LaVeda is a California native working towards her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Previously, she served in the U.S. Navy as a security specialist. She performed anti-terrorism tasks and was a first responder to emergency situations. Her military background provides her the tools necessary to effectively communicate and establish trust with everyone she serves. LaVeda cannot recall a time before furry friends. “Pets offer an unconditional love that can be very helpful to people with depression. They also add a sense of responsibility, regular activity, a set routine, and reliable companionship, which can be an invaluable source of healing” states Dr. Ian Cook, Director of UCLA’s Depression Research and Clinic Program. LaVeda’s personal experiences with all of her pets over her lifetime have validated this assertion.