Influence Positively Interview - Lisa Dossey

Lisa Dossey has loved animals since the time she was a tiny tot! She is honored to be doing what she loves and loves what she is doing! Lisa has worked in the animal welfare field for over 10 years. After moving to Colorado from the east coast, Lisa began volunteering at her local animal shelter; Lisa met and fell in love with an 8 month old Doberman/Lab mix. Lisa and her husband Brian and their fur child Bones, loved taking long hikes in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, while living in the ski town of Breckenridge. Lisa created and organized the first winter fundraiser for the Summit County Animal Shelter, and was also a member of LAPS (League for Animals and People of the Summit) offering assistance and support for local residents.

After moving to the Bay Area in 2001, Lisa began volunteering at the San Francisco SPCA, and was the top fundraiser for her team at the “DOGGONE FUN RUN” in 2006 at Golden Gate Park. All the proceeds went to the animals of the San Francisco SPCA and “PAWS”. She graduated from the San Francisco Dog Trainers Academy and completed their shelter in-house internship program. In 2005, Lisa attended the SF SPCA Public Class Curriculum workshop. Lisa is the current owner of Pups at their Peak Dog behavior consulting: offering private training, individual dog walking and dog and cat sitting, and she runs puppy and adolescent playgroups in Pacifica.

Lisa has written and introduced some new classes at the San Francisco SPCA: “Rocket Recalls” and “Loose Leash walking.” In loving memory of her beloved Bones, she recently offered the “Senior Dog Seminar” as well as a new class for just senior dogs and their people called “Senior Scholars” starting this fall. Lisa is an avid hiker, snow skier and reader. She completed her first half marathon in Lake Tahoe in honor of her girl, Bones, all shelter animals and turning 40! She is currently learning American Sign Language, with guitar and fiddle lessons next. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Healthy and happy loved ones. Cuddling with Bones and Brian in the mornings. Watching Bones roll in a scent; shred her plush toy; air hump and drool next to her favorite canine buddy; digging in the snow; watching her wiggle her stub and greet; and just being in her element, being joyful and being a dog. Reading the Sunday paper with Brian, and watching Bones read her “Sunday paper” - she loved to read a lot (taking in smells) on our hikes. 

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Influence Positively Interview - Kellie Heckman


Dr. Heckman brings her background in research science to FiXiT Foundation. Her experience in science includes the use of genetic tools to examine the evolutionary relationships and the examination of natural populations in a variety of animal groups. During her PhD research at Northwestern University, she examined the evolutionary history of mouse lemur species, the world's smallest primates. At Yale University, her postdoctoral research focused on the population biology of North American freshwater and Mediterranean fish species.

Dr. Heckman also provides nearly a decade of animal welfare experience. She was a member of the executive committee of the Friends of the New Haven Animal Shelter and performed additional duties for the organization during her 7 year tenure, including volunteer orientation, fundraising, and feline socialization. In addition, Heckman was also involved with trap-neuter-release efforts in New Haven, CT. Dr. Heckman would then use her research background in PETA's Corporate Affairs Department, supporting the animal welfare movement with hard science.

Dr. Heckman was born in Indiana and received her Bachelor of Science in population biology from Purdue University and doctorate in evolutionary biology from Northwestern University.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness is when all animals are treated humanely -- of course, starting with the end of needless euthanasia as a product of companion animal overpopulation.

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Influence Positively Interview - Lizzie Mead

Lizzie Mead was born in 1973 and raised in Tucson, AZ. She has quirky parents (Lloyd and Alicia Mead) who own a motel on the wrong side of the tracks where there are many at-risk animals..and they pretty much run a cat rescue on the property. Her mom raised her with a love for all critters and instilled in her a desire to help animals in need. Her dad is the voice of reason and taught her to not have 20 foster animals at a time.

Silver Sea Jewelry has been open since 1993 in Tucson, AZ Lizzie takes great joy in being self-employed, even if she'll never be rich. She volunteers with assorted animal rescue groups, and is a "Beading Diva" a group which raises money for animal rescue groups with beautiful handcrafted bracelets. Lizzie is an animal welfare advocate for dogs, and her life goal is to see the end of racing in the state of Arizona and one day, across the country. She also works with homeless and at risk youth in her area, helps them with their dogs, and mentors kids transitioning off the streets into homelife. For Lizzie, life got much sweeter once that life went to the dogs.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? My perfect idea of happiness is a balanced life in which I get to spend much time with my furry children, have awesome relationships with family and friends, help others and the animal kingdom, and successfully run my little jewelry business that I love. A bonus is a little quality time lounging on my porch in front of my orange house. Most of this I already get to do! That's fun!

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Meet Kyla! She Shares Basic Writing and Communication Tips at BlogPaws 2011



Kyla Duffy, Founder and Co-Editor of Happy Tails Books. Kyla fell in love with dogs after becoming an emergency foster for a Boston Terrier with kennel cough. She lives in Boulder, CO with her husband, two rescue kitties, ex-puppy mill breeder Bill, and a perpetual stream of foster dogs. She enjoys rehabilitating the tough cases, and helps them build up muscle and confidence on long hikes through the beautiful Colorado Front Range

Get to know Kyla Duffy before BlogPaws 2011 by reading Kyla's February Influence Positively Interview. She will be at BlogPaws on August 25-27, in Tyson's Corner. Kyla will be leading a session called..

You Said What!?!! Basic Writing and Communication

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Influence Positively Interview - Brett Chisholm

Professional photographer and lifetime animal lover, Brett Chisholm, is dedicated to combating the animal overpopulation crisis sweeping the country. To help educate and provide free and low-cost community resources, Brett gives his time and creativity to support Texas-based nonprofit SNAP (Spay-Neuter Assistance Program, Inc.). In 2006, Brett founded SNAPshots, an annual fashion fundraiser for SNAP that has successfully helped raise funds and awareness for the group, while becoming a must-attend event in Houston.

In 2010, Brett working with SNAP created Collars For A Cause, a new fundraising initiative involving one-of-a-kind dog and cat collars designed by artists, celebrities, fashion designers and more, all with the goal of increasing awareness and funds to end the cycle of animal overpopulation. At the same time, Brett followed his dreams and launched LIFE+DOG Magazine, a monthly publication celebrating "Modern Living with Man's Best Friend". As a dog lover and the Publisher of LIFE+DOG Magazine, Brett gives a fresh view of trends, products and individuals making a difference in their communities.


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Meet Bev! She's Teaching a How to Make a Flat Pet Workshop at BlogPaws 2011


Bev’s obsession is no more homeless pets. Bev VanZant (aka PetCareBev) started with The Iams Company in Consumer Relations in 1995. Her “office” is Twitter, her blog, Facebook, and any other pet-oriented online community where pet people gather. From October into the New Year, Bev devotes her “office hours” to Iams Home 4 the Holidays.

Get to know Bev Van Zant from our December 2010 Influence Positively interview. She will be at BlogPaws on August 25-27, in Tyson's Corner. Did you already reserve your spot for her cool workshop? Limited space!

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Influence Positively Interview - Heidi Ganahl


Heidi Ganahl is one of the country’s most extraordinary, respected and in demand women entrepreneurs. Heidi has triumphed over staggering adversity. Beginning with the loss of her husband at the age of 27, to losing a million-dollar insurance settlement, Heidi’s entrepreneurial spirit and extraordinary leadership skills have helped her pick herself up and emerge as a Top Dog of Camp Bow Wow, the $40 million leader in the pet and franchise industry.

Since starting Camp Bow Wow in 2000, Heidi has been able to realize her dream of creating a nonprofit organization, The Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, which promotes the health of pups, ending overpopulation and the inhumane treatment of animals worldwide. "The lessons I’ve learned over the years fill my presentations – keep in mind that the world is your field of tennis balls and pile of sticks to fetch if you just put your nose to the ground and go after them! Tragedy, loss and misfortune can all be used to learn the lessons you will need to get past your fear and become a great leader or entrepreneur. So let’s play ball!"

Heidi enjoys hiking, traveling and working on various charitable causes including her board positions with the Denver Venture School (, the Metro State Center for Innovation ( and the University of Colorado at Boulder Leed’s School of Business. "My devotion to the importance of education and animal welfare issues keeps me busy!"

If you are headed to BlogPaws 2011 - like we are - Heidi will be a Saturday keynote speaker. We're honored and thrilled that she took time to join our interview series ahead of the conference!

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Influence Positively Interview - Laura Welch

Laura-Welch-SNAP Laura Welch joined the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP) in January 2006. Previously she was a co-founder and executive director of PAWS Houston, a non-profit organization. She created the mission and developed the infrastructure of PAWS Houston which was formed to help keep terminally ill patients together with their animals as long as possible. Prior to that position, Laura worked for the Greater Houston Partnership coordinating the annual major campaign, golf tournament and other major events. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and volunteers for many organizations including The Rose Foundation, American Brain Tumor Association and various animal organizations. Laura has served on the Pet Patrol Board of Directors and Women’s Home Auxiliary Board. She was a presenter at the Human-Animal Bond World Conference 2005 and at the National Spay-Neuter Conference in 2006.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness is when a dog I have pulled from the shelter, treated for sickness, socialized, etc., finds a wonderful new home. I love seeing the sick, scared dog blossom after receiving love, good nutrition and veterinary care. When I get a note from the animal’s new family saying how much they love the dog, I know that both the people and the dog are making each other’s lives better. Knowing that I helped save that one dog truly helps when I hear of all the other dogs and cats that are euthanized because they could not find a home.

Also, perfect happiness is knowing that I get to come to work every day and do something to help the animals and that I get to work with amazing people that are passionate about making a difference. I am truly happy to go to work everyday.

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Influence Positively Interview - Annie Brody

Annie-Brody Annie Brody founded Camp Unleashed in 2004 after successful careers in book publishing and environmental education. She has a B.S. from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University where she studied initially with the goal of becoming a veterinarian.

Dogs have been her greatest passion since 1993 when she adopted her first dog from the NYC ASPCA--a lost golden retriever, whom she named Hero--and embarked on her ongoing journey to understand the extraordinary nature of the human-dog relationship.

In 1999 she moved from Manhattan to upstate New York so that Hero could live a more natural life including being able to run free off leash and so that Annie could invite more dogs to live with them. The delight she and Hero experienced inspired her to start Camp Unleashed so that other dogs and people would have a safe natural place to go to be together, without leashes!

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I love an early morning walk through the woods with my dogs, ending up in a pond for them to swim in. Perfection would be having someone else to wash them off afterwards.

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Influence Positively Interview - Lisa Spector

Lisa_sanchez_pianist Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. By combining her passion for music with her love of dogs, she co-created Through a Dog’s Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to relieve anxiety issues in dogs. Lisa is the pianist on the Through a Dog’s Ear music series.

As a lifetime dog-lover, Lisa has served as a puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind and is actively involved in agility and musical canine freestyle. A co-founder of BioAcoustic Research & Development, Lisa held a principal role in the groundbreaking music and canine research conducted with 150 dogs in 2004-06. She is a pet blogger for, an online community of over 16 million members making a difference in animal welfare and the lives of pets, and her blogs have been seen on the front page of Digg. She also is an expert guest blogger on and DogStarDaily. Expanding on her desire to improve the lives of dogs and their people, she recently took on a position of local director for Camp Unleashed in California. 

As a concert pianist, Lisa has won first prizes in prestigious national piano competitions and has performed in China, Poland, Spain, France, Italy and throughout the U.S. She shares her home and her heart with Sanchez and Gina, both career change Labradors from Guide Dogs for the Blind.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Any activity in which I am truly 100% in the present moment, enjoying life. Whether I’m dancing in a Zumba class, playing the piano, hiking with my dogs, in agility practice or a class, or attending a fabulous symphony concert, if I’m present, it is perfect happiness. That’s one of the things I continually learn from my dogs, as they are masters at living in the present moment.

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Influence Positively Interviews: Dog Trainers Edition

Do you know a dog trainer who is amazing? Tell us! We found many that have previously been highlighted in our Influence Positively Interviews. Today we're highlighting five of our favorites. They are each very different yet clearly share one thing in common, their respect for dogs. They have different training focuses like Dee whose speciality is diabetic alert dogs or Zak whose brilliant at getting your dog to jump through hooped arms.

Simple questions we can all answer. This interview series shares the common qualities we can recognize within ourselves. What is your idea of perfect happiness? If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? What is your pets most treasured possession? Your proudest achievement so far? Who are your heroes in real life?


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Influence Positively Interview - Janice Wolf

Janice-Wolf-Rocky-Ridge-Refuge Janice Wolf has been rescuing, rehabbing, studying and advocating for animals for over 50 years. She has been a Veterinary Tech., dog trainer, and kennel manager among her work experiences, and has cared for a large variety of creatures, including wildlife, domestic and exotic species. 20 years ago her dream of a sanctuary slowly began to take shape in the hills of Arkansas. A place where injured and ill animals of many types could heal, and where special needs animals could often find a permanent loving environment. Rocky Ridge Refuge has been home to everything from Antelope, a Zebra, and a Watusi, to the current Capybara , Water Buffalo and baby Emu. Also, plenty of dogs - 26 right now, of which 16 or so are 'keepers' and the rest being readied for adoption.

Janice also has implemented 'Pet Therapy' programs in many locales around the country, and presently heads a group she started called 'Paws for Comfort'. She believes animals have a unique ability to affect the heart and emotions and sharing her furry and feathered friends with others has long been an activity she finds time for. One of her greatest joys is photographing her multi-species family as they interact day to day and sharing those photos on her Facebook Fan page (rocky ridge refuge). She has been urged by many to publish a book of these images and she is exploring that possibility now. She also plans a book of the stories from the Refuge, the individual tales of many of her rescues and the often miraculous recoveries she has played a part in. She uses a combination of conventional and alternative treatments in her healing efforts and always a large dose of love. Animals don't care how much you know, they need to know how much you care.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? A perfect day is one in which I have made some positive impact in another life: person or critter! Whether through acts of healing, comforting, teaching, or sharing joy on any level, any giving I can do is really a gift back to me.

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Influence Positively Interview - Shreve Stockton


Shreve Stockton is a writer and photographer living in Wyoming. She is the author of two books: Eating Gluten Free and The Daily Coyote and the creator of three blogs: Vespa Vagabond, The Daily Coyote, and Honey Rock Dawn.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Knowing, each moment, that I have such freedom, that I have love around me, that there is so much still to explore.

If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? I would say a cat. I'm independent, though I can be demanding at times - those are rather cat-like traits, no? And I'd love to be able to move like a cat. I love the way they move.

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Influence Positively Interview - Dr Tiffany Bierer

Tiffany Bierer Mars PEDIGREE

Tiffany Bierer is manager of health sciences and nutrition in the research and development group for Mars Petcare US, headquartered in Franklin, Tenn. In this position, she is responsible for providing nutritional expertise for all the pet food brands at the U.S. operations of the world’s largest petcare company.  

Dr. Bierer’s focus in her current role includes driving nutritional innovation for all of Mars Petcare US’ pet food brands, which include PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs, CESAR® Brand Canine Cuisine, WHISKAS® Brand Food for Cats, THE GOODLIFE RECIPE® Brand and Exclusive Brands private label pet food. She also provides nutritional direction for Mars Petcare’s dog food brands globally, including PEDIGREE®, the number one dog food brand in the U.S. and the world.  

During her 15 years with the company, Dr. Bierer has produced several publications and presented many studies that include the use of diets containing green-lipped mussel to manage arthritis symptoms, the use of high protein diets to promote weight loss, and oral biometrics and the improvement of oral health through diet in dogs and cats.  She also holds several patents and has been a global internal Mars “Make the Difference” award winner.

Dr. Bierer received her bachelor’s degree in animal sciences from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana and doctorate degree in food sciences with an emphasis in nutritional biochemistry from there as well. Her thesis work focused on carotenoid metabolism.

Dr. Bierer lives in Nashville, Tenn. along with her two cats, Coconut and Cricket. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I have two cats at home and one of my cats, Coconut, loves to cuddle up to me every morning before I get up.  He comes running up to the head of my bed and plops down with his front legs around my neck and his cheek against mine and purrs and snoozes with me until it’s time to get up.  Just a little bit of perfect happiness for both of us to start each day!

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Influence Positively Interview - Aimee Gilbreath

Aimee Gilbreath Found Animals and Rufus

Aimee Gilbreath received a full scholarship to attend the University of Arizona, where she earned her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology, graduating summa cum laude in 1996. She began a career in biotechnology and was hired by Motorola Corporation’s R&D division; after spending four years in the laboratory researching single nucleotide polymorphisms, Aimee returned to school and earned her MBA at Stanford University.  Upon graduation in 2002 she was hired by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a management strategy consulting firm that works with Fortune 500 companies to solve complex business issues.

 In an effort to introduce balance and service into her busy business career, Aimee began volunteering for a local animal rescue group when she moved to Los Angeles in 2004. This was her introduction to the issues of pet overpopulation and shelter euthanasia. And, this was where Aimee fell in love with one of the most popular yet misunderstood breeds of dog, the pit bull.  She eventually adopted a “pittie” of her own – Rufus – who is now six years old.

Rufus inspired Aimee to return to her first love – animals – and led her to take the position she holds today.  In March 2008, Aimee joined Found Animals® as the Executive Director and first employee.  Now, rather than tackling post merger integrations, she is managing a social entrepreneurship startup and applying her business skills to the creation and development of sustainable business models within animal welfare.  

What is your idea of perfect happiness? My idea of perfect happiness is to always be working on a project that is meaningful and challenging, with a great team of collaborators, while surrounded by amazing friends and family.  And of course, there have to be at least a few dogs, cats, guinea pigs, or horses helping to “supervise” the whole operation.

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