by LYDIA COBB | photos by Soul of Photography

Passion for Paws

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Dorell Phillips Sackett and her husband Mark have lived in Quail Hollow for 18 years. Mark is an avid surfer (think dawn sessions). Their two daughters are vegetarians and Dorell is a dedicated vegan. Their family includes four dogs – one of which is always a foster from the shelter – and a cat. Exploring this town has led the Sacketts to exciting spots such as the tire swing at Indian Head Trail, Encinitas Ranch trails, Leucadia Farmers Market on Sundays, and many local beaches.


Name: Dorell Phillips Sackett
Community: Quail Hallow, Encinitas
Volunteer Affiliation: Friends of SNAP
Profession: Program Director of SNAP’s Neuter Scooter Program
Interests: Enjoying Encinitas trails and beaches
Favorite Local Spot: Beacon’s Beach


volunteer_sacket2Circling back to their four-legged family members, Dorell felt that she could do more to help overcrowded animal shelters. For 10 years she has volunteered with Friends of SNAP (Spay Neuter Action Project) whose mission is to save lives by reducing pet overpopulation. Dorell was inspired by a founding member of SNAP and reflected, “With my background as a humane educator, certified teacher, and animal welfare advocate, I was drawn to Maggie Houlihan, who was serving as councilmember when I first moved to Encinitas.” Ms. Houlihan was a volunteer shelter dog walker and noticed more dogs were entering shelters than were being adopted. Houlihan and a core group of volunteers realized that spaying and neutering is the best way to address unwanted litters. SNAP is the only organization in the county that provides comprehensive programs to solve the core causes of pet overpopulation. Dorell elaborated, “A female dog can have two litters per year with up to 24 puppies, who in turn can reproduce at the same rate. Female cats average three litters per year.”

volunteer_sacket3SNAP’s Neuter Scooter surgical bus offers low-cost services. A second bus is in the works. SNAP also works to reduce euthanasia by placing animals in foster homes. “In the space of 10 years,” added Dorell, “over 50,000 pets have been fixed in San Diego County in under-served neighborhoods where the need is greatest.” She encourages those who love animals to pay it forward. Volunteers are needed in monthly adoption events, medical check-ins, and in compassion workshops, where those with sociable pets can interact with families and inspire optimal pet care. “Being thanked for the work that I do while a client holds his or her pet lovingly before boarding the bus and picking up after surgery is something that never gets old,” added Dorell. She’s reminded of her mission to help when she returns home to her furry family members – wagging tails and all.


volunteer_sacket1Group: Friends of SNAP (Spay Neuter Action Project)
Mission: The Spay and Neuter Action Project saves lives by reducing pet overpopulation.
Website: www.snap-sandiego.org
Phone: 619-525-3047