When first starting out and working as a secretary for an engineering office, Dr. Gloria Dorsey would visit the Atlanta Humane Society on weekends. After watching a veterinarian engaged in their day-to-day activities, she was hooked—and went on to graduate from veterinary school and earn a Masters in Public Health. Dr. Dorsey began her career at AHS as an associate veterinarian, and nearly twenty-six years later she’s created her dream job as VP of Community Education & Advocacy. We’re thrilled to shine this month’s spotlight on a true animal welfare role model.
Name & Title: Gloria J Dorsey, DVM, MPH, Vice President of Community Education & Advocacy, Atlanta Humane Society
Member of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement since: June 10, 2020
Q&A with Dr. Gloria Dorsey
The Association: Describe yourself in three words.
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: Building Relationships Everywhere!
However, my personal favorite description of myself is in two sets of three words:
I Build Value Everywhere I Land!
The Association: Describe Atlanta Humane Society in three words.
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: Strategic Change Agents or Human-Animal Bond
The Association: What does success at AHS look like for you?
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: Success at AHS for me looks like the improved life experiences for the animals we help and the people who love them.
The Association: What’s one small victory you had this week?
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: One small victory that I cherish is being able to choose to complete my work either from my home or my office at AHS.
The Association: Looking back at 2020 and the beginning of the pandemic, what’s one thing you started doing, either personally or professionally, that you’ve carried over?
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: After I recovered from the initial gloom of the pandemic, I spearheaded the establishment of the Zoom platform for a ministry at my church to keep the adult members connected with each other and engaged in our faith. We have met weekly ever since. It has helped me sustain a positive mental attitude despite the pandemic.
The Association: Thank you for your work as a member of The Association’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee. What commitments or policies and processes has AHS made to create a more equitable environment in the shelter and out in the community?
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: AHS is building its DEI platform and is responding with remarkable sensitivity to the cultural diversity within the organization and in the community. My position in Community Education and Advocacy was a first step in that direction.
The Association: What are your thoughts, as a veterinarian, on the veterinary shortage?
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: Veterinarians safeguard the well-being of the sentinels of human health. It’s disheartening to think of all the pets, food animals, or animals anywhere who will suffer from lack of access to medical care because of the veterinarian shortage. I am confident that the changes on the horizon, whether job mentoring, better salaries, eliminating the suicide rate, will improve the professional and personal gratification that veterinarians deserve.
The Association: What’s the last movie you saw or book you read?
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: The last book I read was Hidden: Animals in the Anthropocene. It’s graphic in its depiction of the cruel, inhumane, and once in a while, necessary ways in which human beings interact with animals. I very often pray that animals’ proximity to humans will be kinder, gentler, and better. Improving human-animal interactions is a lifetime endeavor for every animal lover on the planet.
The Association: What’s your favorite one-sentence leadership tip?
Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH: Look for beauty or humor in every difficult moment.