August 5, 2022
Our tails are wagging with joy! Please help us welcome our new Executive Director, Maggie Brown who will officially join us on August 15, 2022. With Maggie’s extensive non-profit experience and leadership, we know Animal Aid of Tulsa is bound for great program development to benefit our community! Maggie describes the journey that led her to Animal Aid of Tulsa best.
Pets, Passion & Happily-Ever-After
When I was growing up my family always set an example of balancing a professional career while giving back to the community through participation in a variety of nonprofit organizations. Perhaps unintentionally, that example led me to pursue a nonprofit career driven by my passion for specific causes and organizations.
My college studies led me to graduate school where I received a degree in Historical Administration. Although the focus of the program was public history and museums, the broader knowledge and skills applied to nonprofit organizations in general. This allowed me to begin my career with an understanding of best practices in nonprofits as well as the many challenges facing them.
For more than 20 years I have spent both my professional career and free time working with a variety of nonprofit entities. Having been involved with organizations as a staff member, trustee, and volunteer, I have been able to experience the different sides of working with nonprofits. I hope that gives me a balanced perspective on the challenges and needs from all viewpoints.
Since moving to Tulsa in 2006, I have been fortunate to be involved in a number of local nonprofits through volunteer work. Those include: Tulsa Foundation for Architecture, Oklahoma Museums Association, Rotary Club of Tulsa Sunrise, American Cancer Society, Tulsa Area Alumnae Panhellenic, Alpha Gamma Delta Alumnae Club, Tulsa Children’s Museum, and Mayo Meadow Neighborhood Association.
One of the causes I have always been passionate about is animal welfare. I can still remember when I was four years old and my mom brought home a lost kitten she found under her car in the rain. After several weeks trying to find its owner “Simba” officially became ours for the next 17 years.
One of the first things I did as an adult with a home of my own was to adopt two kittens – “Oscar” and “Andrew” – from the local animal shelter. I never planned to adopt a dog but that changed when a friend rescued a pit bull from an abusive home and asked if I could keep him for “just a few days.” This terrified little dog that had been treated horribly, arrived at my house curled in a ball and shaking. I immediately fell in love with “Benny” and decided to keep him.
At the time, I lived in an area with many stray and feral cats. Some were very friendly and over time “Danny” and “Sweetie” adopted me and began living on my porch. When I relocated to Tulsa in 2006, I brought them with me and they finally became indoor cats. That meant a total of four cats and one dog in my menagerie, nicknamed “Benny & the cats.”. They lived long, happy lives but slowly I had to say goodbye to each of them.
In 2015, I adopted a new kitten from Animal Aid who I named “Pepper.” Pepper was a tiny kitten on the verge of death when he was rescued by Animal Aid. While recovering for two months at the vet he became best friends with a dog there. This led him to become a cat who loves dogs more than any other cat I’ve ever met. Even as a tiny kitten he had no fear of dogs, which was sometimes very stressful for me as he tried to convince Benny to be his new best friend. When Benny died in 2018, Pepper definitely missed having a dog around. So did I.
In November 2019, I “accidentally” added a new dog, “Gabriel,” to the family. I had been keeping up with Gabriel’s story for more than a year since he was first rescued by Animal Aid after being hit by a car and paralyzed. I decided to meet and eventually foster him after watching a video pleading about how much he needed a home. It took a while to learn how to take care of Gabriel with his special needs and it was hard work. I was reassured by others who had previously taken care of him and eventually we got our routine down.
Although many friends immediately predicted I would end up keeping him, I was determined to not “fail” with my first foster. Of course, it wasn’t long before I changed my mind and couldn’t imagine him leaving to live with someone else. Gabriel loves cats, and of course, Pepper loves dogs, so it wasn’t long before they were best friends. It was a perfect match and Gabriel officially became a permanent member of the family in May 2020.
In summer 2020, I contacted Animal Aid again looking for another cat that would be the perfect match for Pepper who is a little rowdy. I knew he would be too rough on a kitten so I was seeking an adult cat. We found the right companion in Mouse, who had been rescued from his outdoor life when someone noticed he was sick. After he recovered he joined the family, making Mouse the third pet I adopted from Animal Aid. I also added Animal Aid to the organizations for which I volunteered.
Gabriel, Pepper, Mouse, and I are thrilled with my new opportunity to help lead Animal Aid of Tulsa. I am looking forward to the challenge of using my nonprofit skills and knowledge in a new area that I feel passionately about. I have already met so many wonderful people and animals involved with Animal Aid and look forward to working with each of them.
One of the best things about being involved with nonprofits is being surrounded by others who share your enthusiasm for a cause. And one of the biggest perks of animal rescue is getting to spend time with sweet, furry friends every day while helping them find their own happily-ever-after.