Who We Are
I have been the Director of Fundraising for New Leash on Life since 2008, and have recently taken over many of the business-related tasks associated with the rescue. I have also served on the transfer team (evaluating and selecting dogs at the pound) and as an adoption counselor. In my real life, I am an attorney primarily focusing my practice on representing plaintiffs in pharmaceutical antitrust and consumer protection class actions. I have an awesome toddler (with another one on the way!) and wonderful husband who has also become a de facto member of the New Leash family by helping out as much as he can.
I first got involved with New Leash in 2006 when looking to adopt my first dog. I started by volunteering at adoption events hoping to meet my match, and quickly adopted a rottie mix named Wanda. She is now about 9-10 years old and as spunky as ever! I continued volunteering for NLOL, becoming more and more involved along the way. While it’s really hard juggling a career, motherhood, and life, I just can’t imagine a life without New Leash. Seeing first hand how many incredible dogs are at the pound, and knowing how few of them will make it out alive, will forever motivate me to continue doing as much as I can to save as many lives as possible.
I started in rescue when I moved to Chicago having never owned or cared for a dog in my life. I was living with family members and when one of their beloved dogs passed shortly after my arrival, we started fostering with NLOL. I wasn’t working so my days home were helping take care of our foster dog that had extremely high separation anxiety. During this time, Lydia and Megan (representatives from NLOL) would visit and come by with helpful tips and information on things we could do to help ease the dog’s anxiety. They then asked me if I wanted to become further involved and join the Adoption Counselor training that was happening. Joining NLOL has opened up a world to dogs and people I never knew existed.
Since 2011 I have worked as an Adoption Counselor, Foster Coordinator, Intake Director, and Medical Director.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead
Like most new adopters, I started my journey with NLOL while we just cruising Petfinder, thinking of adding to our family. After searching far and wide in Chicago, we found NLOL-and even though our first pick was already taken, we were so impressed with the organization that we stayed with them throughout our search. After a few months, they found our perfect match in a trouble maker of a mixed pup named Lily-and I discovered the perfect organization to volunteer with. From training to volunteering, I am at home with the people and dogs of NLOL. Since 2007, I have been lucky to be a foster parent (10+ times), a proud adoption counselor, an events coordinator, fundraising champion, intake, and a volunteer trainer.
Recently, our expanding family relocated to Indiana, so most of the work I do now is via email and phone-responding to requests, brainstorming how to raise more money and talking about how to save more homeless dogs. This is the most challenging and rewarding ‘job’ I have ever had- and I wouldn’t change a thing. I am so proud of the work we do at NLOL and am eagerly looking forward to the time when there are no more homeless dogs-only happy ones. Join us!
Jacki is passionate about making a difference in what ever arena that may be, big or small. That passion, coupled with her love of dogs, especially the underdog led her directly to New Leash on Life. It was a perfect fit for her.
She began volunteering with NLOL in 2009 and made the leap to Adoption Counselor in 2013. Having grown up with dogs her whole life, she started her first rescue organization when she was 8-years-old, her first rescues...a cricket, a toad and a handful of worms.
When she is not hanging with the New Leash pooches, she can be found navigating Chicago on bike, visiting various ER rooms across the city, playing volleyball on the beach, hanging with her feline babies Churchill and Milo or spending time gardening. If Jacki ever won the lottery, she would definitely build an animal sanctuary. Elves and gnomes are welcome.
Amy got involved in animal rescue as a child, often freeing critters caught in traps and learning everything about factory farming. (She once gave a presentation to her family in their living room about sausage casing.) A long-time vegan, Amy is passionate about animal rights and sees dog rescue as an extension of that. She's volunteered with Tree House Humane Society, Lost Dogs IL and now NLOL. Amy is obsessed with her two rescue dogs, Nico and Punky. She plans to one day open a Chihuahua rescue and sanctuary.
I am a radiology technologist in Chicago. I came across NLOL while looking for dog rescues to volunteer for on Yelp. They had such great reviews that I had to join. I adopted Janice after meeting her on my second event. I became a Adoption Counselor in 2013. I have met some great new friends and pups in the last 3 years and am so very happy to be part of the NLOL team! In my spare time, I enjoy participating in 5k's during the warmer months and cheering on the Blackhawks!
Who doesn't love puppy hugs and kisses? Well that is only one of 1,000 reasons why I choose to volunteer for a New Leash on Life. After rescuing my dog Baxter from NLOL in 2006, I knew at some point in my life I would be back again to lend a hand in saving more dogs. My favorite parts? Freedom ride pictures and happy ending posts!
When I'm not looking at animal videos on youtube or sharing NLOL posts on my facebook page, I work as a Marketing Operations Director for a company in the suburbs. In my spare time I like to run, go to hot yoga classes, attend concerts at sketchy venues, overshare on social media and spend time wandering Chicago discovering new places.
After losing our precious beagle/lab mix Chloe after 14 years I vowed to adopt an unwanted shelter dog to honor her memory. I searched and found a pup named Vera on New Leash on Life's website in 2005. Reading her heartwarming story, and looking into those big brown eyes. I knew Vera was the one.
Adopting Vera gave us such great Joy. We wanted to help more so we fostered an adorable pup named Clive with nlol. Well, we finalized his adoption shortly after. I quickly realized there were so many amazing shelter dogs. How can this be? How can I help more? When the opportunity arose to become a bigger part in saving more dogs from a life of unhappiness I jumped at the chance.
Being an adoption coordinator with Nlol has given me such insight on the horrible heartbreaking conditions we are rescuing these pups from. Seeing the smiles on the pups faces after being rescued from their unfortunate past lives and giving them a chance for a better future and uniting them with their forever families is more rewarding than any other accomplishment I have achieved in life. I am proud to be a part of the New leash family. And I look forward to all the work there is left for us to do in spreading the good word of adopting a shelter dog!
My first job, as a high school kid, was working at my dad's animal hospital in Oklahoma, but I can remember "helping" at the office as young as 6. Once I made the switch from working with animals to working with humans I knew I'd need to get my fix somewhere. Enter New Leash...after researching rescue groups in Chicago area I really liked the feel and philosophy of NLOL and filled out a volunteer application for my husband and I to help out at adoptionevents.
We had a blast playing with "our" dogs at the first adoption event we attended, and fell even more in love with the wonderful people of New Leash. So we did the natural thing and decided to foster, which led to volunteering as an adoption counselor too.
So now I spend much of my free time transporting pups, socializing our foster dogs, introducing dogs to their future families, and explaining to neighbors we don't actually have 6 dogs, they are just seeing our fosters! When I'm not playing with New Leash dogs, I'm usually hanging out with our dogs, knitting, or sampling all the wonderful beer Chicago has to offer (or doing all three at once).