Alexis Telfair-Garcia, social worker at Austin Pets Alive!

Alexis Telfair-Garcia–a social worker recently hired at the Austin, TX animal shelter, Austin Pets Alive! (APA!)—recalls growing up in a family that prized community service, perhaps telegraphing her pursuit of a career in social work. Read more…

Emily McCormack, Animal Curator at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Emily McCormack—the Animal Curator at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR), a sanctuary in Eureka Springs, Arkansas housing 94 animals (mostly big cats, plus bears)—recalls being infatuated with tigers since childhood, telling her parents at age 10 or 12 that she intended to save them. Read more…

Steve Koyle, founder & CEO of Elephant Care Unchained

Steve Koyle—founder and CEO of Elephant Care Unchained, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating elephant cruelty and improving their welfare across multiple countries—recalls loving animals since he was a little kid, when he would spend his summers working on a goat farm. Read more…

Dr. Shayla Toombs-Withers, plant-based doctor

Dr. Shayla Toombs-Withers–who runs a medical practice in Chattanooga, Tenn. called The Essence of Health Wellness Clinic—describes growing up in the South (Atlanta), where dishes like fried chicken and mac and cheese were common to family meals and larger celebrations. Read more…

Duncan P. Forgey, author of “Flyin’ Kai: A Pelican’s Tale”

Duncan P. Forgey– author of Flyin’ Kai: A Pelican’s Tale, in which Forgey has spun an inventive yarn, starting with a pelican occupying the center of the novel, and no shortage of talking animals(!) dotting the landscape—recalls growing up in Newport Beach, CA, and how that experience shaped the protect-the environment-and-wildlife themes coursing through his book. Read more…