I have always loved animals and grew up wanting a horse of my own. Well, that didn’t exactly work out the way I thought, but I have shared my life with amazing cats and dogs. We had the requisite mice, hamsters, birds, but I gravitate to those who don’t live in a cage. As I get older, I am becoming more and more an advocate for the human-animal bond, as there is no truer bond on this earth in my opinion. When there is a trust and kindness, the relationship is unlike any other. I am also becoming more and more vocal against abuse which brings me to why I am the President and Chair of the board. The children who have been involved with the program have been abused in violent ways, and the animals we have rescued have not had an easy time of it prior to coming to the farm. In that, there seems to be an inherent understanding from the children and the animals. They just get it. In showing kindness, empathy and patience - and a willingness to hope and trust, both can heal.
I may be tiny but I have the heart and bravery of a giant when it comes to speaking for those who can't speak for themselves. Sometimes this gets me into more than I bargained for, but I never regret helping kids and animals. As a young girl, I learned from my neighbour Mrs. Grisbee who took in a dog left tied up to the garage door when the home owners moved, that kind people can make a difference. Doctor Dolittle also made a huge impression on my life and I have desperately been trying to talk to the animals ever since - they just won't listen. I remember seeing Jane Goodall on the cover of National Geographic in the 60's and after reading her story, I wanted to be just like her. The love and care of animals has made me a better person.
See my story on when, how, and why I created SALI here.
I have learned and experienced personally the therapeutic power that can come through our relationships with animals and nature. I have also realized, as a professional working in the field of public safety and criminal justice, how devastating the impact trauma can have on individuals, families and communities.
Given this, I am honoured to be a Director on the Board with SALI's Farm and am dedicated to provide the support that I can, through this role, to ensure that this safe haven for abused or neglected farm animals is able to continue to provide its exceptional work as a therapeutic safe place for people to heal.
Loving kids and animals is second nature to me. Along with my family, I have always had a passion to rescue and care for all kinds of animals; from the Bearded Collie dumped at the park, to the pregnant mother cat who had five kittens in the ensuite, to the precious Terrier X apprehended in a drug bust by the VPD, and many more; we nurtured them all.
To this day, my son will always pull over for a stray dog running down the road and my daughter has transported her cats back and forth across the country on the plane countless times to keep them near her. The human-animal bond makes the world a better place and no matter what, every animal and child deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
It is my hope that by being a volunteer at the farm and serving on the board, I can continue to stand up for what I believe in and contribute to all that SALI stands for!