Being associated with a hardworking, dedicated employee like Aida May makes us proud. Her contribution and commitment to our work are unmatched and, without her, this journey would certainly not be the same. On behalf of Humane Pennsylvania, Happy 10 Year Work Anniversary! To show our appreciation, we sat down to learn more about Aida and the impact she’s made – here’s what she had to say:
- What do you love most about working for The Humane League of Lancaster County?
The difference we’re able to make in people’s lives every day. It’s a different experience here. We’re able to come in and help everyone, whether it be re-homing their pet, finding them a new pet, or even situations where they come to us for resources when they’re not able to financially care for their pets for medical reasons. That’s probably the greatest thing — being able to keep the animal in their home.
- What keeps you motivated to do the great work you’ve been doing for the past 10 years?
I would say just seeing the difference in some of the animals that come to us, like Ned for example. I’ve seen him come in with matted hair and underweight and just not in the best condition. Now he’s 100% different. So you see these animals, whether they’re bottle baby kittens or underweight adult dogs, and the care that the team here puts into them and the general dedication from the public. It really helps and we’re able to turn it around for these animals and get them into loving homes.
- Are you a dog person, cat person, or critter person?
I’m a cat person for sure!
- Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?
I would say definitely both of my first and current supervisors. Becky – she worked with me when I first started here and I had no experience. I worked in retail prior to coming here. I had pets growing up, but no experience with animal welfare, and she really molded me into what I am now. And of course, Leann. She has helped me grow so much, from working as a tech to now being in a managerial position. It’s something that I didn’t even know I could do, but she helped me grow and helped me make decisions that led to my continued growth within the organization.
- What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?
I’m constantly learning about the medical aspects of the shelter. That’s something that’s a pretty big passion of mine and it’s something that’s always evolving. I love working with our veterinary team and learning about why our animals are feeling certain ways and what we can do within the shelter to help them. That way in future cases, it helps me make decisions in regards to what the next step would be for the animal. Does it need immediate care? Can it wait until our veterinarian and I have a minute to calm the animal down?
- What do you see as your biggest accomplishment since your start with HLLC?
My biggest accomplishment would be: starting with no experience when I first came into the shelter and being able to move up within the organization. I started as a temp in the front office, left for a little bit when I had my first child and then I was hired back, full-time, as an animal care technician. I was a tech for a few years and now I’ve worked my way into a supervisory role with the rest of our team. I’m always amazed by how far I’ve come within the organization. It’s a great organization, and I love that we’re able to see people grow within it.
- What’s one of your favorite Humane Pennsylvania memories from the past year?
Hmm, from within this past year? This has definitely been a crazy year but I would say, even with Covid-19, we were still able to help with transports from hoarding situations and we were able to work alongside other locations. I love that we were able to make a difference despite COVID and still keep the ball rolling. We continued helping our community and anywhere else that it was needed.
- Do you have a favorite animal at the shelter currently? If so, who?
My favorite would have to be Vincenzo! He is an FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) positive cat that has been with us for a little while. He came to us after a caretaker outside of the shelter noticed that he had some pretty severe wounds and his eyes were not in the best condition. I really loved watching him come around. He was so shy when he first got here and now he just makes biscuits everywhere. I love him. He’s so sweet and, after months of medical care, he’s finally ready for adoption.
- What’s a task you love doing around the shelter?
I would say anything that involves being hands-on with my team. They’ll typically call me when we have cats that are a little bit harder to handle. I love working with the team. I spend a lot of time in my office, with paperwork and stuff to do, but being able to help them when they’re giving vaccines or just giving them an extra hand with anything, in general, makes me happy.
- What three words would your coworkers use to describe you?
I would say compassionate and understanding and patient.
- What’s one fun fact about you that we might not already know?
I own a pretty wide variety of animals. Of course, I have my cats and I have a couple of dogs. I have an axolotl, which is a Mexican Walking fish. I have guinea pigs and beta fish as well.