MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Laurie Hoffman, who started out as a volunteer and now holds the title as Executive Director at the Humane Society of Greater Miami, is Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani’s next inspiring woman to be featured in Gilani’s latest edition of “Women to Watch.”

Gilani got to spend quality time with Hoffman—who was a volunteer at the Humane Society 11 years ago.

Hoffman’s passion for caring for dogs and cats in need of a home is just as important as it was to her when she first started.

The Humane Society of Greater Miami is a safe haven, a no kill shelter, and home to over 400 homeless animals.

Devoted staff and volunteers love and care for the animals as if they were their own—especially Hoffman.

It takes a certain kind of person, Gilani said, to run a homeless animal shelter—and after spending a day with Hoffman, she realized it isn’t toughness that helps Hoffman or the others get by, it’s tenderness.

Hoffman left a high powered job in search of a life filled with more meaning and a way for her to bequeath her tenderness upon those less fortunate—who turned out to be the surplus of homeless pets in Miami.

It was not only a blessing for the animals—but for Hoffman as well.

“I need to care for something,” said Hoffman. “I made a big career change because I wanted to help somebody and here I help about 400 animals every day and it’s rewarding. It makes life meaningful. It is fulfilling and fills me with joy. My priorities changed. I was living in Atlanta, I had a corporate job—I was doing well. But I felt empty. I said to myself ‘I need to do something that really matters.’”

So Hoffman quit her job, moved to Miami and started at the Humane Society as a volunteer.

“I volunteered and this new building was in the works and they offered me a job. It was part time and only $7.50 an hour. I was happy to take it,” Hoffman said. “That was almost 11 years ago and here I am—and I’m loving it.”

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Hoffman has learned a lot about life from homeless animals.

“I have learned that there is always somebody who needs some help and give up what you’re doing and help another,” Hoffman said.

In addition to loving the dogs and cats that populate the shelter, Hoffman adores her team.

“The staff here treats animals like they were their own. I love to see that. Everyone is dedicated to what they do. We all work for and with the animals. It’s very meaningful,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman’s advice to all is to “embrace your flaws.”

Gilani, when interviewing, usually holds a “fill in the blank” round with the woman to watch. Hoffman described herself as; passionate person, who will do good, who promises good as she does believe in karma, wishes for more love for everyone, and wants people to say, “she was a great friend to people and to animals and she was good.”

For more on Hoffman and the Humane Society of Greater Miami, like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HumaneSocietyOfGreaterMiami and follow them on Twitter: @humanemiami.

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