Kathy Stolzenburg with a dog on a beachKathy Stolzenburg, Gift Planner, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast regions

Before ever learning of Best Friends' amazing work on behalf of homeless animals, I had begun my own personal campaign for “saving them all.” During part of my 13-year career with The Nature Conservancy, in my spare time, I nursed injured wildlife at home and later rescued cats in need in our neighborhood. Yet still, I knew very little of Best Friends, whose mission so closely mirrored my own. But then a certain dog came into my life.

In the spring of 2012, my husband went out for what was supposed to have been just another morning run. Shortly after he left the house, I received a call that he had found an injured puppy abandoned on the trail. That dog, Towpath (with me in the photo), brought us firmly and forever into the world of animal welfare, and we've never looked back. Come to find out, my in-laws had visited and volunteered at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. And in 2016, we accompanied them for another tour, whereupon witnessing the canyon's magic up close, I said to myself, “One day I am going to work with this team.” Well, that day arrived in May of 2019 when I was lucky enough to join Best Friends as an employee.

I now live in Fort Myers, Florida, with Will, my husband (and natural history writer), our dogs Towpath and Missy, and six indoor cats — all of them rescued, of course.