Intervention Counselors are the ❤️ of our Program
We want to highlight one of the faces behind Home Dog LA. Isabel has been an intervention counselor at Home Dog LA for two and a half years She is bilingual and assists pet owners five days a week with our program. We couldn’t do it without her!
How did you first hear about Home Dog LA?
I first heard of Home Dog LA in 2016. I was volunteering with The Humane Society’s Pets for Life program when manager Alana told me the Intervention Program at North Central Shelter was looking for a Spanish speaking counselor. I remember going through Home Dog LA's website and being so moved by their mission to save pets by helping them stay in their homes with families who love them. Also, the community surrounding the shelter is the community I grew up in. It felt right.
How long have you been involved in the world of animal welfare and in what capacity?
A long time! I have been involved in this world for about 10 years now. I worked at North Figueroa Animal Hospital where I met the Pets for Life team and signed on as volunteer. I did community outreach, helped at their vaccine clinics and with TNR. I was the Director of Operations for Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue for a little over 2 years before joining Home Dog. I've always found so much comfort and support in my pets, I am beyond grateful to be able to be of service to other pets ....and now, their people too!
Is there one case or pet that stands out?
So many! I have a few clients who stop by just to chat or bring me fruit and so I think of them and how we met often. But there is one client and her pets I think of the most, Lorraine and dogs Theodore and Mae. We first met when Theodore was hit by a car. We helped cover the cost of surgery for Theo and walked Lorraine through his healing process. That was two years ago. Since then she's lost her apartment, had a drug relapse, lived in a tent for some months, was hospitalized, got into a women's shelter, and is now working on her sobriety and finishing her GED. And all of this with her two pups by her side. She's incredible.
Do you have a pet and can you tell us about them?
I do! Echo. She's been by my side for 5 years now. An 8 year old tiny pit mix, sassy and so loving. She's a South LA shelter alumni. She was adopted by a rescue and went through 6 fosters before getting to me. I fostered her for 2 weeks and knew I had to make us a permanent team. She's taught me so much about love and boundaries and is my daily reminder to live in the moment. Last year my husband and I adopted a Cocker Spaniel from North Central Shelter. He was about 16, blind and deaf. We named him Willis, loved him for about 3 months and were so heartbroken when we made the difficult decision to say good bye to him. My time with Willis was short but amazing. He came into my life and gave me a crash course on patience, resilience, and gratitude. Two months after his passing my father was diagnosed with dementia, I really think Willis was preparing me for that. My dogs have been magic for me!