Kristen Hassen, Director of American Pets Alive! & Human Animal Support Services

Kristen Hassen—a highly-respected figure in the animal shelter world, owing to her accomplishments and innovations during major stints leading or helping lead animal facilities, and now Director of American Pets Alive!, through which she oversees other projects and initiatives, including Human Animal Support Services—recounts the dreadful circumstances that led to her forging a profound bond with animals as a kid. Read more…

Dr. Dani McVety, co-founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice

Dr. Dani McVety—the veterinarian, and Tampa native, who co-founded Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice in 2009—recounts the circumstances behind launching what has since become the nation’s largest network dedicated to end of life veterinary care, operating in 36 states. Read more…

Julie Castle, CEO of Best Friends Animal Society

Julie Castle—the CEO of Best Friends Animal Society, the national animal welfare organization, founded in 1984, and based in Kanab, Utah—describes the organization currently in broad strokes, offering notable contrasts to when she scrapped plans for law school and began working there some 25 years ago, as just the 17th employee of this now-sprawling entity. Read more…

Joshua Zeman, director of “The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52”

Joshua Zeman—the director of  “The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52,” a feature-length documentary chronicling the science-oriented pursuit of a whale that experts think has spent his whole life in solitude because, they believe, he’s communicating at a frequency no other whale can understand—addresses the observation that this film represents a departure from his past work, noting he makes mysteries, and “The Loneliest Whale” is surely a mystery. Read more…

Glen Zipper, producer of Netflix’s “Dogs” & “Cat People”

Glen Zipper—executive producer of the Netflix documentary series “Dogs,” whose second season begins airing July 7; Zipper also oversees a new feline-minded Netflix series, “Cat People,” which premieres July 7—describes the reaction from viewers to the first season of “Dogs”: clamoring for a second season, while another contingent blanketed Zipper with fervent entreaties for a cat-centric series. Read more…