We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily List and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
In my years of dog rescue and working with fellow animal advocates, my greatest lesson is to have empathy and patience. Myself and others see these dogs at their worst and the whole process of earning their trust and showing them that they are in a safe place can be very difficult emotionally. But seeing them transform and do so well in their new home makes everything worth it. Empathy is key to understanding how they hurt and how I can help them feel comfortable and happy. Patience is key because nothing happens over night, but it takes time and effort. Not every dog that I foster is the same, and my approach to training and comforting changes with each dog.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have worked in dog rescue for over seven years and it has been filled with many ups and downs. Many people are passionate about saving dogs, and I am lucky enough to have worked with many enthusiastic and well-informed individuals who have taught me so much about caring for and training abused dogs. I have fostered many dogs, but there have been some that really tugged at my heart strings and opened my eyes to the immense heartbreak and suffering they have gone through. I want to remember Faith, Scout, Stitch, and Teddy. Faith and Teddy largely influenced my decision to create OC Pom Rescue and to create an environment that is positive and welcoming to every type of dog. The types of dogs that I am talking about are the ones deemed “untrainable”, “aggressive”, or euthanasia candidates. I believe that rescue should be about bringing light and warmth into the lives of every dog and the focus should be on their rehabilitation. It is one thing to say “I am the voice for the voiceless” and another to actually work with a dog so that you can share their story. Empathy is so vital and it is a key aspect to working with dogs and overcoming challenges. The dog’s eyes tell such a story and it just takes one person to change their life. With each of my fosters, I strive to be that person that looks them in the eyes in order to build a relationship with them, teach them that there is good in the world, and find a loving, forever home. I lead a group of positive, empathetic individuals who are so willing to work with their foster dogs and treat them as their own, and I hope that I inspire others to do good as well.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Vegan restaurant hopping is hands down the most fun activity to do in L.A. I am a major foodie and will get down at pretty much any vegan hotspot. My Vegan Gold is one of my top restaurants, so I would probably start there. I love their Yellow Curry Noodle dish and the fresh rolls. I enjoy embarking on spontaneous adventures, so I would probably rely on restaurant recommendations from friends or people I meet at vegan spots to plan our next meal! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout Mercy for Animals. They were one of the first organizations that I looked into when I first became vegan and got involved in animal advocacy. Mercy for Animals stresses kindness and offers a plethora of resources to educate oneself on veganism and activism. They emphasize education through compassion and empathy, and bring to light a lot of topics that can easily stay hidden. Their approach to engaging people in conversation about animal welfare is what actually inspired me to create OC Pom Rescue.