By Nora Vondrell, Executive Director
Had you told Zandra Gibson that, when she walked into SICSA in the spring of 1974 to buy an Entertainment book, it would lead to over two decades as SICSA’s Spay/Neuter Coordinator, she might have wondered if you were sniffing the anesthesia! But that is exactly how it happened. When she went in that day, she asked for a volunteer application. Not long after, Zandra started volunteering one afternoon a week answering the phones. In January 1975, then Spay/Neuter Coordinator Joanne Kelch became the interim Director and asked Zandra to take over the spay/neuter program. Zandra was hesitant at first with taking on a position that would require a regular, two to three day a week schedule. After all, Zandra and her husband had recently retired and were planning on traveling. “That was 21 years ago”, quotes Zandra with a wink.
For those of us who know Zandra, she has become extremely passionate about her role in spaying and neutering public animals. “Through the years at SICSA, I realized there are not enough homes for all of the puppies, kittens, dogs and cats that need them.Spaying and neutering is an important aspect in helping to reduce that number. I have met so many wonderful and caring pet owners who have wanted to (do the right thing) for their pet, but couldn’t afford it without SICSA’s programs”, states Zandra.
“This is where the SICSA program comes into help. Not only in providing a family with low cost spaying and neutering, but also in preventing unwanted and homeless animals from becoming born in the first place.”
One particular issue which stands out for Zandra over the years is when owners have female dogs that have been diagnosed with pyometra, a severe uterine infection. Left untreated, pyometra can result in death. “Our clinic staff have gone the extra mile to get those animals in our clinic as soon as possible to complete the spay and save the pet’s life”.
When Zandra isn’t at SICSA, she is spending quality time with her husband, John, and their “spunky” 9 year old female Silky Terrier, Harley. “We adopted Harley and her (sister) Gracie, a schnauzer, after a co-worker’s aunt was diagnosed with a terminal illness. They blessed our lives shortly after we lost our 16 year old Yorkie, Crickett in 2008. We sadly lost Gracie in 2014”.
Zandra is one of several employees we plan to feature in our Meet the Staff articles. I am hopeful they help you, not only to understand the lengths we go to help animals in need, but also to see the talent and compassion behind the titles at SICSA.
For more information about SICSA’s spay and neuter program, please click here.