I was born and raised in South Georgia, but have put down my roots here in West Texas. I am wife to Justin, and mom to Hannah, Jake, and Charly. I have been mom to lots of fur-babies throughout my life, and I look forward to being mom to many more.
I started working as a kennel technician in 1993 when I was in high school. I always knew I wanted to work with animals, and this was the best place to start. I continued working at various veterinary clinics throughout high school and college, and on into my adult years. I worked as a veterinary technician, receptionist, and practice manager. In 2011, I left veterinary medicine for an opportunity to manage a non-profit, no-kill shelter in Midland, Texas.
During my first 6 months at the shelter, I implemented new policies for almost everything we did on a daily basis. We changed our cleaning rituals, our feeding schedules, our training techniques, our socialization techniques, and almost all of our office policies. We implemented new adoption policies, as well as intake and surrender policies. We changed vaccines and vaccine schedules, as well as microchip companies.
We started heartworm testing dogs and FELV/FIV testing all cats upon intake. We added field space for our dogs to have more room to play. We outlined detailed job descriptions for each employee, as well as all new intake paperwork for each animal. We upgraded our software system to begin keeping better records for our animals, as well as better financial records. We implemented a spay/neuter contract so puppies and kittens under age 6 months could be adopted out prior to being spayed or neutered. I approached numerous veterinarians in the community to work with us and get us discounts on medical services.
I also met with the director at Midland Animal Services and was able to secure 10 spay/neuter vouchers a week to help not only keep the cost of our veterinary bills down, but also help increase the number of animals being fixed. We also implemented a new volunteer program, requiring orientation and training prior to volunteering. Our adoption events increased from approximately once a month to 3-4 times monthly. We started annual fund raising events, including a 5K for humans and their pets! We also implemented an education program, where we partnered with local schools to bring animals in the schools and discuss animal care, as well as accept field trips to the shelter.
I attended three dog training courses at Best Friends Society in Kanab, Utah, during my first year at the shelter. I was able to bring back many training ideas and techniques I learned and implement those, which helped our animals become more “adoptable”. The year before I arrived at the sanctuary in 2010, there were 103 adoptions. My final year at the sanctuary, (2016), we had 703 adoptions.
My passion has always been, and will always be, animals. I am very fortunate to have 18 years of experience in the veterinary field, which helps to keep animal’s healthy and safe, as well as keep medical costs down to a minimum. I have also now had 5 years of experience in a non-profit shelter, which has taught me about a different side of animal care, and taught me compassion I didn’t know was possible.