#thankyoutuesday: Have the Courage to Commit

“To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage.” 
– Confucius  

Collaboration is a choice in my opinion. You either commit or you don’t. It isn’t easy and certainly isn’t always fun. It can be frustrating at times, but have the courage to commit. Have the courage to stay. Have the courage to keep moving forward in spite of the deterrents or detractors. Have the courage to make mistakes, learn, and keep going. 

These past 12 weeks have tested me personally and professionally, and it’s been a roller coaster at times. The inspiration that helped me continue when I wanted to give up came from the courage and compassion of my colleagues, who also made the commitment to collaboration. As I’ve said before (nod to San Diego Humane): Never underestimate the courage or compassion of my colleagues. 

I want to publicly thank and show appreciation and gratitude to the following people, some of whom I didn’t even know 12 weeks ago:

Ellen Jefferson, Austin Pets Alive!

Jim Tedford, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

Mike Robbins, Atlanta Humane Society

Christa Chadwick, ASPCA

Kimberley Alboum, HSUS

Holly Sizemore, Best Friends Animal Society

Kristen Hassen-Auerbach, Pima Animal Care Center, National Animal Care & Control Association

Scott Giacoppo, National Animal Care & Control Association

Dr. Julie Levy, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Million Cat Challenge

Dr. Sandra Newbury, University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program

Dr. Aleisha Swartz, University of Wisconsin Shelter Medicine Program


Thank you for agreeing to communicate and collaborate and help navigate COVID-19 with accurate and timely information so that our colleagues had the tools and resources necessary to make the best decisions for their organizations and communities. 

Some thought it inconceivable that all of these organizations could work together and stay together. It’s because of the courage of these individuals that it continues. #InThisTogether

More inspiration and collaboration? Join us June 16-17 at the Spring Conference for Animal Welfare. Register today and make a commitment to yourself—to continue to learn, so that your knowledge and insight can benefit your colleagues and your communities.


Katherine Shenar

Katherine Shenar brings 25 years of experience to her role as executive vice president for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. She has served as CEO for two animal welfare organizations and held leadership roles with four others. She frequently speaks on topics including leadership development, organization culture, coalition building, marketing communications, fundraising, and emerging trends in animal welfare. She is the author of the book Coalition Building for Animal Care Organizations, a how-to guide for animal advocates to work collaboratively in communities.


'#thankyoutuesday: Have the Courage to Commit' has 1 comment

  1. May 27, 2020 @ 10:31 am Sarah Chiles

    Cheers to each and every one of these amazing collaborators and to you, Katherine, for putting into words what I have been struggling with myself over the past 12 weeks. I, too, have considered giving up and moving on and have relied on my colleagues, many who I have not spoken to directly, to help encourage me to stay and commit. I owe them a debt of gratitude and wouldn’t be in the position to commit if it weren’t for their motivation. Thank you, all.


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