Nancy E. Hassel is the Founder of Long Island Pet Professionals a business networking group for anyone in the pet industry on Long Island, NYC, Queens, Brooklyn, Westchester and the Bronx and soon expanding. Nancy is also a Public Relations expert and was a television producer for nearly 10 years.
Nancy always felt there was a huge disconnect with pet professionals on Long Island. After years of networking with other really great organizations, she decided to start a group solely for pet professionals – alas Long Island Pet Professionals was born and currently has over 120 members.
Nancy also created and teaches Free! Responsible Dog Ownership Classes (education and training) in the Towns of Islip since 2008 and taught it in Huntington from 2008 – 2010, currently starting the 4th year with Islip. Working with dogs for over 20 years, she is dedicated to educating and teaching people about dogs. In June of 2009, she was awarded an “Outstanding Citizen” award by Supervisor Phil Nolan of the Town of Islip for her work with the Responsible Dog Ownership Classes. In May of 2010 she was honored as one of the Fortune 52 Women by Long Island Press for her work in the pet community. She is also a committee member for Special Needs Dobermans and consultant with Uniting Against Lung Cancer and has worked on both “Kites for a Cure” events in Southampton for the past 4 years.
Nancy owns an awesome American Pit Bull Terrier, Max, who she adopted as a puppy from Out of The Pits. Max is now 9.5 years old.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Right now would be a vacation I am always very busy, which I love, but a getaway, road trip or discovering a new place would make me very happy right about now. But seriously, perfect happiness is so different to everyone; it could be in a small moment of success, seeing a loved one you haven’t seen a while, having that “aha” moment or the absolute joy of uncontrollable laughter with a friend over the silliest thing. :)
If you could come back as a dog or a cat, which one would it be & why? I couldn’t decide, as much as I am a dog person, I am a cat person too. Cats are independent, resourceful, very smart, and the cats I have owned in my life were very spoiled. Dogs are more social, super loyal and also very smart, and the dogs I have owned are also very spoiled. So I would be happy as either!
What is your pets most treasured possession? My dog Max’s most treasured possession - Tennis balls, no doubt about it. Although he has a lot of toys, and a marrow bone would be second choice, he loves, loves, loves tennis balls. To chase, rip apart and hold in his mouth on a walk.
Your proudest achievement so far? There are a couple of things I am proud of so far: one; is that we are going into our 4th year of offering a Free Responsible Dog Ownership class (dog education & training) in the Town of Islip, a first of it’s kind free program in all of NYS! We have had hundreds and hundreds of participants over the past 3 years and are thrilled to be starting our 4th year (and couldn’t be more thankful to Canine Fence for their 3 year of co-sponsorship to help continue the program). And of course I am proud of, in awe of and humbled by the success of Long Island Pet Professionals over the past two years, who knew? We have over 120 Members and continue to grow, and I am about to launch something new for the entire country very soon!
Who are your heroes in real life? Heroes in real life, now that is a hard question. Some of my heroes or who I am impressed with are entrepreneurs (whether in the pet biz or not) that have started something new from scratch and are now very successful, and that are also giving back to their community. My pet heroes are those in the trenches, the small non-for-profit animal rescue groups, horse rescuers saving horses from slaughter right here in the USA - groups that get no recognition – don’t have big budget or celebrity spokesperson but are working tirelessly every day with their local animals to find them new homes, train them, give them love and attention, and help pets that are normally looked over by other rescue groups. Those are the real heroes, people working hard every day to save the life of a pet in our local crowded shelters and not looking for the pomp and circumstance.