June 2012

Susan Ashley Leavell

My typical response when somene ask "So you save animals?"....is " No, they save me, I'm just returning the favor".

Susan Ashley LeavellHaving suffered silently through a troubled childhood, several domestic violence relationships as an adult which lead to severe depression and substance problems... My rehab has always been four legged creatures. I know what it is to be in pain and not be able to speak about it. So animals and I had a common bond, we just underdstood each other. I call it a mutual healthy co-dependant relationship. I lean on them, they lean on me.

I have always rescued animals when they've crossed my path but I started to seek the animals in the shelter a few years ago while living in Malibu. They are truly meeting a terrible fate there if not adopted quickly. Animal control would eventually fine me for having more than three dogs in Malibu so I needed a place to expand..... An opportunity arose in an empty high rise building in downtown Los Angeles...thus opening my rescue, Ruff Roads Rescue. Between November 2011- February 2012, my older daughter and I rescued and re-homed over 40 dogs. Most, only an hour from being euthanized We became "the last minute rescue". A lot of the dogs had mange and were sick with kennel cough and most of them pit bull mixes. These are the first to die in the shelter yet very easy to cure. Overall, we've rescued in the past two years over 100 dogs and about 50 cats and kittens. We also did our second annual "Ruff Roads Rescue" calendar featuring our rescue pups.

After learning of horse slaughter being legalized in the U.S. this past July, I have now redirected my rescue efforts to my favorite four-legged creature, our beautiful horses. Having been an equestrian rider all my adult life, this passion is dearest to me and the biggest challenge of all. After being invited to a private screening of the documentary film "Saving America's Horses - A Nation Betrayed", I've joined the campaign with the film's director to get this film released nation wide, bring huge awareness and to end horse slaughter once and for all. We are becoming a barbaric nation with senseless killings of the domestic animals that have saved so many lives like mine with their silent love. Every time I help save one... I am saved all over again.

Susan Ashley Leavell lives in Malibu and Downtown Los Angeles.
She has 4 animal friendly children, 5 dogs, 3 cats, 3 parrots, one horse and lots of reptiles.

Phone: 424-298-0566 or 310-242-3586


May 2012

Phyllis Walker has overcome adversity and is thriving! A survivor of domestic violence that threatened her life as a young married college student, Phyllis is a Woman of Resilience who welcomes adversity as an invitation to Celebrate Life!

Phyllis WalkerFollowing eye surgery to repair a massive detached retina, Phyllis re-invented herself and pursued her passion for photography as a medium of artistic expression and self-renewal in overcoming personal limitations.

Known as The Hummingbird Lady, she named her business Hummingbird Studios for the spiritual significance of hummingbirds in her life. (See Video)

Using a vintage 35mm camera and macro lens to create images designed to “Inspire the Spirit and Refresh the Soul”, Phyllis imbues each photograph with silent prayers of gratitude for the miraculous gift of vision!

When a message in a Chinese Fortune Cookie urged her to “Find A Place To Stand And Move the World!” Phyllis took action by merging photography, speaking, advocacy and entrepreneurship to empower survivors of domestic violence. Her non-profit organization, Esperanza! A Woman's Hope awards scholarships to survivors returning to school for job skills upgrade. Her logo: a Butterfly of Hope!

Actively involved in the domestic violence awareness and prevention community, Ms. Walker has received a "Making a Difference for Women" award from Soroptimist International of Atlanta and was a "Turknett Leadership Character Award” nominee.

Phyllis is focused on a heartfelt mission to inspire women from all cultures and walks of life to transcend their personal adversities as they flourish spiritually, emotionally, and financially along their paths. Her topics specific to Resilience, Triumph Over Adversity, and the Healing Power of Art are available as trainings and workshops at national and international conferences, and will empower women to envision a positive future for success.

Ms. Walker resides in Metro-Atlanta and enjoys a social lifestyle of meeting new and dynamic people. She spends quality time with her adopted rescue dogs and cats, while caring for a family of spayed and neutered feral cats. She also enjoys cooking, visiting fresh produce markets, and thriving art communities.

A percentage of profits derived from speaking engagements, workshops, and product sales will benefit her non-profit organization’s scholarship fund to economically empower survivors of domestic violence as they transition forward with their lives.

Phyllis may be contacted at 770.210.1187 or at TheHummingbirdLady@gmail.com.



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