“People should know that this organization is full of people who truly care.” – Bre Wasinger, volunteer services manager
A couple of weeks ago we were short staffed so I jumped in to give a hand and found myself treading water in the controlled chaos that is morning check in.
Normally admin staff like me don’t help in that way because we can be more trouble than we’re worth. I believe the correct description would be: clumsy. But I had some other folks helping so it went pretty darn smoothly. And I have to say, it’s actually a ton of fun. You’re greeting clients, helping their pets get back into kennels, chatting with people about their pets, and answering questions. Lots and lots of questions.
Some of the questions made me realize that our clients want to know about us just as much as we want to know about them. So that inspired this … a little bit more about a few staff members from around SNKC.
Bre is our volunteer coordinator and keeps the wonderful volunteers engaged and fulfilled as they work with us to make sure pets and people can stay together.
“I wanted to work here because I love animals,” says Bre. “I worked in a vet clinic when I was in high school and loved the feeling I got being able to help animals and see veterinary care in action, so I was looking for a job similar to that which would be meaningful as well as fun. While I was going though the interview process, I met some of the staff and saw how well they worked together, and it made me want to work here that much more.”
When Bre isn’t working at SNKC, she likes to read, work on her ukelele skills, and join her husband, Gabe, enjoying time with their cats, Manny and Isis.
Dr. Jess Nichols
Dr. Nichols is a San Diego native who spent her youth on the beach. (Hey doc, you know there aren’t any beaches here, right?)
Despite growing up in perfect weather, attending veterinary school in New Zealand for five years – which she says was beautiful and the best decision of her life – then moving back to private practice in San Diego, she says she loves Kansas City.
She also loves the work we do and it fits perfectly with where she wanted to be. “I wanted to work here because I felt like I could help so many pets and their families each day, she says. “I also wanted to give back to the community. That way so many animals and their families can get care when they might not have been able to before.”
Dr. Nichols was also inspired by SNKC staff, whom she calls “dedicated and great. Their patience and compassion for animals is the greatest I have ever seen,” she adds. “Since we are so specialized we get very good at what we do. Even though we are high volume we are still able to give special care to animals that need it. There is always a technician watching out while the patients are in surgery or recovery.”
When she’s not working, Dr. Nichols enjoys traveling, golfing and lounging in the sun. She shares her life with two dogs and a cat who thinks he’s a dog.
Isaac is our director of operations and organizational culture. Most days you’ll see him on the floor helping keep everything running smoothly and supporting staff who are working with clients.
Isaac got a degree in international business and spent time in the for profit world which, he says, helped him see that his passion and motivation is to help others and make a difference in the community.
“When I read SNKC’s mission and vision I clearly saw how my goals and personal values align with the purposes of the organization,” Isaac says. “I also saw how everyone in the organization works together toward a common goal.”
Isaac appreciates the opportunity he gets at SNKC “to help, educate, and improve the lives of pets and their families,” especially as a huge animal lover and proud pappa to a Siberian Husky named Ghost.
When he’s not working he spends time with his wife, Ashley, and 7-year-old son, Tristan, watching and playing soccer.
“I want people to know that the employees here work really hard every minute of every day all to help others, explains Rae. “I’ve never worked with so many compassionate, non-judgemental, hardworking people who truly care for others.”
Rae is an outreach support specialist here at SNKC and you’d be hard pressed to ever catch her without a smile or ready to take on any task that meant helping others. “This was a no brainer for me,” she says, “working in my neighborhood helping people and their pets.
Though Rae loves to travel every chance she gets, she’s a pretty darn big KC fan, and throws her support behind the Royals, Chiefs, and Sporting KC, attending as many games as she can.
“I was raised by parents who instilled in me the importance of kindness and compassion toward others,” she says. “If I can provide pet food to families, break down language barriers for our Spanish speaking clients, or simply help filling out a form, I’m fulfilling my days.”
Keeping Pets and People Together
That’s our mission. Because we know in our hearts that people are better for having animals in their lives and that, without a doubt, our pets feel and need the love we give them in return. It’s why we help over 25,000 dogs and cats with spay/neuter, vaccinations, food and supplies, owner education, and urgent care every year. We understand deep down that helping pets, helps people.