Our Team Members

Featured Team Member:

Dashawn, Veterinary Assistant Intern

Joined IHA: Summer 2019

I went to Jamaica often as a kid. In Jamaica there is a large population of stray dogs. I’ve always wanted to take care of these dogs, especially the puppies, since there was no interest from the public to interact with them. I learned that once these dogs were fed, they became your friend, so I did this often and found out I wanted to continue helping animals. This desire to work with animals grew even more when the summers would end and I would go back to New York, where I didn’t own pets due to apartment rules and didn’t really see them much in the Bronx.

IHA was my first introduction to the non-profit world of animal health care. I find it very rewarding to provide these services to the public while also making sure that we aren’t breaking their wallet. It’s nice to see how much IHA cares and goes out of their way to provide these services to shelters all across Eastern Iowa, picking up animals and then returning them back spayed/neutered. They go the extra mile!

I feel like my experience on Cornell College’s block plan made me a good fit for this position. At Cornell, you dive in and focus on one subject. I would compare the training at IHA to learning on the block plan because I wasn’t doing everything at once, I focused on one aspect until I was comfortable, and then moved on to the next. My favorite part of my position is meeting all the animals!! Especially the really friendly ones. They all have different personalities, so no day is the same at IHA. Also, the team I work with makes this an enjoyable experience as well. Everyone is caring, considerate, and are actually interested in what you’ve done over the weekend or long-term goals you have.

Alyssa, Veterinary Assistant

Joined IHA: August 2018

By working at IHA, I can help give more animals a chance at a safer and longer life by being part of a medical team providing spay and neuter surgeries. In my future, I hope to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, to be able to perform the actual surgeries and further help animals and their owners by providing an affordable veterinary option for their medical needs. My favorite part of the job is the well-rounded, proactive team I work with because that is the foundation of a successful clinic. I’ve lived my life at an efficient pace, practicing delegation and time management, so I’m lucky to work in a place where I absolutely must use both.

In my picture is one of the most fun and expressive cats I’ve owned, Winston. He will respond to his name, run back and forth across our home at full speed and BEG for any sort of food. He’s been a delight through our stressful years in college and we’re so thankful to be a part of his life.

Ashley, Veterinary AssistantAshley

 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.

Carrie, Veterinary Assistantcarrie

 Joined IHA: October 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.

Katie, Veterinary Assistant

Joined IHA: Summer 2017, 2018, and 2019

I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with animals in some capacity but wasn’t sure how. My goal now is to become a veterinarian (I start veterinarian school this Fall!), so Iowa Humane Alliance provides great experience. IHA provides a much needed service to the community through reducing the number of breeding animals in Eastern Iowa. While I truly love every part of my job, I especially love seeing an entire litter coming in together when they are reunited from various foster/adoptive homes for their spay and neuter appointments.

I am pictured with Molly (chocolate lab) and Sparki (terrier mix). Sparki showed up on our doorstep nearly 10 years ago and never left! I showed her for several years in 4-H Dog Shows, while she tolerated obedience classes, she loved agility! Molly is missing a hind leg due to cancer, but gets around just fine and has been cancer free for a year and a half!

Jennifer, Staff VeterinarianJennifer

 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.

Learn more about Dr. Doll here.

Kathleen, Development DirectorKathleen

 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.

Lori, Office ManagerLori

 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.

Sam, Program CoordinatorSam

 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.

Shelby, Veterinary TechnicianShelby

 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.

Stacy, Executive DirectorStacy Dykema

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.

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).

Want to join our team?