An Important Message from Executive Director Carmine DiCenso
by Danielle Cookish
“The only constant in life is change.” I have always been fond of this particular quote from Heraclitus. It is a simple and short quote, yet powerful and true. Throughout my life and career change is something I have embraced. Change helps us grow, challenge ourselves, and expand our perspectives.
In the 25 years I have been in the field of animal welfare I have seen so much change. I have seen shelters in our region eliminate the need for euthanasia as a means of population control. I have seen spay and neuter become the norm rather than the expectation. When I first entered the field, treating a cat in a shelter that had an upper respiratory infection was not an option. Now, treatment is routine and has saved the lives of thousands of cats. It is so gratifying to see the positive changes that have enhanced the lives of animals.
My career in animal welfare began in 1996 at an animal shelter and it is with mixed emotions that I write this as my farewell to you. While I am excited to embrace this upcoming change, I am also saddened to leave behind Dakin and the work I have held close to my heart. While it is extremely difficult to move on from the field and all the incredible people here at Dakin, I know it is something I need to do and leave the field knowing it is in a much better place. There is nothing I can point to externally that led me down this path. At Dakin, I am surrounded by a supportive and caring community. I could not ask for a better board, staff, volunteers, or public. The culture at Dakin is positive, uplifting, and deeply woven into every fiber of the organization. It was there long before I joined. And it will be there long after I am gone. Dakin is a special place. One that is not reliant on a single person, it is the collective group that creates the greatness that is Dakin. If I wanted to stay in animal welfare, there is nowhere else I would rather be.
I hold enormous amounts of joy for all that we have accomplished together for the betterment of animals. It's these milestones and moments I will carry with me for a lifetime. And best it has connected me to each one of you.
I leave Dakin knowing that the future of the organization is bright. The organization has navigated the challenges of Covid, has a strong team of leaders, a robust volunteer core, and is in a very strong financial position. Dakin will continue to enhance the lives of animals and the people who love them for many many decades to come.
Thank you all for being such a positive force that enhances the lives of animals and people, every day. I am grateful for my time as a part of this compassionate and caring community.
With great appreciation,