Animal Hero of the Month: Kasey Klem

The animals of Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada have a fighter on their side. Meet our Animal Hero of the Month winner for June, Kasey Klem.

Kasey and Tucker.
Kasey and Tucker

Our Animal Hero of the Month award winner for June is Kasey Klem of Winnipeg Animal Services and Earthdog Terrier Rescue of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Kasey was introduced to animal services when she visited the facility to acquire a license for her first dog as required by law. She saw the overwhelming number of dogs there, some lonely, sad, ill, discarded, elderly or lost from their homes, and her desire to help them would change the course of her young career.

Kasey started volunteering at animal services and eventually joined them as an animal services officer. Her nomination comes from someone within the animal services family who explains the difference Kasey has made to their facility and the many animals she has helped.

The Nomination

Charlene Vasas wrote to us to let us know of all the great work Kasey does for Winnipeg Animal Services:

Kasey Klem has volunteered for the City of Winnipeg Animal Services for many years. She actually more than volunteers. She is the lifeblood of the adoption program. She names the dogs, fights for them and socializes the scared ones so they can find their forever homes. She even fosters the hard-to-place dogs and organizes and runs fundraisers for the dogs that get sick. She personally gets to know each and every dog that goes up for adoption in our facility and at various rescues throughout the city of Winnipeg.

Recently Kasey became an Animal Services Officer with the City of Winnipeg. This has allowed her to become even more involved and more helpful to the animals that are rescued. Not only does she spend her work hours at Animal Services, she still volunteers on her days off. She knows the personality of every dog that goes up for adoption and probably remembers every single dog that she has assisted in finding their forever home. I could go on, but there isn’t enough room to write all of the amazing, selfless acts of kindness this one person shows toward each animal that she meets!

I realize that animal services would run okay without her but we all know that with Kasey Klem working and volunteering like she does, each and every animal has a little fighter on their side.

I feel that Kasey is the ideal animal hero and would love to see her recognized for all she does and continues to do!

Winners will receive a Animal Hero of the Month medal.Prizes

Here’s what each of our Animal Hero of the Month award winners receives:

  • A feature article like this one
  • Social media mentions across all of our platforms
  • A permanent spot on the list of winners
  • Our custom, engraved gold-tone paw print medal with ribbon
  • $50 cash award

About Kasey’s Organizations

Winnipeg Animal Services offers more than just a holding area for animals. They offer care, love, grooming, training and perhaps the only hug, attention and affection an animal has ever received. The following video shows the care and compassion they have for what they do, and you’ll probably need a Kleenex to watch it:

In addition to the volunteer and professional work Kasey has performed at animal services, she also opened her own rescue which she runs with her friend Tracy. Earthdog Terrier Rescue is a registered, non-profit rescue operating out of Manitoba. Despite the name the rescue tries to help any breed of dog or other animal in need.

The rescue lists available animals for adoption, holds fundraisers to cover expenses and help pay for specific animals’ medical needs, attends local events, partners with local businesses and thrives on the support of their foster parents. They are always in need of foster parents so they can help more animals.

There are amazing stories of hope created by the difference Kasey makes in the animals she meets. Libby was scheduled to be euthanized, but she ended up going home with Kasey instead. Scared, shy and fearful, she tried to hide in any place she could. Kasey worked with her to build her confidence, trust and show her that she had nothing to fear. The following video shows the difference in Libby after being saved by Kasey:

Another dog named Reba was passed over for being a black dog that no one wanted. Eventually a foster parent was able to take her in, and Reba was able to know love, hope and family. Kasey tells the stories of similar dogs passed over for their appearances despite their winning personalities being perfect matches for the inquiring adopters: “Dogs … who aren’t “unique” looking, who don’t have a “story” still deserve homes too.” She hopes a happy ending is waiting for Reba, and you can see her in this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIR_BTG0FX8

There are more stories than we can list, but one thing is certain: lives of countless animals have been saved and flourished by Kasey’s actions. She has helped spread the message about responsible pet ownership, advocate for animal services and rescues and taken in countless animals in hopes of extending their times to find permanent families. I have no doubt she would take in more animals if she could and luckily for the animals of Manitoba, Kasey continues to be an animal hero every day. As Kasey stated in one of the videos, “…there is a second chance for everyone.” Thank you, Kasey, for providing that opportunity to every animal you meet.

Q&A With Kasey Klem

Kasey, what got you started helping animals?

It all started after I got my first dog, Tucker. I went to get him a dog license and saw all the stray, unwanted dogs at Animal Services that needed homes. I decided not only to adopt my next two dogs, but also to help all those others still waiting. I knew there were not many volunteers that came, and I had a lot of new ideas and time to help.

What’s your earliest childhood memory that is animal-related?

Visiting the zoo and various other wildlife sanctuaries with my parents as well as owning hamsters when I was approximately 12 years old.

How old were you when you got your first animal?

I had hamsters when I was younger but officially owned my own dog at 22 years old.

What is your favorite animal?

Giraffe.

Tell us about the one animal you will never forget.

Trinity. By: Kasey Klem
Trinity

Trinity came to Animal Services severely neglected by her past owner and needed medical help. A senior with multiple health issues did not make her highly adoptable or — quite frankly — a candidate for adoption. I saw beyond the many tumors, missing hair all over body, hairless tail and paralyzed face that caused her to drool and saw the true beauty within. I asked that if she did not have any major health concerns Animal Services allow me to take her home and foster her, even if that meant she spent her remaining days with me.

Trinity blossomed with me at home for many months and with the right diet and medication was able to regrow some hair, and her overall health improved. She was a wonderful little lady who waddled, drooled, barked for no reason, snuggled and cuddled you to pieces. She acted like you were the most wonderful thing coming into her life each and every time you got home; we could not have asked for more.  Trinity was adopted by the most wonderful family and got to live out her life on a farm. I will never forget Trinity or the email I received from her family on April 18, 2012 letting me know she had passed away.

Hi Kasey,

Just wanted to let you know that our dear sweet Lady (Trinity) passed away sleeping on her chair Saturday evening. She is and will be missed more than I even thought possible in such a short time! I wish I could have met her years ago. My little farm animals will miss her watching over them also. At least she had a very good couple of months being a happy farm dog! Keep doing what you do! Let me know when some other senior or otherwise looked-over, hard-to-adopt comes through. I will come!

Shannon

I would cook her meals, wipe her drool and carry her up the stairs when it got to be too much all over again just to have another couple of days with her. She will always be the dog I will never forget.

What are the least and highest amounts of pets you have had at one time?

One dog and as many as three cats and six dogs.

If your pets could talk, what would they say?

“I’m live at Club Med; can we invite some friends over?”

If you could solve one problem facing animals, what would it be?

Overpopulation. We need spay and neuter programs to stop the cycle of unwanted animals being created. We need tougher regulations making it mandatory to have your pet spayed or neutered. People have to be educated as to the numerous health and behavioral benefits that are associated with spaying and neutering your pets. Myths and negative connotations associated with getting pets spayed or neutered have to be debunked.

If you could be reincarnated as any animal, which would you choose and why?

The wolf. They are sleek, majestic, powerful and intelligent animals. They love and care for their packs but are independent and self-reliant.

If the rainbow bridge exists, which pet would you most like to see waiting for you on the other side?

All of them. I have ensured to have someone be with them until the very end.

* * *

If you would like to nominate someone to be Pets Adviser’s next Animal Hero of the Month, nomination details are available here.

Help us make this award even more special. If you or your company is interested in sponsoring our Animal Hero of the Month award or adding prizes, contact us at [email protected]

  • Learn more about how Pets Adviser is working to help make a difference: How We Help.

Images are courtesy of Kasey Klem.

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of an award-nominated book, One Unforgettable Journey, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. She was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. She is also employed as chief operating officer for a large mental health practice in Louisiana. Kristine has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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