Sheila TFPF cover with dog

This month, I was proud to (virtually) present PETA’s 6th annual Gregory J. Reiter Animal Rescue Award to Sheila Choi.

Sheila is founder and CEO of The Fuzzy Pet Foundation, working in Southern California since 2005 to fix animal homelessness at its source. Her organization has provided more than 6,000 free spay and neuter surgeries to date, and has rescued and re-homed more than 2,000 cats and dogs. 

Sheila has worked with PETA’s national Cruelty Investigations Department and Los Angeles office many times – rushing to the scene, like a superhero, to help an animal running in traffic or wounded in an alleyway. Recently, her organization took custody of Bailey, a severely neglected dog who PETA rescued from a Los Angeles home where he was tethered to a fence night and day. Sheila promptly got Bailey vetted and groomed, and is now ensuring the perfect lifetime home. 

Like Greg and me, Sheila graduated from the University of California-Berkeley. It was there she first learned about PETA and the animal rights movement, met students who were fasting against animal slaughter, and became vegetarian. 

Last month, Sheila completed a degree from Georgetown Law in Washington D.C., and plans to use her legal skills to tackle animal cruelty.

“I am incredibly honored to receive this year’s Gregory J. Reiter Award,” said Sheila. “Life as an animal activist can be brutally sad, lonely, and exhausting with so much suffering in this world. I am grateful to you and PETA, for inspiring me to be bold and fearless, and to work hard for all animals in need.”

“I know Greg would think the world of your compassion and your achievements,” I said in presenting the award. “I am so proud to present you with this award in his honor – and I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the years ahead!”

Previous Greg Award recipients have been Julia Novak (2020), Danville Area Humane Society executive director Paulette Dean (2019), Houses of Wood & Straw founder Stacey Norris (2018), the Virginia Beach SPCA (2017), and Katie McCotter (2016).

Stay tuned for more to come about this year’s special award!

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