In July 2009, Kelsey Westbrook rescued a little red pit bull terrier who was thrown off an 80- foot bridge into the rushing waters of the Ohio River before the eyes of hundreds of restaurant patrons and park-goers in Louisville, Kentucky. Little did she know that saving this beautiful and exuberant pup, who she named Sunny, would spark a fire within her to begin advocating for the welfare and equal treatment of blockheaded dogs who embody the spirit and charisma of their true form, like Sunny herself.
In January 2010, Kelsey and Maureen Keenan, a lawyer, co-founded Saving Sunny, Inc., in Louisville to establish a program aiding law enforcement officers and the municipality in dealing with animal victims of criminal abuse and neglect, and those simply maligned because of their outward appearance. Their goal was to change the climate for pit bull terrier dogs and, in turn, create a more compassionate community for all dogs and their owners. Since then, Kelsey has handled the public education, communication, marketing and public relations components of Saving Sunny, Inc., as well as being a grant writer and co-strategist with Maureen.
Since 2014, Saving Sunny's focus has evolved into advocating for animals to stay in their first homes by assisting pet owners in low-income, underserved communities with basic resources needed to care for and keep their pets. Since May 2014, Kelsey has overseen Saving Sunny's Community Dog Resource Center (CDRC) in the impoverished neighborhood of Portland in Louisville, Kentucky. The CDRC's purpose is to keep loving families from having to surrender their pets to the shelter by providing free and low-cost food, medication, spay/neuter services, fencing, behavior support and more. Kelsey's "judgment-free zone" module has enabled Saving Sunny to form lasting relationships with target community members in a neighborhood once neglected by city outreach.
Kelsey is also a 10-year veteran of the beverage and spirits industry, and a freelance writer in the bourbon industry and for the Louisville Eccentric Order, an alternative weekly magazine.
Saturday, July 16, 2016
3:30 - 4:30 pm
Judgment-Free Zones: Building Relationships in Underserved Communities to Keep Dogs in Homes