Trendsetter to Know: Dr. Nellie Goetz

Name: Nellie Goetz, DVM MPH

Website

Age: 41

Title: Executive Director of Altered Tails, the largest non-profit spay/neuter organization in Arizona.

Married/Single: Married

Kids: 0

City you live in: Avondale

A typical day in my life includes…  

phone calls, meetings, spreadsheets and lots of animals!

I was born…

in Hinsdale, Illinois.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

Spring training season.

I’m listening to…

Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.

My family…

would love to move to Arizona (my parents are Vermonters).

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Maya Angelou.

One thing I cannot live without…

pizza.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a veterinarian (surprise!).

I’m inspired by…

that’s a tie between my mom and my husband.

The one person who motivates me is…

my husband; he always supportive and encouraging of anything I want to do, and he makes me a better person every day.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

a home for every dog and cat that needs one.

The perfect day would be…

sitting in my backyard with my husband and dogs, watching birds and enjoying the Arizona weather.

My first job was…

cleaning stalls at the barn where my horse lived.

My favorite escape…

cooking and birdwatching (at the same time if possible!).

My life…

is chaotic and full of new adventures with amazing people and animals.

I’m currently working on…

building a raised tomato bed in our backyard.

Always…

take the chance!

Never…

say never!

Favorite Quote…

“Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney.

Biggest Dream…

no more homeless pets!

My Pet Peeve(s)…

not wiping off the counter after you use the sink!

More about Dr. Goetz and Altered Tails…

Dr. Nellie Goetz is a seasoned veterinarian with extensive experience and a heart for animal welfare work. She recently joined Altered Tails as executive director which is the largest non-profit spay/neuter organization in Arizona. Its mission is to provide accessible and affordable, high-quality spay and neuter services for companion animals and free-roaming cats, and its vision is to eliminate euthanasia as a means of pet population control

In her role, Goetz oversees operations of the non-profit organization’s Phoenix and Mesa clinics, which perform approximately 18,000 low-cost or no-cost spay and neuter surgeries each year. She also will help expand the breadth, depth and reach of Altered Tails’ services and be the face of the organization in the community.

 She joined Altered Tails from Midwestern University, where she was a clinical assistant professor of Shelter Medicine. During her two-year tenure, she taught multiple courses, managed relationships with 12 clinical service partners and created the operations manual for a Midwestern University mobile clinic. Before that, she served as a high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter veterinarian at several organizations in New Mexico and was the lead surgical veterinarian for the American Veterinary Medical Association Reaching UP project in the state. She was also the medical director of the National Spay/Neuter Response Team at Humane Alliance (now ASPCA Spay/Neuter Alliance), where she trained teams in high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter “best practices.”

Goetz earned a bachelor’s degree from Otterbein College, a master’s degree from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. She also serves on the Development Committee of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, as a state representative for Arizona on the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, on the Veterinary Special Interest Group Policy Committee for Arizona on the American Public Health Association and on the Scholarship Committee of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Goetz is a national speaker and thought leader on spay/neuter research, feral cat surgery solutions, shelter medicine and other topics.

She lives in Avondale with her husband, also a veterinarian and animal welfare advocate, two dogs, two guinea pigs and several cats.

Established in 2003, Altered Tails is part of a national model with proven success in pet sterilization and reducing the euthanasia rate as a means of animal population control. The clinics have full-time veterinarians and technicians, and they also boast a “beach” with heated blankets and towels that aid in patients’ recovery after their procedures.

Last year, the organization performed more than 18,000 spay and neuter surgeries on companion animals and free-roaming cats. Altered Tails also is one of seven animal welfare groups that participate in an annual Fix.Adopt.Save. campaign to offer Valley residents free spay and neuter services, along with vaccinations for their companion pets. Largely as a result of the initiative, the intake rate at Valley animal shelters has decreased by 40 percent and the euthanasia rate has dropped an astounding 86 percent since 2012. 



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