AlignCare’s Director of Ops has done it all—and she gives a great movie recommendation to boot! Read on to meet this animal welfare superstar.
Name: T’ Fisher
Member of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement since: 2018
Title: Director of Operations
Q&A with T’ Fisher
The Association: What are three words to describe you?
T’ Fisher: Motivated, Positive, Team player
The Association: What’s your elevator pitch for AlignCare?
T’F: AlignCare is the One Health healthcare system that aligns current community resources, including social service agencies, animal welfare organizations and veterinary service providers, to improve access to veterinary care for families in need of urgent or emergent veterinary care. We identify these families and support them in overcoming the social, logistical and financial barriers they face when trying to access veterinary care.
The Association: What’s the easiest part of your job?
T’F: The easiest part of my job is bringing together those who want to help families, but don’t know how. Once they understand they are not alone, it is so energizing to bring everyone together to set achievable goals for their community. We help so many more families when we work together. Teamwork makes the dream work!
The Association: What’s the most challenging part of your job?
T’F: We seek grants and donations to establish, train and empower communities to be sustainable AlignCare communities. With change happening so quickly today, it is challenging to find financial partners that can help in each community where we work. BUT….challenge accepted! We will work with our partners and find a way for our AlignCare communities to be successful!
The Association: Please share a success you and your team have had this year.
T’F: One of our clients lived in her car with her 3 dogs, and one of her dogs had an injured paw that needed urgent care. Once enrolled in AlignCare, her dog received the care needed to save the paw, thanks to our AlignCare Veterinary Service Partners. Then our AlignCare Veterinary Social Workers worked with social services agencies to find her and her family affordable housing. She no longer lives in her car.
And here is a story about a COVID patient and his assistance dog. Once enrolled in AlignCare, we made sure they had the help they needed.
The Association: What’s one thing keeping you healthy and resilient these days.
T’F: When the to-do list becomes overwhelming, I make time to breathe, meditate and center myself. I have also started a group text with some of my friends and peers who have had their worst year this past year. Each day we stop for just a few minutes to send a text to the group saying what we are thankful for. Reading those simple “thankful for” texts reminds us that we all have something to be grateful for, and to focus on the positive, not the negative.
The Association: You are SUCH a rock star and have such deep and varied experience—from education and disaster response to community cats and overseeing programs in a large shelter. What’s the best piece of advice you got along the way (and from whom)?
T’F: “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” from Mahatma Gandhi! I remind myself of this quote every day before I get up. It is so easy to get discouraged and lose focus when there is so much going on around us, but we must lead by example and help one another overcome and succeed.
The Association: What’s your advice for an animal welfare leader in training?
T’F: Find great mentors that can help you along the way. Have an open mind. Learn all you can about an issue and research and listen to all sides, so that you can make the best decision for greater good. It will be hard, but it will be worth it!
The Association: What’s the last movie you saw?
T’F: The Peanut Butter Falcon, another example of following your dreams. It is worth it!