Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meet Erin Olsen, our new adoptions coordinator!


Seven months ago, I was feeling pretty bummed about life. I'd been moping around after being laid off my marketing job three months earlier, and I finally decided I should snap out of it and do something with my sudden increase in free time. So, I signed up to volunteer with No More Homeless Pets in Utah.

It started as a way to get my "dog fix," since I didn't have a pet of my own. I found myself helping out at weekend adoption events and at GCP, where dogs in our program await their foster homes. One shift turned into two and three per week, and every weekend I was making time to help at adoptions. Not even two months in, I was asked to join the Canine Casino Night event committee.

I started meeting all sorts of great people, all enthusiastic about giving every ounce of time, love, and commitment to the No More Homeless Pets in Utah animals. That enthusiasm is so contagious, and my time commitments and responsibilities with No More Homeless Pets grew. Spring Super Adoption, Strut Your Mutt, Canine Casino Night—you name it, I was there, ready to help anywhere I was needed.

And then I suddenly noticed Carmella. One of No More Homeless Pets in Utah's tougher dogs to handle, Carmella had been in the adoptions program for over a year and a half. Her gregarious personality had always intimidated me at adoption events, but I started to notice a sort of depression set in with her. So, I decided to steal her for a day from GCP and take her on a hike to cheer her up. She hasn't been back there since.

An hour after the hike, Carmella was curled up on my couch, and I was pondering ways to seek approval to keep her there indefinitely. And suddenly, I was a dog foster mom. Carmella goes everywhere with me I can possibly take her - the cool tiled laundromat is one of her favorite destinations. She also loves camping and has explored Goblin Valley State Park, Capitol Reef National Park, and Moab over the last two months.

After almost four months of touting my foster dog around, I realized she and I were very comfortable with our companionship, and I decided to make my home permanent for her. While serving as a Dog Tent Captain at the Fall Super Adoption, I adopted Carmella and relieved several long-time volunteers and NMHPU staff from the mutual wonder of "How much longer will Carmella have to wait for her forever home?"

She has found it. And I have found mine: This evolution of volunteer work, experiential learning in event leadership and fundraising capacities, foster care experience, and now proud adoptive dog motherhood has led me to find a new position of employment and my "forever home" as part of the No More Homeless Pets in Utah team. I am so grateful to have been chosen to serve as the new Adoptions Coordinator. I've already met so many wonderful staff members and volunteers, and look forward to getting to know many more as we all work toward our mission to end the euthanasia of cats and dogs in Utah. I'm ready to work hard and Save Them All!


  1. WOW! Such an inspiring story! I to was laid off about a month ago and have thought numerous times about volunteering at NMHP... I have started to apply for jobs at Vets with no such luck so far. All I know is I don't want to go back to working a dead end office job like the one I was at for 7 years. I want to make a difference in the lives of animals! I want my life to have a meaning. Thank You for sharing your story it has givin me hope on this gloomy day. I'm so happy for you and Carmella!! Who do I contact about volunteering information? Thank You!

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  3. Hey guys,
    I'm so happy to hear you are interested in volunteering! You can get involved by filling out a volunteer application on our website or by emailing me at

  4. Yeah Erin and Yeah Carmella!!!

    For those of you interested in volunteering, I volunteered for years and recently moved to Florida and can't be as involved. They are a great organization to work with and incredible people to be around, which is obvious by how long their volunteers stick around. I miss you guys but I hope to coordinate a visit with the spring super ;)


  5. Jaimi! Please repost your comment! Due to a technical glitch, it was accidentally deleted!

  6. Wow....I thought by being a crazy cat lady and fostering some kittens when I was laid off was something JUST I was doing. It is great to hear the stories of other people. These foster kittens have made my unemployed life so much better!

  7. We miss you too Heather! That would be awesome if you could come back for Super! :)

  8. I and my wife took Carmella to Strutt Your Mutt this year!! We took her for part of it at least. Lol She seemed to be a little too stressed out with all of the other dogs around her so we took her back early. :( She was a very well behaved pup for us though. Congratulations on adopting her. She deserves a great forever home.

  9. I am Billy Bob I'm part Pit and part Lab.
    Tootsy and Bobby are my mom and Dad.
    I am named after my dear Daddy Bobby,
    And my kind and caring Master Big Daddy.

    I was born Sept. the ninth two thousand ten.
    With seven brothers and sisters in a cozy pen.
    Our home is small but really quite comfortable.
    We all share a large bed and it's a sight to behold.

    The reason I am telling you this Erin Olsen.
    Is because I look just like your adoption.
    Carmella and I are spiting images, you'll see.
    Click on the following link for a picture of me.

  10. She's a lady when she wants to be
    With an innocence for all to see.
    She's a little devil most of the time.
    Most of what she does is a crime.

    She barks louder then her mama.
    And causes a whole lot of trauma.
    But she is still a little puppy at heart.
    Guess that's why she tears things apart.

    I gave her to Carla Hayes
    But Carla didn't like her ways.
    So Carla gave her back to me.
    To share with the whole family..

    She's not a bad dog.
    She's just not a good dog.
    But we love her to pieces.
    And each day that increases.

    But I have to find her a home
    I have more dogs then the law allows.
    She needs someone to love her,
    Love her and train her.

    So please tell me
    If No More Homeless Pets can help.
    I don't want her euthanized.
    Answer with a reply to this comment.

    You can see her picture
    if you put this link in your browser.