PM360 recently spoke to Amy West, Associate Director, Patient Relationship Marketing & Diabetes Marketing at Novo Nordisk, about her love for animals and how that led to her involvement with animal non-profit organizations.
PM360: Amy, I understand that you volunteer for a non-profit. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Amy: I volunteer for Stray Cat Blues, Inc. (SCBI), a non-profit organization providing rescue and placement to stray and feral cats in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. It is run by an amazing group of volunteers dedicated to finding loving, life-long homes for abandoned cats, as well as managing the feral cat population in a “TNR” (Trap, Neuter and Return) program to reduce the number of unwanted kittens born each year. I’ve been involved for the past seven years, helping with fundraising efforts and events—as well as biweekly hands-on cage cleaning and interaction.
That’s a very noble mission! How did you develop a passion for this?
I grew up on a farm in rural Pennsylvania, so animals have always been a significant presence in my life. Tremendous consistency, responsibility and commitment are required to take proper care of animals. It’s important to me that animals are treated with respect and compassion. Quoting Albert Schweitzer, “Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”
How does this work personally fulfill you?
It simply feels really good to step away from the daily stresses and spend a few hours in an environment where there are no words or demands—other than for a little playful attention. It’s also nice that something so relaxing is also helping an animal that might otherwise be in a dire situation.
Who inspired you to get involved?
Definitely my parents. Again, growing up on the farm they reinforced the need to be responsible for taking care of the animals in a respectful and compassionate manner. Hard work and commitment was their mantra, along with the importance of making time to give back and help those in need. I think the combination of these foundational tenets are what inspire me to work in this (pharma) industry, where we focus on finding medicines or treatments that can help or cure those suffering with health problems. It’s always nice to hear from people who share how much you and your organization have helped change their lives for the better. And with volunteering, it’s really nice to get a friendly head bump from those who don’t have a voice.
What else do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I’m a big fan of exercise and outdoor activities. I love to ski, play tennis and run. After this winter, it will be great to be able to do some of these activities outside again! I have a 10K coming up so I’m really excited about that.
Where do you see your passion for animals going in the next few years?
A big dream of mine is to one day get back to my roots and run an organic goat farm. Of course, I’d have lots of rescue cats and dogs running around as well. It’s an ongoing discussion with my husband and family. I have to start kicking my PR campaign into high gear because not everyone is on board yet.