From the moment I arrived here just a few months ago, I could tell there was a level of commitment from the staff that wound itself around everything that was happening. Even during the tough days when chaos sifted like sand into every nook and cranny, there was the unspoken focus on doing the right thing for the people and pets who came through our door.
Watching the staff in action gave me an idea. How would people from different parts of the organization answer the same question? So I asked:
What’s it like to work here and why do you think it’s important?
Here are their answers:
Mel Wimpy, customer service specialist
I like working at SNKC because not only do I feel as though I am helping spread some good into the world, our team feels more like a family than co-workers.
There is something so rewarding about actively working with and helping your community, all the while, doing so with people you love and who care about that same mission.
A good day is knowing that KC’s loving pet owners are getting the care that they need for their furry friends, care that they may not have received without our doors being open. It’s being able to instill peace of mind in someone who isn’t sure how their pet will eat tonight. Being able to provide that kind of reassurance to even just one person is enough to remind me that what we do here is important. This is what SNKC is all about: love for our pets and our community.
Melanie Mabry, operational support specialist
I feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. When I leave each day I DO feel like I’ve made a difference. On good days there will be lots of smiles and thank you’s that remind me how important SNKC is to our community.
There is a need for our services in the our community and because of SNKC we are able to keep families together who otherwise may not have been able to stay whole.
Amanda Gatten, chief operating officer
I have experienced first-hand how difficult and heartbreaking it can be to feel like you can’t provide the quality-of-life that you would like for your pet based on financial limitations. I have also experienced first-hand how frustrating it can be to love your pet unconditionally, care for them the best you can, and for others to think that isn’t good enough. Our pets are a part of our family. I would do anything to ensure my pets receive the best care I can afford. Its nice to know that we, SNKC, can provide that care for thousands of pets in the Greater Kansas City area. We know the amount of money someone has plays no role in how much love their pet receives.
This is an incredible organization and I am so proud to be a part of the SNKC team! The work that we do is impactful, meaningful, and inspirational. I am reassured every day that what we do is critical for our community–we hear many stories of how our services are not only affordable but life-saving. Sometimes the smallest token, such as a leash, or a collar, or a small bag of food, makes such a big difference. Our greatest impact is our approach.We don’t just offer a service, we offer an experience and a life-long relationship with our clients. We want to know all that we can about each person’s individual situation so that we can assist them in whatever ways possible: spay/neuter, vaccinations, food, transport assistance, etc.
It is refreshing to work for an organization truly committed to their mission and their core values. There is a lot of pride in our accomplishments but also in our team. We strive to provide the tools and resources necessary for our staff and volunteers to be successful. We focus on innovative leadership, personal and professional growth, and cultivating our employees. Never have I worked in an environment such as this–transparent, progressive, and forward-focused. I feel lucky everyday that I have been given the opportunity to do what I do. There are so many rewarding aspects to my job: directly helping and empowering the pets and families in our community, heartening and developing our team of staff and volunteers, witnessing the positive outcomes of the animal-human bond.
Alicia Valenzuela, community engagement manager
I love to work here because as a young child, we never had the resources available like the ones SNKC has to offer. My family would’ve been an outreach client.
We went through an endless cycle of pets because we simply did not know what preventative measures we could do to help our pets, and even if we did, my family did not have the money either. So, SNKC and it’s mission holds a very special place in my heart. I love to be able to give back to the community by providing those essential resources that many families can’t afford. I love to educate clients, and see the ‘AHA!’ moments when they understand what I’m telling them, and how excited they get when they hear we offer those resources for either an extremely low-price or even, FREE.
I feel like what we are doing is important because we’re helping pets stay with their owners and keeping them off the streets. We still have so much work to do, but knowing we are helping families one day at a time is what keeps us going. Our team is so dedicated and passionate about what we do.
One of the parts I love most about my job is pick-up time. And not because that’s when it gets quiet around here. I actually really love to watch our clients be reunited with their pets after surgery. If we’re being really specific, it’s when I help with checkout and I’ve finished giving them post-care instructions and it’s time for me to go back into the surgery suite to get their pet. Watching their faces light up (both human and pet) as they see their loved one is absolutely my favorite! All the worry the parent had is washed away the second they see their pet! I go home every day and hug my babies the same way our clients hug theirs!
Kelsey Christopher, call center customer service specialist
I love working here because I’m proud of working here.
The longer answer is that the people who work here are hardworking and passionate. There’s always an upbeat attitude when I walk in, and even on the hard days, there are always smiles. For every difficult story, there’s an uplifting one about a pet, a person, a family we could help.
My job, in particular, is incredibly rewarding. Talking to people on the phone, getting to listen to the amazing diversity of our clients and their circumstances firsthand always astounds me. From people who can afford to take their pets anywhere, but choose to bring them here to support our cause, to people who sometimes have to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their pet, the wide array of people I talk to everyday is amazing. The only thing that’s the same about each one of them is how much they love their pets.
My favorite part of working here, by far, is the work itself, though. I talk to almost a hundred people a day, and that means that I help almost a hundred people a day. With spaying or neutering their pets, with vaccinating their pets, with drop-off or pick-up times, with sick or injured pets, or just getting the phone number for The Grooming Project next door, people know they can call us for help. The phone number for SNKC is synonymous with, “We care about you, we care about your pets, and we want to help you.” People call for so many reasons, and I pride myself, and our organization, in that we always have resources to give them. Even if we don’t, we’re always willing to try, searching for the information on our own, making sure that the client gets information from a source they trust.
I have never in my life worked somewhere where I was excited to tell people about it. My friends can recite most of our literature verbatim because I talk about it so much. My family carries business cards so they can hand them out; business cards with my extension scribbled on the back. I wear staff shirts to the grocery store after work and proudly show off our logo, our information, our mission.
I love working here because I’m proud of working here.