Get to know us
WHO WE ARE
Natalia is a Colombian and Canadian citizen who migrated to Canada in 2009 to pursue higher education attending college to become a veterinary assistant. She worked in that industry for 6 years, and during that time, she developed a passion for animal advocacy and fundraising, which led her to pursue a second career in public relations. Her goal was to broaden her skillset in this field to continue working for animals’ welfare and well-being.
In her day job, Natalia is a marketing consultant for various organizations: Humane Canada, Ontario Shelter Medicine Association (OSMA), and McIntyre Rehabilitation.
She is the proud mom of a four-legged rescued pup, Sammy, a black corgi mutt, and Rosalita, a senior beagle mutt whom she rescued from the streets of Villa de Leyva, Colombia.
Natalia dreams of turning this passion project (HOLA) into her life’s work and dedicate herself fully to organizing outreach campaigns throughout Latin America to bring help to animals and communities who need it the most.
There are no childhood photos of Melissa without a cat or dog wrapped tightly in her arms, and barely any adult photos without the same theme. Melissa is a lifelong animal lover, a proud foster parent and a passionate advocate and fundraiser for animal welfare initiatives.
In 2019, she started her own digital marketing collective, Ctrl F., which is home to a number of animal welfare non-profit clients across Ontario and Melissa brings her non-profit heart and agency brain to each and every project.
Melissa has helped plan and executed three spay/neuter campaigns with Natalia Hanson through their organization, Humane Outreach for Latin Animals HOLA, which has collectively resulted in over $30,000 raised and almost 1,000 dogs and cats spayed/neutered.
She is a devoted mom to Koda, a 5-year-old Akita-mix, and her two gray rescue cats, Odin and Foster.
Humane Outreach for Latin Animals was born of a desire to do good for animals in areas where they need it most.
Natalia, originally from Bogotá, Colombia has always known first hand how dire the need is for spay/neuter initiatives in her home country in order to tackle the overwhelming amount of unwanted, stray animals. Animal welfare is not yet a priority in some Latin countries.
Melissa, a long-time employee of a local SPCA was looking for opportunities to help animals outside of her local community, where she fosters, volunteers and donates to animal welfare organizations.
In late 2018, Natalia and Melissa started a trial fundraising campaign and began to raise funds for spay/neuter surgeries in Villa de Leyva, Colombia, in partnership with a regional animal foundation. They raised $2,300 CAD in a month, and the funds were distributed for spay/neuter and rescue initiatives in three Colombian cities.
Seeing the success of the Villa de Leyva campaign and inspired by the warm fuzzy feeling of making a difference, Natalia and Melissa got busy and started planning a second, much-bigger campaign, this time in a different community, Cartagena. With a goal of helping 400 animals, they were pleased to improve the lives of 867 animals through spay/neuter and wellness treatments.
The 2022 campaign is live now and HOLA needs your support! Find out how you can get involved today.
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