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August 1, 2020

In Memory of Reverend Elizabeth "Lizzie" Teal

In Memory of Reverend Elizabeth "Lizzie" Teal

The year 2020 is one of trials, tribulations and loss. Long-time humane society volunteer Liz Teal passed away on June 15th but left her mark upon the world. She and her dog Tomi brought much comfort and smiles to many over the years.

To honor Reverend Teal’s kind heart and generous spirit, Therapy Animal Coalition donated to the Society to further our pet-assisted therapy program. Board Chair, Kristi Leonard wrote:

“We have all recently felt the incredible loss of a volunteer who has honored both our organizations with her time and talents, Elizabeth Teal. We are requesting that the donation go along with a name change of the pet therapy program at Clay Humane to honor the legacy of giving that Liz embodied.”

Clay Humane feels privileged to change the name of our program to the Reverend Elizabeth Teal Pet Therapy Program to reflect her life-long good works.

The words below were taken in “present tense” directly from her Ministry of Animals website.

We hope this gives you insight to Liz and her unending faith.

Reverend Elizabeth Teal is an interfaith minister. She is honored to be present in chaplaincy and to create ceremonies and celebrations for all Creatures, large and small.

The content of these pages are her co-creations with the Great Reality:

The Light of Love shines through many windows; in all faiths there is a Golden Rule.

“I, Elizabeth Teal, believe that I am called to the ministry of animals. I hope to share and shine a light on our holy relationships with ourselves, each other and with other species. That is probably too arrogant, yet I am called. I hear so often the phrase the “human-animal bond.” We seem to have forgotten that we are also animals. I hear so often that we have destroyed nature. We seem to forget that we are a part of nature. I hear so often that God is nowhere to be found, and we seem to forget that in all the wisdom traditions, we are identified as children of the Gods, created in God’s image, voices of the Great Spirit, parts of the Divine – in whatever cultural language you choose, we are sacred.
My goal is to create spaces and forms (however they may look) for people to connect with themselves & each other; with Nature and with species other than their own in an open and authentic way. I believe in the power of the story as deeply as I believe we are the storytelling animal. But mostly, my desire is to bring a corner of solace, hope and healing to a bruised and troubled world that forgets, as we all do on occasion, that we and it are Holy.”

Reverend Teal is a specialist in interspecies/trans-species bonds, companion animal behavior, animal-assisted therapy, education, emotional support and crisis response. She was on the board of The Society of North American Dog Trainers; served on the Pet Partners National committee; was a member of The Association of Pet Dog Trainers; and was a Delta Society Pet Partners evaluator and instructor. At the ASPCA’s headquarters in New York City, she was coordinator of the Visiting Pet Program, served as an evaluator of shelter and Board of Health animals in the care of the ASPCA, and was a behavioral counselor with the Society’s Companion Animal Services. She and her dog Annie made over 19 trips to the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11 and volunteered at the NYC Family Assistance Center Pier 94 until it closed. Annie lived a long life of service and love. Reverend Lizzie has a new canine partner, Tomi, a Standard Poodle. Together they partner in chaplaincy, and spiritual counseling. Tomi is also a Canine Guardian ad Litem in the State of Florida, additionally he visits with the Clay County Humane Society.

She is a consultant for ‘Pattes Tendue,’ headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

She deeply believes in our healing connections with each other and other species. She actively tours as a speaker and storyteller, as well as appearing on local and national television and radio discussing pets, pet-related issues and our human bonds with them.

Reverend Teal is also a weaver of words and inks. She plays with clays and fibers. And she is a storyteller. She is has taken the vows and is a member of The Community of the Mystic Heart. Her ordination is from and held by One Spirit Interfaith Seminary.

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