At our third roundtable, Donell Randolph, Kristen Hassen, Lori Weise, and Rita Ortiz explored how we can better support people and pets in the community at every level. From inviting conversation at adoption events and reimagining program design and delivery, to working together to continue shifting the sheltering system away from a punitive-centered model that doesn’t serve any of us, they reminded us that it all starts with the work we’re doing right now.

One day at a time. One act at a time.

Panelists shared examples of how no-judgment, inclusive approaches have made a difference for people and animals in their organizations and communities—and, in one case, helped keep 4,000 animals out of the shelter and in their homes.

Lori Weise (Downtown Dog Rescue), Rita Ortiz (Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter), Donell Randolph (Friends of Oakland Animal Services), and Kristen Hassen (Outcomes Consulting) share ideas for accessible interventions that divert intake to keep more pets and people together. They’ll also explore processes for determining and delivering those services in a welcoming, judgment-free manner to ensure community members get the support they need when they need it: before the crisis

In this bonus Q&A “Aftershow,” Lori Weise, Rita Ortiz and Donell Randolph answer questions they didn’t have time to discuss during the 1-hour roundtable.


Short barrier-busting gems, bright spots and mic-drop moments from the third More Pets and People Together Roundtable discussion

Donell Randolph (Friends of Oakland Animal Services) reflects on what he’s learned about the systemic barriers that affect pet owners and, in turn, their pets.

Lori Wiese (Downtown Dog Rescue) explains how an exchange with a community member reminded her that we don’t have to choose between advocating for people and advocating for animals; instead, fighting for justice in all areas is how we advance our goals.

Kristen Hassen (Outcomes Consulting) suggests one way to help more people and pets when your organization has limited resources.

Rita Ortiz (Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter) talks about how removing barriers is a win-win for your organization and your clients.

Related Resources

Exploring the systemic context: