Community Voices: Kay Oliver

Kayla Oliver
At Best Friends, we use our networks to introduce you to advocates like Kay Oliver who give back to pets and people in their community.
By Best Friends staff

Meet Kay Oliver, a dog trainer that calls herself a dog owner trainer. Her company name is TheGirlWhoSpeaksDog. She has been in the animal welfare industry for over 10 years, and it was while working for Lifeline Animal Project in Atlanta that she recognized her passion for the adoption of shelter dogs and building harmony between person and pet.

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

The most rewarding part of my work is connecting humans to their pets on a deeper level. I appreciate being knowledgeable enough to educate my community - a community that is not typically represented in the animal space - and to be a resource for both humans and animals on proper care, handling and training. Seeing owners have breakthroughs with their pets and being able to troubleshoot any issues they may be having within their relationship is living my dream role. I absolutely love navigating the human-to-animal connection.

In your opinion, how does community wisdom play a role in your advocacy and work in animal welfare?

As a trainer, teacher and animal advocate, community is everything. I have learned so much from fellow animal advocates over the years which has made me the professional I am today. I personally feel honored to be able to be a mirroring resource for my community. It is important to feel and see representation for BIPOC in the animal space because we have been disregarded, judged, and left out of this space for far too long. The more education and resources that we can create, the more knowledgeable and sound our community will be.

What would you like to see for the future of animal welfare and human well-being?

I would love to see more BIPOC being recognized and highlighted in the animal welfare world. I would love to see rescue organizations continuing efforts to break barriers in the animal adoption process.  I would also love to see more resources for training and behavior that are attainable and affordable for new adopters. I would love to see more people who look like me invited to workshops, retreats and continued educational courses. The more diversity and inclusion we welcome into the animal welfare world, the more lives we can save for both humans and animals alike!

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