I believe that animals are sentient beings who should be treated with dignity and respect. My canine companions are not toys or livestock, nor are they humans or “furbabies” as some people like to say. They are dogs, they are family, and they add to my life.
I had dogs and horses all my life before moving to NYC in the late 80s, but I wasn’t lucky enough to be owned by a Shiba Inu until January 2004. After 15+ years without a companion animal, everything changed when my first Shiba, Snickers, moved in. He truly stole my heart in a way no other animal ever has before or after. After seeing how much he enjoyed playing with a pair of neighborhood Shibas (Benno & Lily), I founded NYC Shiba Inus and Their Human Companions in June 2006, to organize monthly Shiba playdates.
In April 2007, several of us from the meetup group started NYC Shiba Rescue, Inc. (NYCSR), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the mission of which is to rescue Shiba Inus and Shiba Inu mixed breed dogs from dangerous environments and shelters in the NYC metropolitan area. I was the President of NYCSR until moving to Indiana briefly in 2008 (then we moved back to NYC and THEN to Mississippi, where we are now). I continue to serve on the Board of Directors and am actively involved in volunteer recruiting, development of policies & procedures, and other activities. Even though I am so far from “my” rescue, I foster dogs in Mississippi as well, both independently and for the local shelter.
Snickers and I take the opportunity to educate the public about the Shiba breed in particular, and responsible dog ownership in general, wherever we go. We are registered Delta Society Pet Partners and enjoy visiting specifically with children and teenagers in schools, shelters and mental health facilities.
My long term goal is to get my new organization – Animals Who Educate – off the ground and, eventually, functioning in schools throughout the country.
- member, Comfort Creatures of Northeast MS, August 2010 to present
- member, National Shiba Club of America May 2008 to present
- member of the 2011 & 2012 Boards of Directors
- 2011 Corresponding Secretary
- member of the 2010 & 2011 Public Education Committee
- registered Delta Society Pet Partners, June 2008 to present
- member, Shiba Club of Greater New York, April 2007 to May 2011
- founder & board member, NYC Shiba Rescue, Inc. (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), April 2007 to present
- founder and member, NYC Shiba Inus and Their Human Companions, June 2006 to June 2010