Alexa, Office Assistant
Joined IHA: October 2015
Iowa Humane Alliance provided resources for me and my partner years ago, shortly after the IHA clinic opened. We were in Cedar Falls and we didn’t have many options for affordable spay/neuter surgeries in the area. We had been desperately looking, all the while more kittens were being born and showing up to our place way too skinny or pregnant. Thanks to IHA, we could get several fixed and it stopped our kitten issue. That is, until another mom showed up, but we finally had a place to go. The experience showed me that there was definitely a pet overpopulation problem, but I also knew I found an answer.
I have always liked animals, but I didn’t have much animal experience as a kid. My family had animals on occasion, mostly because my big brother would find a dog on his last chance at the shelter and rescue them. That was my first glimpse into the rescue world and taking care of animals. Then when I met my partner, several cats found us and we took on rescuing, TNR, and then some. We have hopes of starting our own non-profit animal rescue and funding it through scrapping metal.
I enjoy most things about my job because I know I am helping animals and people, even if I’m not directly helping them. I work with some of the best people too. If I had to pick, my favorite part, it’s doing check out and getting to see animals returned to their family knowing they’re going to be healthier. The people are excited and the animals, if not still a little sleepy, are excited too. It is a great, special moment to witness and I am happy to be able to see it most days of the week. I also really enjoy getting to check on the sweet pups and kitties after their surgery.
I am the assistant in the office. I mostly answer phone and work in the front end, but I do a bit of everything and I enjoy getting an array of things to do. I like learning new things! I also like to be creative and I have opportunities to do so making fliers and posting on Facebook. This job provides the ability to see animals and help them as well as the ability to help people. As one client put it, “I can tell you really enjoy helping people”, and I truly do. Many are in situations that I once faced and I want to do what I can. I love working where we don’t judge people because we know it is more important to help.
In the photo, you will see a younger me and my 1st kitty, Tigger. He was an odd ball cat and he is sorely missed. He was a lover and great with cuddles!
Jennifer Doll, DMV
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 Dykema, 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.
Sam Wilson, Program Coordinator, Joined IHA: May 2015