Giving Thanks to those Who Give…Winning Essay…
I want to nominate Danielle Lindquist, my identical twin sister, because of her dedicated passion to not only helping shelter dogs, but also the elderly whose lives she enriches every week.
Danielle has spent the last 22 years of her life, falling in love with animals. During high school, she volunteered every weekend at our local animal shelter if she was not already working at the local pet store. This passion carried her on to college, where she chose veterinary medicine as her career. Danielle has worked every weekend, holiday and break since she was sixteen at her job as a veterinary assistant, caring for patients overnight during emergency shift, cleaning kennels and consoling grieving clients. She has always had a heart bigger than her chest could carry, but nothing touches my heart more than the C.A.R.E. NC program she helped start up her senior year as a pre-veterinary student at NC State University.
The C.A.R.E. NC program (Canine Assisted Rehabilitation for the Elderly of North Carolina) is a 501-C3 non-profit that dedicates its mission to improving the adoptability of shelter dogs, and training them to become therapeutic visitors for our local assisted living facilities. Along with a veterinarian, SPCA behaviorist and professional dog trainer, Danielle set up a working partnership among them with a common goal. This organization gives pre-veterinary students the opportunity to work with Wake County SPCA’s shelter dogs that are waiting for a new home, and bring them to local assisted living facilities every week to meet the residents. These residents, many of whom had to give up their own dog when moving in to an assisted living facility, get the opportunity to be loved by a dog again. Danielle has dedicated the past 2 years to transforming these shelter dogs into therapeutic visitors for the elderly of Wake County. In this way she and the C.A.R.E. NC team are able to fulfill a two-fold mission of increasing adoptability of these dogs while motivating senior citizens through the healing power of pets.
Danielle is currently a first year veterinary student at NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She is involved with many clubs at the CVM, her favorite being the veterinary volunteer service club, which she serves as the class of 2016 representative. She still serves as the volunteer coordinator for C.A.R.E. NC and volunteers Sunday nights with community dogs at a local assisted living facility, on top of her 23 veterinary school hours. I have never met a more dedicated, selfless, and passionate and caring individual. She has always put the welfare of animals as her top priority and deserves to be recognized for all she has done for the shelter dogs of Wake county North Carolina. I am sure the seniors she visits weekly would be more than willing to vouch for her, but as her identical twin sister, I can honestly say I have never been more proud of her and feel that she is very deserving of recognition.