Registry Program Coordinator (Client Care)
I have three dogs – Oscar (senior Boxer) Barnaby (Jack Russell/Shih-Tzu) and Maggie May (Chihuahua/Dachshund) – and two cats, Popper and Fuego. All rescues, of course.
How long have you worked at Michelson Found Animals?
Just over a year.
What do you do at Michelson Found Animals?
As part of the client care team, I assist our microchip clients with any questions they have about our program as well as onboard our smaller clients and coordinator conferences.
What is your average workday like?
I’m not quite sure how to describe an “average” day, as each day is very different. It could range from fielding questions from customers on the east coast, to getting us ready for a conference in the midwest, and finding a few minutes to walk my three pups.
Did you grow up with animals?
We had many animals growing up – dogs, fish, birds, hamsters, lizards, a tortoise and a feral cat colony (all spayed and neutered of course; I’ve been tnr-ing since I can remember). My parents sometimes ask me, “How did you become such a crazy dog lady?” Then I remind them they raised me in a zoo. Did they really expect anything else?
What is your professional background?
After getting a degree in Public Relations from Long Beach State, I started working at a small rescue in Burbank. I wore many hats, including animal care and adoptions, but I mainly handled our event organization and public relations.
From there, I went to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, where I started as the intake coordinator and moved up to customer service manager. I oversaw all front office operations including intake, adoptions, vaccine clinics and licensing. Now I’m here at Michelson Found Animals.
What attracted you to this position?
I had been a fan of the organization’s work for many years and saw this as a great opportunity to join a team I would be proud of and learn another side of animal welfare. Plus, in my previous job, everyday I saw the incredible importance of microchips so our mission is something I strongly believe in.
What do you wish other people knew about Michelson Found Animals?
In terms of the registry, I wish more people knew that it truly is a FREE registry and we are here to help animals get home. When I tell people about our program they sometimes have a hard time believing that we don’t have any fees – hidden or otherwise.
What are some of your strongest beliefs about animal welfare?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that animal welfare isn’t just about the animals. It about the people too. The people that love them, adopt them, foster them, volunteer for them, and surrender them. In animal welfare you have to take care of these people too.
You also can’t be judgmental of the adopter who isn’t the “perfect home” on paper or the owner who is surrendering a pet for reasons beyond their control or even in their control. We have to work together in a judgment-free zone because that allows us to do the best we can for the animals.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting involved in animal welfare?
It is one of the most incredibly rewarding fields to be involved in, but can also be emotionally draining. You have to remember that you are doing the best you can to make a difference and you have to take care of yourself too!
What else can you tell me about animal welfare?
Making microchipping pets (and keeping the registration updated) easy and affordable is truly the best thing you can do for pets and their owners. I first-hand saw many pets reunited because of microchips, and many pets stay at the shelter way longer than needed because they didn’t have one or the info was outdated. My favorite was the dog that had been missing from LA for over 3 years, but because the owner kept their chip updated, they were reunited after being found in Palm Springs – filled with tears and tail wags!