Get to Know Our Leadership: Ellen Zahariadis

Get to Know Our Leadership: Ellen Zahariadis

What your first experience like at HSMSC?  My first experience was the Walk for the Animals this past fall and it was great.  It was heartening to see so many people out with their pups coming together to support the work of HSMSC and share in our mission to care for injured, abused and neglected dogs and cats in our community and to find them life-long loving homes.

Who was the first animal that stole your heart?  Lucy (aka “Lula beans”, aka “Beans” ) the most beautiful shepherd mix with big eyes that looked like she had on perfect eyeliner all the time!  My husband and I adopted her from the SPCA in NY where we lived at the time.  She was smart and loving and very vocal.  She would sit and hold my hand and loved to swim after geese.  We nursed her through mange when she was a puppy and cancer when she was old  and we would not have traded a moment with her for anything. She was the most special dog and though it has been 14 years since she passed, I miss her every day.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you  at HSMSC?  Probably getting an abundance of slobbery kisses from very sweet and affectionate Rottweiller named Elizabeth.  She got my hair, my jacket, and my face! She slimed me with love 😊

What touches your heart the most?  The really scared and timid dogs that come to us really touch my heart.  I can only imagine what they must have gone through to get us and it breaks my heart to think that they likely have never felt loved or cared for before.  It is remarkable to see how quickly these animals learn to trust and love when at our facility.  Our staff and volunteers genuinely care about them and they can feel that.

What is something you wish people knew about HSMSC?  I wish people knew just how much care and attention and love the animals in our care received. I  am so thankful for our staff and volunteers who give so much of themselves.  HSMSC animals are cared for the same way we care for the animals in our own families –  with attention, love and affection.

When did you get your first pet? Before I was born 😊  my parents had our dog Michelle before my sister and I came along.

Who is your current best “furry” friend? I have two –  Zena and Phelps.  Zena (and yes, she acts like a warrior princess!) is our 14 -year-old Australian Shepherd mix and Phelps our 6 year old we-don’t-know-what-mix (named after Michael Phelps –  because we adopted him during the summer Olympics in 2012).  They have completely different personalities, but are both perfectly goofy.  Zena loves three things – food, chasing tennis balls, and her family. Phelps loves Zena, then us.  Both love to bark at invisible things in our yard and they’re very good at it.

How many pets have you had in your life? Seven dogs and one cat throughout childhood until now.

How many pets do you have today? Two amazing dogs…and I am tempted every day to add to our family pack!

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