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Meet Stephanie Nisan of The Animal Pad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Nisan.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Stephanie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Since childhood, my number one passion has been animal advocacy (In case you were wondering, yes, I was that girl who protested the frog dissection in Biology class). Dogs have always been a huge part of my life and in 2010, I co-founded The Animal Pad when we saw the dire need for help and reform in the shelter systems throughout Southern California. Since then, we have grown tremendously and have broadened our reach to the street dogs of Mexico. There is little to no help for these dogs and the conditions are just horrific. Rescuing from another country has presented many, many hurdles, but we just can’t look away and we won’t.

Our ultimate goal is to have a local sanctuary as well as to expand into more cities. Our goal this year is to rescue 500 dogs- this is a tall task but we have the BEST rescue team on the planet and I am confident we can achieve it!

Has it been a smooth road?
Smooth?! Hardly! Without a doubt, the most difficult undertaking of my life has been running a rescue. The heartache, the stress and the countless hours take a toll but I’m fortunate to have a career as a Real Estate Broker that affords me the flexibility to be able to continue to pursue this dream. By far, our biggest struggles have been with the Mexico side of the operation: From identifying a dog, to arranging for them to get to a vet In Mexico (the vets in Mexico are a HUGE struggle to deal with), to finding a San Diego based foster, then often having to re-do the vetting they received in Mexico, networking, fundraising and then adopting them out… to say that it’s a struggle is an understatement. With all that being said, watching a dog come from the streets, to a loving forever home is a feeling that’s just indescribable and it makes everything worth it!

Finding reliable foster homes is one of our other big struggles. Fosters are the life line of our organization and we couldn’t do what we do without them! We provide every and anything needed to our fosters, we just need people to open up their hearts and homes to a homeless dog until we get them adopted. Any foster will tell you that it’s often a life changing experience- not only for the dog, but for the human as well. Dogs are extremely resilient creatures and watching them flourish while in foster care is just a beautiful process to witness, for everyone involved.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Animal Pad is a 501c3 nonprofit, all breed, foster based dog rescue. We are a 100% volunteer based and not a single person is paid on our team. We are all professionals who dedicate countless hours of our time and it’s so rare to have such an incredibly wonderful group of volunteers work so seamlessly with each other. Hands down, what makes me most proud is our team. It’s an honor to rescue side by side with such incredible people! Any of our fosters or adopters will tell you how great it is to work with this team, which says a lot. I smile from ear to ear every time I get to speak about the wonderful humans that make TAP such a success!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
San Diego is an extremely dog-friendly city (although we are lacking more pet-friendly housing, but that’s another discussion). Not only are San Diegans wonderful but We also have countless businesses who reach out to us regularly to hold adoption events at their locations which is great!

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