Val, Administrative Assistant
Joined IHA: March 2018
My passion for animals started at a very young age. I’ve always grown up around dogs and felt a strong connection to them. I knew wherever my career took me it would involve animals in some way or another. When I came across the opportunity to work for Iowa Humane Alliance, I didn’t think twice. I knew this would be an amazing opportunity. I believe so strongly in the IHA mission statement and to share a common dedication with everyone who works here is so rewarding. I love that every day is different. Our clients are amazing and to meet so many wonderful pet parents who are very appreciative of what we do is one of my favorite parts of the job. I knew a career with IHA would be a perfect fit for me. I have a background in office management and event planning along with multiple years of dog care and volunteer work with our local animal rescue organizations. I’ve worked with all types of animals and currently have 2 cats (Meows and Steve), and 8 year old pit bull (Bella, pictured with me) and 2 ball pythons (Marvin and Lilly).
Carrie, Veterinary Assistant
Joined IHA: Oct 2017
Growing up in the country I was surrounded by cattle and horses, and we had a dog and some barn cats. I always loved caring for them and learning as much as I could. I came to work at a pet store and had to answer or help assist in solving so many different situations that pet parents would find themselves in. We had two vet technicians and several associates that had been working with animals of all kinds for so long that they seemed to have an answer for everything. I loved listening to them and learning the tricks and hints they had found. I was also required to help in the grooming salon attached to the store, and it was there that I learned about calming stressed animals and being able to react without affecting the animals while keeping everyone safe. They started requesting my help more frequently because of my calm and positive demeanor. There was also units for adoptable cats and I would interact with the different volunteers from various shelters and would hear about how overrun they were and how so many still needed help.
Dr. Arensdorf, Assoc. Veternarian
Joined IHA: May 2016
I joined IHA as an associate veterinarian in 2014. I graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. My past experience is in private small animal practice in Moline, Illinois and Cedar Rapids. The best part about working at IHA is that instead of the employees only working toward individual goals, we are all working together as a team to end pet overpopulation. I also enjoy making feral cats healthier by spaying/neutering and vaccinating them; especially knowing that this may be their only chance to receive veterinary care.
Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a veterinarian. I was unable to have cats as a kid due to allergies in the family, but a friendly old neighborhood tabby named Candy “adopted” me and I fell in love! Ever since then, I knew I wanted to be the one to be able to help sick cats and dogs.
I am pictured with my 13 year old cat, Denny. I bottle fed Denny and the rest of his litter after a passerby witnessed Denny’s mom get hit by a car and killed. I know that my work here will help prevent many litters from being born in similar situations and I feel lucky to be part of IHA.
Ashley, Veterinary Assistant
Joined IHA: May 2016
I have always had a love for animals, and I got that trait from my dad. I grew up on a beef farm, where I would help him with chores over the years. It was always a family affair, and we would all help with sorting cattle or feeding all the bottle calves (which was my favorite). He is a great caretaker of the land and his cattle, but what really resonated with me was his passion for his herd. He would spend countless hours with them making sure they were healthy, and would go to great lengths for their care if needed. My dad instilled many traits in me; including his work ethic, passion, dedication, and respect for his animals. He is one of the many reasons as to why I work with animals.
Sam, Program Coordinator
Joined IHA: May 2015
I love all animals, feathered, scaled, and furry, and was taught to respect all life at a very young age. Growing up, my family pets were my companions and my best friends. I knew early on that I wanted to spend my life helping the creatures I loved. Like many other children, I was going to grow up to be a veterinarian. That direction changed gradually through my education and experience, which lead me to Iowa Humane Alliance (IHA).
I am pictured with Molly, my 9 ½ year old Newfoundland. I adopted Molly from Cedar Valley Humane Society. I had never adopted a senior dog before, but I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. I knew we needed each other and so nearly a week later, I brought her home. She was instantly part of our family. She has been simply a joy, and has even helped our cats become less afraid of large dogs! I am so grateful that we found each other.
Sarah, Veterinary Assistant
Joined IHA: February 2017
I love my job at IHA. I first heard about them when we found our calico kitty Tasha and were looking for an affordable place to get her spayed. I found out that they were able to offer a lower price than most clinics since spay and neuter is all they do, and since they are a non-profit organization.
In the picture with me is our Tasha. My daughter and I found her nearly starved outside our apartment building a couple of years ago. She is one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever known.
Jennifer, Staff Veterinarian
Joined IHA: January 2013
Growing up I always had an affinity for animals. I LOVED doing chores and getting messy, much better than housework, which my older sister was stuck doing. I was attached to the cats and dogs, and their babies. I can’t explain why I am drawn to animals. I can go all week working with them, but end up seeing a dog at someone’s house and insisting on saying hi or petting him. Animals are honest. I appreciate that. I love pretty much any animal.
My favorite part of my job is knowing the more wild, or barn cats, will be healthier at this same time next year. When I had the mobile unit I loved seeing the crazy, scrawny cats of the year before, now much mellower and thriving.
There are many things which prepared me for my role at IHA. I already did regular private practice Veterinary medicine for 8 years outside Seattle, WA. I also have done years of work at shelters where euthanasia of healthy animals happened almost daily during the heavy puppy and kitten season. I was part of it at one shelter, euthanizing a mom cat, then her kittens, broke my heart. That is when I decided I would do what I could to make euthanasia of healthy animals unnecessary.
Lisa, Veterinary Assistant
Joined IHA: January 2013
I have loved animals for as long as I can remember. When I was young, I was very shy and quiet. I found animals much safer and easier to be with than people.
I remember going to friends’ farms and seeing all the kittens…most of them sickly and thin. It made me so sad and frustrated. Wasn’t there some way to prevent this suffering? There was…spay and neuter. Then about 5 years ago, I agreed to foster and bottle feed some newborn orphaned kittens from a friend’s farm. I thought, “No problem, I’ll find homes for them. They are adorable kittens!” That’s when the reality of overpopulation became obvious to me. No one wanted a kitten. Why? Because there were kittens everywhere! The shelters were overflowing, strays were everywhere. So now I have the foster kittens that I wasn’t sure I could find homes for. One of them is Georgia (who is pictured with me). I love them very much, but they were a huge reason I reawakened my passion to try and do something about pet overpopulation and suffering.
Lori, Office Manager
Joined IHA: October 2014
I like all aspects of my job with IHA, from entering animals, to invoicing the animals to the phone appointments.
I enjoy working with people to help them get their pets spayed, neutered and vaccinated and to see the smile on their face knowing that their pet will be healthy. I love working with animals and with clients to give them an understanding of vaccinations and the importance of spaying and neutering their animals to keep them healthy.
Shelby, Veterinary Technician
Joined IHA: July 2015
My favorite part about my job is knowing that we are able improve the quality of so many animal’s lives through spaying and neutering. It is an amazing feeling to be a part of a hardworking team that is able to make such a big impact for animals in our community as well as the communities that we are able to reach out to.
Kathleen, Development Director
Joined IHA: September 2011
There are so many reasons why I LOVE working at IHA! Our work here is making a positive impact for animal welfare in the community and it is extremely rewarding to be able to actually have solutions to offer animals and their people. Every day I work for the thing that I am most passionate about! My days are rich and full.
Stacy, Executive Director
Joined IHA: January 2013
During my career in animal welfare, I had worked at two municipal shelters and saw the full spectrum of animal care. I held the role of veterinarian technician, volunteer coordinator, humane investigations officer, adoption counselor, natural disaster rescuer, and cared for thousands of cats and dogs.
I was working in Upstate New York when Mary phoned and asked me to come work at Iowa Humane Alliance. Mary said that the clinic was scheduled to open in 8 weeks and that 5,000 surgeries would be performed in the first year. I thought, WOW, how amazing. I did a little research on high quality, high volume, low cost spay/neuter clinics and everything suddenly became so clear. Somewhere around 12,000 surgeries performed, I became the Director of Clinic Operations. Currently I am the Executive Director of IHA, overseeing all—and we’re just over 31,000 operations.