Community Service Award

Caitlyn Gonzalez

2019 Outstanding Award Winner

Caitlyn has always had a passion for service. From making blankets for Project Linus to bringing home any stray she found, she's always done her best to find ways to make a difference in the lives of people and animals alike. During her time at UC Davis, that only grew to include working with organizations like the Trevor Project and finding ways to make her career goals line up with her service goals. As an aspiring veterinary pathologist, this led to working in arbovirus research as well as in shelters and veterinary hospitals. Through those to jobs, she was able to contribute research and time to issues near and dear to her heart. This included fostering, direct community outreach, educating others, and working towards solutions to widespread community issues.

With support from family, friends, and colleagues, Caitlyn was also able to start numerous fundraisers over the years for various organizations including one which will be the start of her own rescue. Over the next few years, while also heading off to vet school, Caitlyn will be establishing a rescue in the bay area that will focus on fostering and rehabilitating "difficult" and special needs animals to get them ready for adoption. The goal is to not only ensure fewer animals are put to sleep in shelters but also to conduct community outreach and educate more pet guardians on the realities of pet care as pets age or for pets who fall into a special needs category from the beginning. She hopes to continue this work far into the future and make a difference not only in the lives of animals but in the quality of life for pet guardians and their views on pet care.