Board of Directors
President & Treasurer
For as long as I can remember, animals have always been a crucial part of my life. As a child, whether it was trying to feed a stray cat, watching wildlife, or playing with the neighbors' dogs, I always felt a connection to animals and wanted to be around them. My family's first dog, Tonka, was an amazing black labrador retreiver that we adopted from the MSPCA (Now APCSM) in Brockton, MA. I'm now the proud parent of a beautiful rescue Pitbull named Coan and a stunning long-haired cat named Bear.
Throughout high school and alongside acheiving my Bachelors in Psychology at Bridgewater State University, I started my work in the animal industry as a self-employed dog walker and pet sitter. After about six years, I was hired as an Animal Care and Adoption Counselor (ACAC) at the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts. Being an ACAC has been both challenging and endlessly rewarding. It is an indescribable feeling seeing a homeless pet find their new family and having a happy-ever-after story. One of the toughest aspects of that job, however, is witnessing the grief that accompanies a person or family that needs to surrender their beloved pet for reasons beyond their control. Many times those reasons are financially related.
Through the APCSM, I was able to build my connection to The Pet Pantry and found an incredible opportunity to help those in need. If providing pet food can help an animal stay with their family for another day, another week, another month, another year…then we will strive to carry out this mission for as long as we can.
My family and I have been lucky enough to share our lives amongst not one but three amazing cute little dogs: Chanel, Sketchy, and Willoughby. Three dogs are fun and hectic; spending time with my dogs have taught me to be compassionate and patient. For the last nine years of my life we have been learning together and from my experience owning dogs I feel it has grown me to be more aware of my actions and their effect on other people, as well as their effect on myself. Dogs expose to the human, the human's flaws.
It hasn't been easy to feed our dogs, we all chip in to afford the food they like. I personally have reached out to food pantries in the past for help feeding ourselves as well. I am no stranger to being on the other side of the table. The Pet Pantry is an opportunity for me to help people and that is something I have a passion for. Animal food is a consistent purchase, which when hardship happens to us is sometimes an expense that either will get kicked off the list by giving up the animal or toughing it out by feeding the animal whatever you can get your hands on. I have learned many life lessons that I give credit to interacting with my dogs, and want to help in the fight in helping families feed their pets for as long as there is a need.
Ever since childhood my family always had a pet in the home. We had a German Shepherd, a black lab, two stunning tiger cats, and now a mixed breed rescue. In 2012, I attended Worcester State University where I received my Bachelor of Science in Public Health, minoring in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Women Studies. I then returned to school at Merrimack College to receive my Masters of Education in Community Engagement with a concentration in Community Organizations. In one course, Management and Leadership in Non-Profit Organizations, my responsibilities included observing a board (L’Arche Boston North) and writing a strategic plan based off the information we received. I also participated in the Head Start program in the Greater Lawrence community.
In the Spring of 2017, I fostered a beautiful, seven-year old Pitbull from the APCSM who was surrendered with cancerous tumors. During my time with Bella, I decided to pursue my own business in the pet service industry, starting off with dog walking and pet sitting. As my journey continued, I worked for Follow My Lead in October 2017. I am now a proud owner of Pawsitive Resolutions and a board member of The Pet Pantry. I am excited to continue this journey in the animal industry!
Jess founded The Pet Pantry in 2009. She and a group of peers ran the Pantry and helped served over 100 families at the Coyle and Cassidy Food Pantry in Taunton. Because of her vision, the Pet Pantry is growing and able to feed multitudes of animals every month. Jess is now studying Veterinary Medicine in Australia.