TRI-CITIES, WA - Animals aren't just pets; they're family. That's why a Richland woman spends her free time fighting for animals without a home.

Julie Webb was nominated for Madeline Motivates for her tireless work as a community activist and Tri-Cities Animal Shelter volunteer.

She volunteers weekly at the shelter, walking dogs for an hour three times a week.

"What the public doesn't really understand is... the people that work in the animal shelter, the staff, have some of the hardest jobs," Julie says. "My husband is a firefighter and he calls them his heroes."

Facing a back injury and ongoing symptoms of COVID-19, Julie has some extra time set aside for recovery. She chooses to spend that time advocating for shelter animals.

"It's a blessing that my back went out and I needed to do something. I'm getting to have more time at the shelter walking and posting pictures and videos."

Leash in hand, she goes out of her way to help. Julie says she walks dogs at the shelter to get them out of their kennels and give them a sense of normalcy.

In addition, Julie also educates the public about getting involved.

"I can be a voice for the people who don't have a voice... for the animals."

From voicing concerns at City Council meetings to daily walks and Facebook posts, Julie leads the charge to build a new animal shelter in the Tri-Cities.

She rallies the community together, encouraging others to support the effort and create change for local animals.

Julie says doing this helps everyone involved.

"I can't go to the gym, I can't run, I can't do a lot of things that I used to do. Knowing that a slow paced walk is helping me, and the animals, and the shelter staff... That's less stress for them."

Julie encourages community members to support the Tri-Cities Animal Shelter by liking and sharing their new social media pages to help local animals find loving homes. TCAS is on Facebook and Instagram. To visit the new website, click here.

The shelter is located at 1312 S. 18th Ave. in Pasco. For more information, call 509-545-3740.

Julie says the community will get a new animal shelter soon. Stay tuned for the date of the Ground Breaking Ceremony.