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Community Conversations - 5/6/24 - Celebrating Diverse Paths in the Animal Sector

  • 1.  Community Conversations - 5/6/24 - Celebrating Diverse Paths in the Animal Sector

    Posted 05-02-2024 11:48 AM

    Updated 5/6/24 at 3:37pm: Recording now available to watch on-demand!

    We hope to see you on the next Community Conversations call on Monday, 5/6/24 at 11am PT for a panel discussion that celebrates diverse paths in the animal sector. To kick off Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we've gathered a group of panelists from the AANHPI community who bring unique backgrounds and contributions to the animal sector. Hear from a veterinarian, a behavior trainer and cat cafe owner, who all ventured out onto their own paths to serve the people and pets in their communities.

    Guest Speakers/Panelists: 

    Maddie's Fund will also be announcing the April grant winners so be sure to tune in to see if you've won!

    Please note this will be first call using the new Zoom link! If you registered for our previous calls, you'll need to re-register here: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom with the new link to join the call.

    As always, this discussion thread will be updated with the recording and resources so you can watch and share whenever you'd like.  After you watch the recording on-demand or attend the call live, be sure to complete this new May 2024 entry form to enter to win up to a $5,000 grant:


    Maddie's Pet Forum Admin
    Maddie's Fund

  • 2.  RE: Community Conversations - 5/6/24 - Celebrating Diverse Paths in the Animal Sector

    Posted 05-06-2024 04:06 PM

    Thanks to the 132+ people and paws who joined us on today's Community Conversations call! The recording is now available to watch on-demand. Below you'll find a recap of the call, resources and highlights from the chat. 

    Congratulations to the Weekly Community Conversations grant winner of $5,000 Lecia Mata of Natives in VetMed! There were also two Maddie's Pet Forum winners announced today @Sara Post of Feline Rescue who will receive a $3,000 grant and @Rochelle Hamp of Headwaters Animal Shelter who will receive a $500 grant for participating on Maddie's Pet Forum! Thanks to everyone for your contributions that help make our community great!

    Call Recap

    • Welcome from hosts
    • Question of the day: A reminder that it is National Mental Health Awareness Month, what is bringing you joy this month?
      • "working in the garden and playing with my cat!" - Alison at Maddie's Fund
      • "Mowing lawn, bible study and my cats." - Anita Selby
      • "My garden!" - Sara Fitzpatrick
      • "My garden too" - June Thomas
      • "yoga!" - Amanda Gray
      • "Do things with my dogs" - Alexsey Dobberstine
      • "Crafts- painting!" - Laura Baker
      • "Sitting by the ocean and breathing deep" - Roxane Fritz
      • "I have been taking frequent short vacations." - Elizabeth Iannelli
      • "Walking with our goats" - Melinda Guffey
      • "my 2 dogs give me so much joy" - Brenda Baron
      • "Taking a walk. And taking a nap!" - Kelly Clardy
      • "Mental Health provider here from NJ.  Resources for Independent Living.  Joy comes from creativity - garden, art, my dogs and my alpacas" - Julie DeLuccy
      • "building new relationships, acupuncture, knitting/crocheting" - Christina Lee
      • "Sandy - Dallas / Ft. Worth area of Texas. Volunteer. TNR advocate / trapper / Cat foster.  Being in nature" - Sandy Parker
      • "Giving hugs to my dogs, cats, and horse!" - Kyrie Rodgers
      • "karoake" - Laura Baker
      • "I love the ocean and beach, too." - Brenda Baron
      • "Napping" - Katie Peachey
      • "Gardening... and Sol Dog has the best volunteers and donors!" - Mary Flores
      • "My family is loving life with our two PACT fosters! Thank you for letting us help them and their family! 😍" - Alison Kennedy-Benson
      • "Making spending time with good friends a priority" - Kim Domerofski
      • "Swinging in my hammock on my porch watching my horses." - Claudia Labbe

    • Maddie's Fund Grant Announcements - April Monthly Drawing Winners
      • Community Conversations Winner
        • Lecia Mata, Natives in VetMed ($5,000) 
      • Maddie's Pet Forum Winners
        • Sara Post, Feline Rescue ($3,000)
        • Rochelle Hamp, Headwaters Animal Shelter ($500)

    • National Updates
      • Maddie's Insights webcast: This Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 12 noon Pacific Dr. Sara Bennett and Jamirelis Carrero will share their research about the impact of using treat buckets on shelter dog behavior. Register here:
      • For any organization participating in the Open Arms Challenge 2024, please submit your participation reports by Wednesday, 5/15/24 at 5pm PST.  If you have any questions, please email us at or call us at 925-310-5450.
      • Maddie's Fund Monthly Giveaways!  Enter here for a chance to win CA$H: Open to all who are watching live or on-demand! Be sure to enter each week you attend!
      • Maddie's Pet Forum Monthly Giveaway: Maddie's Fund® is giving away a $3,000 grant each month to one lucky Maddie's® Pet Forum member. You'll automatically be entered to win each month when you start a new discussion, reply to a new post. More info:
    • Today's Presentation: Celebrating Diverse Paths in the Animal Sector
    • Highlights from the Chat
      • "So proud to be a Filipina!" - Mary Flores
      • "I'm a converted cat lady too. Allergic but that's what allergy pills are for! 😹" - Charlotte Otero
        • "me too! all the allergy meds and purifiers lol" - Amanda Gray
        • "My husband was allergic to cats and I had a Maine Coon with lots of fur. He started inviting my cat, Max over for visits. We have had lots of cats since, allergy pills and lot of vacuuming!" - Sharon Fletcher
        • "Purina makes a food called Live Clear that has shown a 75% reduction in cat allergies in people." - Stephen Quandt
        • "Surprisingly, the longer the fur, the less dander typically. Have you tried Purina Pro Live Clear food and dry shampoo?? It really helps my very allergic BF survive my 3 cats apt" - Julia Pastore
          • "I use Live Clear food for my 2 cats too.  It helps with my husband's allergies" - June Thomas
        • "Just want to mention that not all cat allergies can be easily managed with pills! People with more severe allergies still have to avoid living with cats. It's not always as simple as taking a pill :)" - Maria S
          • "Yes. Safety first!" - Shonyae Johnson
            • "Yes! And also, not judging people who have allergies not solved by pills." - Maria S
          • "Agreed. I also have to clean like crazy and use air purifiers." - Julia Pastore
        • "Daily medication and 10+ years exposure was helpful to me with allergies. I still flare even after all this time, but manage enough to get my cuddles in." - Shonyae Johnson
      • "Yes! Our seniors need a place to go outside of shelter!" - Mikhaila Worle
      • "Do you ever need Feline Behavior help? I'm a Feline Behavior Specialist for ACC , but would be interested on a volunteer basis! 🐈‍⬛😸" - Julia Pastore
      • "Informational interviews are great." - Sharon Fletcher
      • "We loved hearing about the partnership between Vets in Vans and Oakland Animal Services!" - Elise Winn
      • "IF the approach is thru mental health support and needs." - Michelle Russillo
      • "We cant talk about the bond without recognizing the mental health benefits and effects on helping people have more stable lives." - Michelle Russillo
      • "only hearing about the vet pathway in animal care is such a trend in BIPOC communities. So inspiring to hear your story Christina L. 🥹. So glad you found your way!" - Shonyae Johnson
      • "no idea is crazy! Ideas change the world.  Good for you for sticking with it." - Michelle Russillo
      • "that is an amazing story!" - Amanda Gray
        • "no judgement, just care" - Kate Sawyer
      • "Such an incredible story. It's so important to have people who LIVE in the community helping the people IN the community. There's an immediate level of trust that comes with that." - Charlotte Otero
      • "That's us!!!! Thank u for pulling our cats. We have plenty of cats now if u need!" - Julia Pastore
      • "Love the bridge for supporting with multiple organizations 😻!! Wow wow wow. Way to connect the community!!" - Shonyae Johnson
      • "I'm in feline behavior at and privately at" - Stephen Quandt
      • "I'm in feline behavior at ACC too 😸" - Julia Pastore
        • "We took in Haru last year after you showed her to us! She made it another 3 months before she succumbed to her illnesses. She was incredible and I miss her a lot." - Christina Ha / Meow Parlour
      • "We also send cats to partners that include cat cafes - we know about the personality assessment requirements are higher - need 'ambassador' level." - June Thomas
      • "Well said for California being unaffordable for many people." - Michelle Russillo
      • "Several of the speakers left larger organizations to do something that speaks more directly to your career desires. How could these organizations (or any organization more broadly, if you don't want to call out something in particular) have behaved differently to hold on to you, or to better cultivate talent and support staff? (Speaking specifically to BIPOC staff support.)" - Emily Wood [question answered live]
      • "Lack of appreciation will cause many issues." - Anita Selby
      • "The larger the org, the larger the bureaucracy, too." - Maria S
      • "100% Feline Behavior manager at ACC is the best. But there are soooooo many others that aren't." - Julia Pastore
      • "Very good info. Thank you." - Penny Leisch
      • "Thanks for the great meeting!" - Mikhaila Worle

    Charlotte Otero
    Community Strategist at Maddie's Fund