Our team of two sisters, Jennie and Madi have been volunteering with Animal Friends Alliance since early this summer. Since they began with our organization, they have come in weekly to volunteer in Dog Walking & Enrichment. The pair has continued their training in Dog Walking 2 and with our K9 Coaches in order to walk purple dogs. Jennie and Madi were looking for a way to spend time together and a way to give back to the community. Since they began their journey with us, they have been a great addition to the team.
Jennie and Madi decided Animal Friends Alliance was the organization they wanted to give their time to after working with our organization for the past decade. The team has adopted 3 dogs from Animal House and their cat from the Fort Collins Cat Rescue before the merger. They felt strongly about both organizations having an effective adoption program and now being united as one only makes the organization more successful at helping animals find safe and loving homes. Some of their fondest memories at the shelter were with Cassanova, Nana and Sandy. Each dog has their own quirks and personality traits and the three pups made a lasting impact on both Jennie and Madi. They are always looking forward to meeting new dogs each time they come in to volunteer.
Both being animal lovers, they have a lot of pets at home. Madi has three horses, Stormy, Atlas and Gunnar. Stormy is a Quarter Horse/Welsh Pony, Atlas is a Belgium/Quarter Horse and Gunnar is an Arabian. She also has a sheep, a goat and of course her pup Raven. Raven is a Pit mix who loves to learn new tricks. Jennie and her husband have two horses, Sassy (an Arabian) and Teller (a Quarter Horse). They have 3 dogs, (Cora, a Lab/German Shepherd; Forest, a Lab/Dane, and Pepper, a Lab/Shepherd). They also have three cats, Porter, Kai, and Suka, and a ball python, Vega. Forest, Pepper, and Porter all came from Animal Friends Alliance. (Fun fact: Forest’s adoptive name was Mr. Pibb. When they saw in one of the newsletters that there was a Dr. Pepper up for adoption, they knew that it was fate. After one meet and greet, it was clear she was a perfect fit for their family.
In their free time, both Jennie and Madi enjoy riding horses. Madison specializes in vaulting which is a combination of dancing and gymnastics on horseback. The horse is controlled by a person that keeps them moving at a desired pace in a circle. The vaulter then has a routine they perform either by themselves or with a team (up to three people at a time on the horse.) The vaulters are then judged based on their performance and the horse also receives a score. The combined scores determine who wins. Vaulting is very popular in Europe, but is becoming more popular here in the U.S., particularly California. Madi has had the opportunity to compete with her vaulting club all over the country and hopes to compete in the Junior World Championships in Europe in 2023.
Jennie specializes in dressage where she and the horse perform a series of moves similar to a dance. Some people call it “horses dancing”, but it’s basically the rider and horse working together to perform different movements at different gaits. A very basic example would be asking for a working trot versus an extended trot. Though Jennie doesn’t compete, she enjoys taking lessons and training for the fun of it and the basic fundamental training it provides.
Jennie and Madi both live in the countryside of the Fort Collins area. Madi was born and raised in the Fort Collins area close to Laporte. She is currently in her Freshman year at Poudre High School. Jennie is originally from eastern Canada though she has lived in Colorado most of her life. She spent some time in Arizona and Michigan as well and when her husband was presented with a job opportunity in Colorado, they jumped on the opportunity. Jennie studied at CSU where she received her Masters in Occupational and Environmental Health. She currently works as an ergonomist for VelocityEHS where she re-designs industrial work environments.
The two sisters have been fortunate enough to grow up with many different types and breeds of animals. This has provided them with some initial understanding of animal behavior and basic training skills. Since they have each had the pleasure of adopting shelter pets, they understand the patience, empathy, and persistence it can take to bring an animal out of their shell. They both hope to one day become K9 Coaches with Animal Friends Alliance and continue to branch out into new roles whenever possible.