As we celebrate National Animal Care & Control Appreciation Week, we’d like to introduce you to an AC&C superhero helping to make a meaningful difference in the Charlotte, NC, community he serves—and beyond.
Name: Dr. Josh Fisher
Member of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement since: 2014
Organization Name(s): Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control/ North Carolina Animal Federation/ National Animal Care & Control Association
Title(s): Director/ Board Chair/ Board Member
Organization’s Mission: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control is committed to protecting the safety of citizens and animals within our community. Our goals are to create partnerships within the community in order to promote responsible pet ownership, decrease the overpopulation of domestic pets through spay-neuter programs, and to place adoptable animals in good homes.
Q&A with Dr. Josh Fisher
The Association: What is the most important part of your job?
Dr. Josh Fisher: The most important part of my job is ensuring that the amazing people I work with day in and day out, including the Char-Meck AC&C team, as well as community partners and the citizens at large, have what they need to be successful. I believe strongly that my job is certainly not to know everything or be good at everything but to know where to find the answers and make the appropriate connections.
The Association: You’re an expert at collaborating and partnerships–what’s one new thing you’ve learned about this topic in the last few weeks? What could you plan for, and what couldn’t you have planned for?
JF: I have learned over the past few weeks that through conscientious collaboration and strong partnerships, we can truly overcome whatever obstacle is thrown our way. All too often, as leaders in the animal welfare field, we can feel alone, but through all of the technology today, there is no reason for that. Through Zoom meetings, conference calls, and Facebook working groups, we have proven that great minds across our country can come together to think outside the box and solve problems in real-time!
We could not have planned for the timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic, and truly still cannot say with 100% certainty what that timeline will look like. What we can plan for is how to operate in the face of adversity and how to establish plans that are flexible; we may not know the exact change required, but we know that change is inevitable.
The Association: What’s keeping you healthy and resilient?
JF: Wine, lots and lots of wine! But really, what is keeping me healthy and resilient are the professionals across the county working collaboratively, sharing information, and supporting one another to keep all of our teams healthy and safe without sacrificing the care and compassion for the pets and people in the communities we serve.
The Association: How have you benefitted from your involvement with The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement?
JF: My involvement with The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement has been a large part of developing professional connections with individuals who push me to seek improvement continually. It can be far too easy to fall into a rut of status quo, and it takes innovative minds who see that there is always room for improvement to push us to strive for continued growth.
The Association: What advice do you have for someone considering membership in The Association?
JF: There is truly no time like the present. The Association has been at the forefront of communication thus far during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association will continue to help all of us distill and digest important takeaways once we weather the storm—and who wouldn’t want to be on the cutting edge of this game-changing set of circumstances we have found ourselves in?
The Association: As it’s National Animal Care & Control Appreciation Week, please help us sing the praises of AC&C staff around the country! What’s the most important thing your colleagues in the field should know about those who work at municipal agencies and the role they play?
JF: Animal Care & Control team members are amazing people. No matter the role they hold within their organizations, they work with people from all backgrounds in some of life’s best and worst moments. More often than not, Animal Care & Control team members are the quiet parties behind the scenes getting the work done to make sure that pets and people in their community are safe, healthy, and happy. If you have five minutes, ask them to tell you their craziest story. I assure you many will surprise and amaze you!