices (of fear, doubt, negativity, etc.) can control our decisions and behavior.  Mandy identifies the various voices and encourages the listeners to better manage their “brain bullies”.  


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Episode 2 – Veterinarian Suicide

Veterinarian suicide is a growing problem in the animal-welfare industry.  Mandy looks into the “why” and discusses her thoughts on the issue.



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