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Nov 17, 2022

Staff Spotlight: Maggie Gipson

Staff Spotlight: Yuko Tester 5

Maggie with her pup, Baloo.

Meet the shelter’s Humane Education Coordinator, Maggie Gipson! Maggie helps create a kinder world for animals by leading the shelter’s Humane Education Program and providing children with knowledge on how to treat animals, how to care for them, and how to communicate with them. 

Q. What does a day in your life at the shelter look like?

Variety is the spice of life and I am fortunate to get plenty of variety in my day. In addition to going to schools to talk to students about the shelter’s services and having compassion for the animals in our lives, I also get to participate in partnerships with other organizations. Just to name a few, we partner with libraries and scout groups to find ways to spark interest in animal welfare among youth. When not working with students in the community, I help with other tasks, such as owner surrender appointments and animal transfers.

The shelter is happy to announce Family Storytime with the Tacoma Public Library! Join us for stories, songs, and other fun learning activities designed to develop kindness and empathy toward animals! These preschool-aged events are scheduled for November 18th and December 16th at Moore Library (215 South 56th Street, Tacoma WA 98408). No registration is required.

Staff Spotlight: Maggie Gipson 1

Maggie presenting in a local classroom.

Q. What made you want to work at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County?

Being around animals and working towards improving their well-being has long been an important element in my life; I had even fostered rabbits for the shelter while employed elsewhere years prior to working here. When I saw the opportunity to educate pet parents (current and future) on ways to care for their animal family members and be a part of the great team of people advocating for animals, I thought – what a great opportunity!

Q. What’s your favorite part of working here?

I am lucky enough to have a position where I work with just about every department in the shelter and enjoy being on such a great team of like-minded individuals who truly care about the people and pets in our shelter and throughout our community.

Q. Why are you so passionate about the work we do? 

The work that is done here has a direct impact on the lives of animals both here at the shelter and beyond. From taking in a stray and getting it medical care, then finding it a new home and a second chance in life, to giving a family resources to help them keep their beloved pet, this work makes a real difference.

Q. Any stories you’d like to share? 

I had the pleasure of fostering a litter of 4 baby bunnies, getting them when they were only 3 weeks old. They needed to be syringe-fed milk twice a day along with having a heated disk for warmth at all times. The first night I had them, one passed away, but I had the 3 remaining babies until they were 3 months old. Once they hit that milestone, the 2 sisters went to another wonderful foster and I continued to care for the remaining baby bunny until he was 5 months old and old enough to be neutered. I have had rabbits of my own for a number of years but watching these 3 go from scrawny, grubby, frail babies to the well-socialized, beautiful babies that they grew up to be is an experience I will always hold near and dear to my heart.

During the months that I had them, I often spoke about them during my educational presentations to students, and hope that their story makes others think about rabbits like they would our dog and cat friends because they have so much personality and need just as much love and enrichment as any other pet in our lives. Saying goodbye was hard, but knowing that they no longer needed me and were on to bigger and better things with new families, along with being able to open my home to others who needed me, made it all worth it.

Staff Spotlight: Maggie Gipson

Maggie’s three previous foster bunnies.

Interested in a career at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County? Check out our careers page for opportunities and apply today!

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