This week on All My Children Wear Fur Coats we had the pleasure of speaking with Betsy Gamberino, Vice President of the SPCA of Ocala. Betsy grew up in rural Pennsylvania where she was active in showing Quarter Horses as well as volunteering for several animal and agricultural organizations. She attended Penn State University obtaining Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Animal Science and Biology. She began a career in Science working as a Research Support Assistant for the Penn State University School of Medicine in Hershey, PA. In 1996, she moved to Ocala, Florida and continued her career in science at the University of Florida Department of Psychiatry. Following her work at the University of Florida, she accepted a position an Instructor of Equine Science and Biology at the College of Central Florida. Five years ago she met Lilly Baron, the President of the SPCA of Ocala, and joined the organization becoming a Board Member and an advocate for animal welfare. Currently, she lives on her farm in Ocala and remains an active equestrian while enjoying her 10 cats, her dog Pearl, 4 Guinea Pigs Larry, Ted, Bandit, parker and 3 horses. Read more
All My Children Wear Fur Coats had the pleasure of speaking with Kristen Baltrum, founder of Annie and Millie’s Place. Kristen has a Master of Arts from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN and has served for almost three decades in Christian Public Leadership. Following the death of her sister, Annie, who experienced homelessness with her dog Millie, Kristen started Annie and Millie’s Place as an outreach to those who are often denied services due to their unwillingness to surrender their animal. Kristen’s own transformation story of understanding how important the human-animal bond is for those whose home is the streets inspires her to help others have the same change of heart. Through her willingness to speak openly about the struggles her family experienced, she hopes their story can be a change agent in human-animal services. Kristen and her husband Rob have two adult children, and currently live in Colorado with their two English Bulldogs. Read more
Leave No Paws Behind is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation located in California. They are an all breed, all foster- based rescue, specializing in seniors, terminal and end of life animals, and pets with special needs. Leave No Paws Behind was founded in June 2011 by Toby Wisneski who wanted to make a difference in the lives of senior animals abandoned in the shelters. Toby had a soft spot in her heart for the aging animals who, after living so many years with the only humans they ever loved, suddenly found themselves abandoned and left to die on a cold shelter floor alone and wondering. Toby, who herself was the human mommy to a beautiful senior dog of 13 years, could not believe the number of senior pets that found themselves suddenly in peril at a time when they needed their humans the most. Read more
All My Children Wear Fur Coats had the pleasure of speaking with Susan Kurowski, Executive Director, of Pets for The Elderly Foundation. Susan joined Pets for the Elderly in January 2006. She was hired as a grant writer and accountant, but quickly took on more responsibility. She has been the Executive Director of the Pets for the Elderly Foundation since January of 2009. Susan is married, has three adult children, five grandchildren, and is currently the proud parent of two rescue dogs. Read more
As caregivers of disabled dogs for the past 20 years, Eddie and Leslie Grinnell knew what they wanted for their pets: a wheelchair designed for on and off-road play that would allow their pets to enjoy a good quality of life while they healed. A mechanical engineer by trade, Ed’s revolutionary design has been endorsed by veterinarians, rehab practitioners and canine chiropractors. It all started 33 years ago with their blue Doberman, Buddha. For years, she had been Eddie’s guard dog. In 1989 Buddha, at the age of 10, lost the use of her rear legs due to spondylosis and disc disease. Ed and Leslie were faced with the choice of a expensive risky surgery, or euthanizing her. She was not in pain nor depressed, so euthanizing her was not an option. They decided to give her time to heal by giving her anti-inflammatories and started researching wheelchairs. Read more
Katrina Shadix started her career in bear rights advocacy during the 2015 Bear Hunting Season where she successfully organized a campaign to stop the hunt of the Florida Black Bear. In 2020 Katrina’s bear poaching bill was passed with 100% bipartisan support and was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis. Her efforts now include the nutrient pollution crisis in the Indian River Lagoon where she is pressing legislators to expand the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s feeding program for manatees. In addition to being the Executive Director of Bear Warriors United, she serves on several boards including The Foundation for Florida Environmental Protection, The Central Florida Expressway Environmental Advisory Group, serving also as the Chair of the Environmental Advisory Board for Seminole County and the President of Sustainability Leaders Initiative.
Monisha Seth is a retired internal medicine physician with AdventHealth Medical Group in Winter Park, Florida. She and her husband Anthony founded Franklin’s Friends in 2003 after adopting their first dog Franklin from the SPCA of Central Florida. They are now the proud parents of 3 rescued hounds – Winston, Lincoln, and Jolene. Franklin’s Friends is an all-volunteer 501c3 nonprofit organization. Their mission is to support Central Florida animal welfare by awarding grants to local nonprofit and government agencies that are dedicated to Shelter/Rescue, Spay/Neuter, or Community Education projects.
This week on All My Children Wear Fur Coats we were joined by Chris Roy, Founder of Doobert. Doobert empowers animal welfare organizations through custom-built tools for animal rescue. Doobert has features that are built to streamline foster communication and management. They also make it easy for rescues to connect with other organizations and volunteers so they can save more animals. Doobert also allows volunteers the freedom to choose how they want to help the animal organizations they want to work with.
In 1994, Burt and his wife, Tracy Posner Ward rescued a Great Dane in distress. From this experience, they learned about dozens of other Great Danes also needing homes. When they called weeks later to see what had happened to the others, they were horrified to hear that they had all been destroyed. Both Burt and Tracy have a huge love for animals. They then made a decision and created a rescue for Great Danes and other giant dog breeds.
A recognized leader in animal care, protection, and advocacy, Laurie Hood is the founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge, the Southeast’s premier, no-kill animal refuge and sanctuary for domestic and wild animals located in Northwest Florida. A true visionary and passionate animal lover since childhood, Laurie has made a lifelong commitment to improve animals’ lives as she continues to journey into bold, unchartered territory in an effort to educate others about the importance of animals in our lives and their overall welfare. Under her supervision, Alaqua has rescued and placed tens of thousands of animals into loving homes and environments since its founding 15 years ago, and has also helped countless others through partnerships and community outreach.