The Best Friends Podcast Episode 57
This week we transform The Best Friends Podcast into our version of one of the world’s most beloved game shows!
Players representing four Network partner organizations put their knowledge to the test with questions such as:
- What is the only state where every individual shelter has reached the 90% save rate benchmark?
- How many eyelids do dogs have?
- According to a Best Friends study from 2020, what percentage of adults feel it is very important or essential to have no-kill shelters in their area?
Do you know the answers, or would you need to Ask the Expert, Michelle Dosson from Norfolk Animal Care Center, for help?
Learn how our players did on their way to securing a $1,000 unrestricted grant to help them save more lives as we play Who Wants to Be a Lifesaver!
animal services supervisor, City of Tracy Animal Services
I have worked for Tracy PD in the Animal Services Division for over 13 years. I began my career as a Kennel Aide and have promoted through the ranks. It’s been exciting to watch as the industry has grown into the direction it has today. Networking with others that are in the Animal Welfare industry is extremely important, as we are each other’s support network and sound wall. I look forward to all the great programs and directions that Animal Service Divisions are taking across California and our Nation. It’s an exciting time to be a part of progressive sheltering and all of the lifesaving efforts!
director of animal services, Alexander County Animal Services
Jennifer Sigmon has over 30 years of experience in the field of veterinary medicine, animal sheltering and animal control services. She served as the hospital manager for a busy, multi-doctor veterinary practice with a focus on the care of companion animals and exotics. During this time, she began to volunteer at the local animal control shelter. Seeing the need for compassionate individuals to champion those that cannot speak for themselves, she decided to begin her career in animal sheltering and animal control.
In 2013, Jennifer came to Alexander County Animal Services. She was tasked with restructuring the Animal Services department, developing policies, promoting educational outreach, and increasing positive outcomes for the animals in their care. Together with her team of hard-working, passionate individuals, they strive to educate the public, enforce animal-related laws, and promote healthy, responsible pet ownership. During her time as Director of Animal Services, she has raised the live release rate from 40% to over 80% which garnered the facility the Lifesaving Luminary Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region at the 2017 Best Friends Conference. Jennifer had a vision for the shelter to become one of hope and the beginning of a new journey for the homeless, unwanted animals that come into their care. She works tirelessly to develop new relationships with rescue groups and other animal shelters in order to secure additional placement options for the animals.
Jennifer holds certifications in Basic Animal Control, Pre-hospital Care of Envenomations, Strategic Field Operations, Problem-Oriented Response, Blood Sports and Animal Fighting Investigation along with FEMA certifications. Jennifer is also a Certified Rabies Vaccinator.
executive director and board president, Dog Aide
Dog Aide’s mission is to educate dog owners, identify the needs of the community, and supply owners with resources to care for their pets. They are a collaborative partner in the development of Project GRACE which facilitates free spay/neuter programs, along with vaccinations and microchips, to owned dogs in Detroit. Jen sat on the reform committee for Detroit Animal Care and Control and continued to volunteer her time at the shelter under new management, helping to develop their transfer program. Through Dog Aide, Jen has been able to provide guidance and structure development for others around the nation to develop their own outreach programs.
Jen has a background in health care, including long-term care as a nursing home administrator and emergency medicine as an emergency medical technician. She earned her BS from Central Michigan University in community development.
bureau manager, Norfolk Animal Care Center
Michelle Dosson is the Bureau Manager for the Norfolk Animal Care and Adoption Center in Virginia, where she leads efforts to engage community members and stakeholders in the implementation of lifesaving programs that support both pets and their people.
Formerly, Michelle was the National Shelter Outreach Manager for Best Friends Animal Society, providing leadership and training for shelter partners across the country. Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, she nurtured a passion for helping animals and humans while volunteering with shelters and wildlife services. After moving to the U.S., Michelle joined the City of Richmond Animal Care and Control in Virginia as a caregiver, veterinary technician, and adoption counselor.
In 2008, she began a field services career as an animal protection officer for the city of Austin, Texas, two years prior to the city passing its no-kill implementation plan, giving her unique insight into the process behind creating compassionate lifesaving communities.
corporate secretary, counsel, and fundraising lead, Corridor Rescue
Catherine Hoffman received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Houston a J.D. from South Texas College of Law Houston. She is licensed as an attorney and CPA in Texas and retired from employment in 2018. She has been volunteering in animal rescue since 2005, and has been with Corridor Rescue since 2009, having served in a variety of positions, currently as Corporate Secretary, Counsel, and Fundraising Lead.
Previously a self-labeled “dog snob,” she now has 4 cats and 1 elderly dog.