DPA’s Pawsome People: December 2018 Volunteer Spotlight

“Dallas Pets Alive is such a fun organization to volunteer with because there are a variety of roles, which means a wide range of talents are needed. Jessica is someone who has quickly become a “jack of all trades”! Jessica lives in Massachusetts and helps thousands of pets from almost two thousand miles away! She knew she wanted to help animals but also understood her lack of willpower, so physically volunteering at her local shelter would likely result in bringing home too many pets! She began on the Medical team as a Medical Coordinator, reviewing records for our pets. She quickly decided she was ready for more, and became our Vet Authorization Admin, serving as a liaison between our fosters and our vets in order to approve vet appointments. Jessica has become a huge asset to our team, not just for filling these roles, but for finding new ways to improve our processes. She is forward-thinking and one of the most organized, efficient people I know! Her growth mindset has been truly inspiring for myself and others on the Medical team, and we are looking forward to implementing some new ideas in the future!

Jessica realized pretty quickly that she enjoys serving not just the Medical team, but assisting our foster parents with their needs as well. Enter the role of Foster Representative and Foster Admin. Her heart for the homeless pets of Dallas is seemingly endless! Our fosters and fellow volunteers know we can rely on her to provide consistent, thorough, and supportive communication no matter the tough situations we encounter in the world of rescue. Her passion is infectious, her dedication unmatched, and her compassion for others is evident through the hours she spends helping our foster pets and parents alike. This spotlight is so well deserved; DPA is incredibly lucky to have her hearts and talents in our organization!” Allison Brandon, Dallas Pets Alive! Medical Director 

That’s why Jessica Dudek is a DPA Pawsome Person! Learn more about her below:

What is your current role?

I currently volunteer as a medical coordinator, foster representative, foster admin, intake admin and vet appointment approval admin.

How did you get involved with volunteering at DPA?

In December 2017, I had just adopted a cat from a local shelter. That experience sparked a desire to volunteer my time for animals, but due to family and work obligations, I have trouble volunteering in person. I turned to Volunteermatch.org to find a virtual role and was impressed with the information that I found about DPA! I applied and started just after Christmas as an Adoptline volunteer and just keep on volunteering for different roles!

What are you most passionate about at DPA?

The transformations of a life saved! I get to watch some of the most seriously ill or injured animals come into the program, get the treatment and care that they deserve and come out on the other side healthy and happy. As a foster rep, I have worked with several foster parents to work through behavior issues so that the animal can become an amazing pet to their furever family. I think it’s a great feeling to have been a part of the transformations, even in a small and indirect way.

What are some words of wisdom to new DPA Volunteers?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, learn and suggest new ideas. In the past year, I have learned so much and watched DPA grow and evolve. This is all due to the volunteers.

For those virtual volunteers, don’t let distance hold you back because you can’t be “hands on”. While I can’t go to events, I feel like I have a strong part in the lives of our foster animals because of the close relationships I have created as the foster representative to our foster families. The relationships and involvement in their lives during their time fostering make me feel as if I am more a part of things.

Give us a fun fact about you!

I have never set foot in the Dallas area! I have lived my entire life in Massachusetts, located between Boston and Providence, RI. I did visit Houston for an insanely quick work trip about 10 years ago, but that has been the extent of my time in Texas. I chose to volunteer virtually in Dallas because the mission of making Dallas a no-kill city is an amazing goal and so worth the effort.

My favorite food is potatoes, I am a super competitive pub trivia player, and if my husband didn’t have limits I would have many more animals than my current four.

Be Pawsome like Jessica. Apply to be a Dallas Pets Alive! volunteer today!

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