From Fervent Foster to Shining Staff Member
From orchestrating transport days to coordinating foster and vet care, we keep very busy running Rescued Pets Movement. Because of the emotional nature of the work we do, it takes a special kind of person to thrive at RPM. While we pride ourselves on having a dedicated, hard-working staff who are passionate about our cause, our staff members give of themselves every single day to make the work we do possible.
With our monthly “Staff Feature,” we want to highlight the important work these important people do each day. Not only will you see what goes on behind the scenes at RPM, but you’ll also learn how to get involved and how best you can help our organization thrive.
Staff Member: Ashley Glaw
Position: Foster Coordinator
Time working with RPM: 4 Years
Rescued Pets Movement: How long have you worked with RPM?
Ashley Glaw: I started fostering in January 2014, working part time in January 2015, and working full-time in November 2015.
What do you do at RPM?
AG: I work primarily with our foster families to pull, rehabilitate, and eventually transport the pets tagged by RPM’s rescue partners.
I also focus heavily on making the foster experience as enjoyable and easy as possible. This includes working with our in-house medical team and outside vet specialists, coordinating logistics to make sure every pet is where they need to be, and providing a lot of support!
What does a typical day at RPM look like for you?
AG: One of the things I love about my job is that every day is different. The foster team usually juggles a combination of pulling pets from shelters, assisting fosters with any questions or needs they may have, managing email, fielding emergencies, researching in records, recruiting new fosters, retaining existing fosters, preparing and executing continuing foster education classes, social opportunities, appreciation events, and more.
I do my best to prioritize frequently and check with the rest of the RPM team to ensure we’re focusing on what’s most important. There’s typically a lot of urgency, and our number one priority is always saving lives that are in danger, so that’s always at the front of our minds.
What made you want to work for RPM?
AG: The second I heard about RPM, I was hooked! I started out as a foster just a few months in to RPM’s inception and loved the model they created. One of the challenges in traditional rescue for me was the length of time required to foster and not ever being sure when your foster pet would be adopted. RPM took all the wonderful things I loved about fostering, bundled them up in to an easy-to-handle package, and gave me the support and confidence I needed to be successful and enjoy my fostering experience.
I couldn’t get enough RPM, so I’m grateful to be able to work for an organization that I respect and love so much! The mission and vision are fantastic, and the people make it even better. The RPM family is just that – a family. We all share a common goal, and the fosters, volunteers, supporters, staff, and the Board all work together to save as many lives as possible.
What’s the best part about working for RPM?
AG: I truly feel like the most fortunate person on the planet. I wake up every morning loving what I do, and go to sleep knowing that I’m a small part of a large team of people who work hard daily to save lives and change hearts.
Of course, we do our best to save pets in need, but one of the greatest parts of being a member of the RPM family is that we are part of a movement. We physically move pets, but we also are a movement in education. We want to change hearts and minds in the way pets are viewed in our communities.
RPM’s existence is a message to our city, state, and nation that Houston cares. I can’t imagine working anywhere else!
What’s the most difficult part about working for RPM?
AG: It’s hard for me to think about anything other than RPM. The friendships we develop with other rescuers and rescue groups, our fosters, and of course our team members, are so strong that I sometimes have a hard time pulling myself away!
My phone is always a hub of activity, and I especially love reading about success stories and getting updates from our fosters about their current or former foster pets. If I didn’t need to sleep, I would definitely focus on RPM 24 hours a day.
What has been your favorite memory working for RPM?
AG: All of the celebrations we’ve had! The milestones are my favorite. I remember how excited we were to reach 6,500 pets saved, and we even commemorated it with a t-shirt (which now seems “vintage”).
We also had a wonderful opening celebration for the Jack C. Alexander Building with the most fabulous cake!
Our 25,000 lives saved party last year was monumental. I feel so at home with like-minded people, and celebrating successes just adds to the joy and passion I have for this organization.
What’s something you wish you would have known before you started your job at RPM?
AG: Since I started as a foster, I think I was pretty well equipped to have an idea of what to expect! I have definitely learned a lot from my teammates though, especially on the medical side.
It has been a personal journey for me to learn how to support our pets and our fosters through illness and recovery, so that’s something I didn’t realize would be so important. Of course, we focus on the pets in our program, but we also do as much as we can to support the fosters and volunteers who support the pets, too.
How can the public best support RPM as an organization?
AG: Fosters & funds! We always need more foster homes (it’s a short-term commitment – easy!) and financial support.
Please spread the word about all the great things going on at RPM! We are always willing to share more about our program, give tours of our clinic, and welcome new faces at Transport Day!
Want to learn more about how you can help ensure staff members like Ashley have the resources available to do their best work? You can donate to RPM here or apply to become a foster here. Want to help, but can’t foster? We’re always looking for volunteers! Apply to be a volunteer here.