Month: July 2020

Episode 31 – The Eviction Crisis: What’s Coming and How to Prepare with Abby Volin

Abby Volin founded Opening Doors, which advocates for tenants with pet-related housing issues and helps housing providers manage pets on properties. She is a nationally recognized expert on animal accommodation law and frequently holds lectures for landlords, attorneys, animal welfare advocates, and healthcare providers. Prior to starting Opening Doors, Abby worked as a policy specialist at The Humane Society of the United States and began her career as a litigator. Abby earned her JD from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and BA from Tufts University. She has volunteered with numerous shelters and rescue groups throughout the years and fostered countless pets (much to the chagrin of the resident cats).

Abby joins Mandy to discuss the coming eviction crisis from the COVID-19 fallout.

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Episode 30 – Municipal Shelter Operations with Ed Jamison of Dallas Animal Services

Ed Jamison became the Director of Dallas Animal Services (DAS) in October of 2017. The animal situation in Dallas has been the center of scrutiny over the years due to large roaming dog populations, high profile dog attacks, and low positive save rates from the shelter. With over 39,000 dogs and cats entering DAS’ care last year, Dallas is the 3rd largest intake in the United States. Ed has been tasked to increase public safety by getting lose animals off the streets, while at the same time increasing positive outcomes. To accomplish that, Ed is leading a staff of over 200 employees, maximizing the relationships with the rescue community, rebuilding the volunteer base, and instituting new, progressive programming. The newly launched “Dallas 90” campaign is designed to help create a community where all people and animals are safe, treated with respect, and have access to the resources needed to thrive. In December of 2018, even with record high intakes, DAS realized a 90 + percent rate for four consecutive months, which is a first for the Department.

Prior to coming to Dallas, Ed was the Chief Animal Control Officer for the City of Cleveland, Ohio, but he entered the Animal Care & Control World in the mid 2000’s while he was the Animal Warden for the City of Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. In his time serving Cleveland, Ed made a push to redefine the way Animal Control functions, and re-brand the public’s perception of the industry, along with “pit-bull” type dogs.  The award winning, trademarked CITY DOGs Cleveland Adoption and Volunteer programs are flourishing and being copied throughout the country.

Ed joins Mandy to discuss municipal shelter operations.

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Episode 29 – PR and Branding with Melanie Sadek

Melanie Sadek, identical twin sister of host Mandy Evans, has been the executive director of Valley Humane Society in Pleasanton for the 9 years. She has established the organization as a well-respected non-profit, helping both animals and people in the Tri-Valley. Melanie serves on the Board of Directors for the California Animal Welfare Association. In this role, she has been active in evaluating and helping pass animal welfare legislation in California. Her passion to make a difference didn’t start with Valley Humane Society. Starting her career in the field of highway safety, Melanie managed the Traffic Safety Department for AAA in Northern California and has trained thousands of law enforcement officers, nurses and public health workers in highway safety issues. In 2016, Melanie was recognized with the TriValley Hero Community Spirit Award for her dedication to helping others. 

Melanie joins Mandy to discuss PR (external communications) and shelter branding.

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Episode 28 – Pets For Life with Amanda Arrington

Amanda Arrington is the Senior Director of the groundbreaking Pets for Life (PFL) program at the Humane Society of the United States and previously served as a lobbyist and North Carolina State Director for HSUS.  With PFL, Amanda guides a social justice-driven approach to create equity in and access to pet resources and information for people in underserved communities. Under her leadership the program has been implemented in over 50 markets across the country and is working to make companion animal welfare a more just and inclusive movement.

Amanda is also the founder and Executive Director of Beyond Fences, a non-profit based in Durham, NC.  The organization builds trust and relationships in communities by providing no-fee pet services and support for people living in underserved areas.

 Amanda currently serves as vice-chair of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement’s OnPOINT committee on increasing diversity in animal welfare, served three years as the chair of the Durham County Animal Control Advisory Committee and on the board of the Durham Interneighborhood Council. Amanda has received many awards for her community outreach work including the prestigious American Veterinary Medical Association Humane Award in 2018.

Amanda joins Mandy to discuss the Pets for Life Program.

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Episode 27 – Removing Barriers to Pet Adoptions with Best Friends Animal Society

As the Senior Director, National Mission Advancement, Marc Peralta brings together Best Friends’ newest initiatives and aligns all things related to developing the knowledge and capabilities of individuals and organizations involved in lifesaving in order to empower them to achieve no-kill in their own backyard. These initiatives include shelter outreach, mentorship, staff-embedding programs, community cat programs, no-kill leadership training, and emergency response training and operations.
Jessica Gutmann is the Manager of Operations for the Santa Rosa Shelter Embed Program for Best Friends Animal Society. In this role, Jessica is charged with helping the animals of Santa Rosa County Animal Services in Florida, by working with the shelter to achieve a 90% save rate through implementations of programs and systemic change.
Jessica, a Wisconsin native, started her journey into the world of animal welfare when she began working as an Adoption Counselor for the Wisconsin Humane Society. Following her passion to serve animals Jessica became a Humane Officer at Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission. While there she created the organization’s first comprehensive volunteer program. Jessica also founded Urban Cat Coalition, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s first and only TNR organization.
Jessica started with Best Friends as a Community Cat Coordinator. During her time in that role, she helped engage with communities by advocating for trap-neuter-return initiatives, and working with shelters to implement return to field programs. Jessica transitioned into the role of Shelter Support Coordinator helping to support shelters in Utah by working with them to maximize their potential for saving lives.
Jessica has a permanent residence in Utah and shares her life with her husband, nine cats, and two dogs. She enjoys hiking, being in red-rock country, adventures in her jeep, and is a true-crime enthusiast.

Jessica and Marc join Mandy today to discuss removing barriers to pet adoptions in animal shelters.

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