Help us get a dog park!
The Stephanie James Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity that provides funding for any animal in need. Our goal for this year is to get a dog park with an agility course. Hopefully, with your help, we will be able to get the land and items needed to make the park one of the best in the Orlando area. Currently, we have one of the top 10 dog parks in the country. We want to be #11!
Why a dog park?
Our friend, Stephanie, had a love of animals from the time she was very young. She started off her career as a zookeeper and worked with many animals. Early on, she took care of horses, dolphins, manatees, seals, sea lions, polar bears, belugas, and otters. Later in her career, she decided to work with elephants. She loved her animals! She also had 2 dogs and a red-tailed boa at home. Steph was most comfortable when she was surrounded by animals. She lived in Orlando, Florida for a short time and when she moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, she was ALWAYS at the dog park with her "kids". One of her dogs particularly enjoyed going through agility courses, and was really great at it. Eventually, she started to foster dogs for the local lab rescue in Tennessee and even took her hound dog to the local children's hospital and schools. We believe that a dog park in Stephanie's name will help us share the love and respect she had for not only dogs, but for all animals.
Our Friend, Stephanie
As you can see, Stephanie was an amazing person. She believed that if she made a connection with people through the animals she worked with, they would come to appreciate, respect and protect them. The animals would have someone "on their side". At the Knoxville Zoo, she helped design halloween costumes for the elephants for their annual "Boo at the Zoo" event. By working with the animals, Stephanie and the entire elephant staff would talk to the kids in their costumes and even "sneak" in some education about the animals. She also had the idea of making Easter baskets for the elephants. The "baskets" were refrigerator boxes filled with delicious treats for the animals to enjoy. She loved to give her "kids" toys and on one particular day, she was hanging one for an elephant when something spooked the animal and Steph was knocked over on accident. She fell against a wall and succumbed to her injuries on the way to the hospital. She was only 33 years old. We miss our friend, sister, and daughter very much. Even though she is gone, her drive to make a difference in the lives of animals continues on through the Foundation.
Want more info?
Please visit our website for pics and more about our "Big Plans"!!