Dotsie Bausch is an Olympian and silver medalist from the London 2012 Olympic Games, a former World Record Holder and a seven-time U.S. National Champion in cycling. As a vegetarian athlete, Bausch stood on top of the podium at the Olympic Games just five months shy of her 40th birthday, the oldest athlete ever in her discipline. Now as a vegan athlete, Bausch speaks around the world as a champion for farm animals and on the many health benefits of plant-based eating for athletes and anyone who wants to feel young and have endless energy and vitality.
Danielle Lowy, Esq.
Devoted animal activist Danielle Lowy started her career in advocacy as a criminal prosecutor in Riverside County, California where she served as the head of animal cruelty prosecutions handling countless cases of violence, cruelty and neglect.
As a long time shelter volunteer, Danielle regularly volunteers at local shelters and rescue organizations in the Los Angeles metro area. For the past several years, Danielle has focused most of her pro bono efforts to end the dog-meat trade in Asia through collaboration with the Humane Society of the United States, the Vanderpump Dog Foundation, Duo Duo Project and St. Martin’s Animal Rescue.
Danielle Co-chairs the Animal Law Guild’s annual symposium, focusing on a myriad of issues facing animals today – and how lawyers and law students can help change the unfortunate circumstances animals face in today’s society.
As an amateur photographer focusing on animals, Danielle sells her photography in order to donate the proceeds to animal charities. The plight of farmed animals is the next chapter for Danielle’s advocacy at Compassion Champs.
Linda Dawson was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and has resided in the heart of the beautiful Bluegrass State all of her life. Her farming roots run deep. Not only did she grow up on the family farm, she also has many fond memories of countless hours spent exploring the nearby farms operated by both sets of her grandparents. While rural life always involved plenty of activity such as crop planting, harvesting, and gardening, it was the farm animals that held a special place in Linda’s heart.
Linda treasures the many special childhood memories of life on the farm, including having the ability to saddle her pony, with her beloved dog at her side, and riding on the property, checking on the animals. She loved to bottle feed the calves or lambs and keep them company in their stalls, making sure they had fresh water, straw and music. She fondly recalls the times when newborns were brought into the house when harsh weather conditions or other factors resulted in their coming inside for shelter or care.
The affinity and compassion Linda had for animals as a child has remained part of her DNA throughout her life. After BA and MA degrees in Education and a BS degree in Paralegal Science, her career path led her to a law degree from Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University, and to become an Assistant County Attorney, in the Bourbon County Attorney’s Office. During her, over 25 year career, she and her office handled many cases that involved the mistreatment, hoarding or neglect of animals. These complex cases frequently involved addressing the difficult questions of how to help the animal “victims”, and where could they be relocated for proper care. These animals deserved the opportunity for compassion and healing, with the goal of either being rehabilitated so they could be adopted, or be provided with nurturing, temporary shelter until other appropriate arrangements could be made for their ongoing care. Linda quickly learned that, although more shelters and rescues were needed, there were many special people involved in operating or providing rescue shelter. From nonprofits to farmers who volunteered their barns or lots, these individuals were passionate, dedicated and determined to ensure that the animals were given a safe haven in which to recover and thrive. These amazing animal advocates witnessed time and again the powerful bonds that can develop, and the amazing healing that can occur (humans and animals alike), when people work together for the common purpose of identifying abuse, rescuing, rehabilitating and relocating animals in need.
Linda is honored to join the team at Compassion Champs, to continue her connection with animals and to help educate and safeguard them. She has known Compassion Champs founder, Dotsie Bausch, for many years and has observed firsthand Dotsie’s tireless dedication and commitment to animal activism, education and advocacy for animal rescue, rehabilitation and adoption.
Mary Lou Solid
Mary Lou is currently Co-Chair of the Sponsorship Committee at the Irvine Animal Care Center in Irvine, California. This entails outreach as an IACC volunteer to corporations and other businesses in the community to support the Center’s adoption and special animal care enhancement programs through sponsorships and fund-raising events.
Prior to this she lived in Santa Barbara, California, where she and several others formed a non-profit organization for the purpose of administering the County animal shelter. She served on the Board of Directors for nine years working under a management contract with the County Commissioners. During her tenure the shelter immediately became a no-kill facility, expanded kennel facilities and initiated a formal volunteer program, which Mary Lou headed as Volunteer Coordinator.
Mary Lou served as Director of Acquisitions for a Santa Barbara-based medical relief organization from 1991 to 2000. This entailed obtaining donated pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and equipment from companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Stryker surgical for Direct Relief International’s worldwide medical aid programs.
Her hands-on work with animals as a volunteer at the Irvine Center and other shelters in the past, including Oregon Humane Society and the Orange County Animal Shelter, gives her an acute sense of the need to educate the public and especially children, as our vanguard of the future to treat all animals with respect and compassion. Although there has been progress in this effort in recent decades, she is acutely aware that farm animal treatment has seriously lagged. Dotsie’s courageous and outspoken advocacy for the protection of farm animals from abuse is truly inspiring. The opportunity to be part of fulfilling her dream of a farm animal sanctuary focused on education and each person’s unique impact, enables everyone involved in this endeavor to take one more step in their journey towards promoting compassion and changing forever the way society views and treats farm animals.
Kristin Aakvik was born in Oslo and raised in a small town called Ski in Norway. She grew up having close relationships with animals and nature, being so fortunate to be surrounded by woods and farmland. But as the consumption of meat and other animal products is at the core of Norwegian culture and most people would argue that animals are always treated well on the country’s farms, Kristin was never exposed to vegetarianism or veganism growing up.
When Kristin turned 19 and graduated high school, she moved to Colchester in England to attend the University of Essex for her undergraduate studies. As she joined a program in Humanities that explored critical issues of our current era, Kristin was exposed to the topics of environmentalism, sustainability and animal rights. She joined an Animal Protection Society, in particular to help with fighting animal testing, the wild tiger slaughter and the killing of whales. In joining the society, she met dozens of vegetarians and vegans that influenced her to do her research on the issues of factory farming, and she became a vegetarian shortly after seeing awful undercover footage of how animals were treated. Kristin became the society’s Publicity Officer about 2 months after joining them, and 4 months later she ran for the election as the society’s President and won. The society was awarded ‘Best New Society of the Year’ by the Student Union, and it established a good network for animal activism, fundraising and volunteering opportunities on campus, and Kristin spent the summer before her senior year working with Greenpeace’s fundraising team in Oslo. A year after becoming a vegetarian, Kristin partook in a 30 day vegan pledge with PETA, and she has been vegan ever since.
After graduating from the University of Essex, Kristin joined the Masters of Arts in International Studies Program at the University of San Francisco and made the big move to the West Coast, where she had always dreamed of being. Kristin aimed to bring a new perspective to the program by focusing on critical animal studies, and she worked with a vegetarian professor for her Masters thesis titled “Inspiring Compassion: Ending the Commodification of Factory-Farmed Animals in the United States”. During her time as a graduate student, Kristin volunteered with Mercy for Animals, The Humane League, Vegan Outreach, VegNews Magazine, Amazon Watch and Sea Shepherd, and spent a summer working with outreach at the Mercy for Animals HQ in Los Angeles. Her last semester of graduate school, she worked as a research assistant, and assisted with teaching classes on environmental ethics and existentialism, where the topics of factory farming and animals were consistently covered.
Kristin now remains a volunteer for these organizations, is still living in San Francisco and assisting with operations for the food technology startup Clara Foods, who is making the world’s first animal-free egg white. She is passionate about combining the field of animal rights with advanced technology to create cruelty-free and sustainable foods, which will make the world a better place for animals, the planet and global health.
Paul J. Cowden
Paul Cowden has worked his entire life in the medical sales industry for companies such as C.R. Bard, Deseret Medical, Cathtech and Bard Access Systems. He loves working with and guiding people who are passionate about what they are doing and has a voracious appetite for learning and continuing to develop.
Paul served as President of the South Oldham Rotary Club and as the HOA President of his condo association. He has qualified leadership skills and is very hard worker, talented manager and organizer.
In retirement, Paul and his wife Margie, have moved onto the Compassion Champs property and are thrilled to be co-managers of this exciting endeavor. Both are focused on saving farm animals from a lifetime of abuse and neglect, but even more importantly, they are joyful about the opportunity to teach many people about a new way of eating plant based, that through the power of impact, will change the way the world views and treats farm animals for generations to come. Paul and Margie grew up in Kentucky as meat eaters and through their daughter Dotsie’s passionate and relentless pursuit of saving animals, they have learned that there is an alternative to old eating habits that is both compassionate and delicious.
They are excited to share their unique stories with the world, their grandchildren and their friends.
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