When we asked HSSV supporter Cheryl Marquez why she first became involved with HSSV, she said, “I have always loved animals and I believe their companionship can do so much for people. We have all heard wonderful stories about how animals have improved the lives of people with PTSD and other conditions; however I don’t think people realize how much an animal can benefit other people who are isolated, struggling, or looking for a connection that maybe an animal can provide. I wanted to be part of that solution.”
When Cheryl sent a donation to HSSV, she included a note asking for ways she could be more directly involved in the work. The HSSV team jumped at the chance to get Cheryl integrated into the family! Cheryl’s first special interactions were through HSSV’s events, Walk ‘n Wag and The Fur Ball. She also decided to host a special client cocktail party in the Community Room, with tours of the Animal Community Center, in an effort to expose more people to the great work done at HSSV.
As Cheryl learned more about HSSV’s programs, she really wanted to do something that would make a difference. It was heartbreaking to her that accidental pregnancies were adding to the many unwanted animals in the community, leading to even more homeless animals. Cheryl felt that if people didn’t have an easy option to spay/neuter their pets, they might not make the extra effort to seek out those services on their own. She wanted to be sure that the work already being done by HSSV to spay/neuter animals wasn’t being undermined by allowing the parents of puppies and kittens to continue to reproduce . . .
Once Cheryl realized that HSSV’s P.U.P. program* (Prevent Unwanted Pregnancies) addresses an area she was passionate about, she got excited to make a difference – and she made a significant gift in support of the effort. Cheryl said about her gift, “It’s nice to know that my campaign gift is going to a specific cause, and a cause that’s important to me!”
Because Cheryl feels that HSSV is an exemplary organization and that the Paint a Better Future campaign is an important one, she encourages others to get involved. About HSSV, she says, “It’s a really great organization! There’s been so much improvement in the lifesaving results over the past 6 years. I feel like my investment is truly making a difference. And the environment is such a positive one – it’s not a sad, depressing place to walk into. The people – staff AND volunteers - really care about the animals, it’s not just a job for them.”
*The P.U.P program arranges to take in the puppies and kittens of unexpected litters in return for spaying the mom and neutering the dad (if he’s known).
Cheryl Marquez with her dogs Artemis and Mossimo. Cheryl’s favorite thing about HSSV is that it is such a success and the lifesaving impact gets bigger each year.