One at a Time:

A Week in an American Animal Shelter



Diane Leigh and Marilee Geyer are former shelter workers passionately committed to giving homeless animals a voice. Their experience in animal advocacy spans over twenty years in a wide variety of roles, from hands-on care to community education and activism. Both live in California, sharing their homes with an assortment of beloved animal companions adopted from shelters and rescue organizations.

Diane worked in a small shelter, performing all aspects of animal care, shelter management, customer service, and public relations. She also served as Secretary of the Board of Directors for a shelter that cared for over 10,000 animals per year. Her guest editorials on the homeless animal problem have been published in local newspapers, and she has appeared on local television and radio discussing the issue. Diane founded several community outreach and education programs, including a holiday food drive for the animals of needy families, a campaign to promote the use of identification tags for cats, and the first Candlelight Vigil honoring homeless animals, which took place in Santa Cruz, California in 1992; the Vigil is now a national event held each year on Homeless Animals Day at hundreds of animal shelters across the country.

Marilee also has extensive hands on experience in animal shelter operations, having served as Animal Care Supervisor, with responsibilities that included kennel management, shelter staff supervision, all aspects of animal care, and euthanasia. She also held the position of Director of Community Relations, which included acting as media spokesperson for the shelter, writing and producing the shelter magazine, educational literature, press releases, a slide show for community educational presentations, and co-hosting a weekly talk radio show. Marilee also served on the Board of Directors of an animal shelter, and is a volunteer with a local rescue organization, producing a community television show focusing on animal-related issues.

Diane and Marilee's experience leaves them with extensive knowledge of the homeless animal problem and the animal sheltering system. More importantly, their experience has left them with a steadfast desire to change that system and to give voice to the animals caught in it. One At A Time also represents a personal objective: to honor and pay tribute to the millions of nameless homeless animals who have passed through this nation's animal shelter system, and to ensure in some way that they are not forgotten.