FROM THE FAMOUS FOX: HOW FARMER JEANNE SELANDER BECAME ENAMORED WITH ANIMALS

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm Supervisor Jeanne Selander with Reef when he was a baby. CONTRIBUTED

Hi friends! Reef the fox here with your weekly “Reef’s Report.” 

Boy oh boy, do I have a treat this week. I sat down with one of our favorite humans to ask her some questions about life, work and the animals she cares for. The one, the only, Jeanne Selander. 

The supervisor of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm down in Key West, Selander and my mom met in 2017 after Hurricane Irma. My mom volunteered to help clean up the farm and get the animals settled back in after the storm. Did you know that they moved all of the animals up into the jail on the service elevator to ride out Irma? Pretty wild, huh? Anywho, my mom and Jeanne became good friends, and then in 2018 two foxes were surrendered to the farm, my mom fell in love, and long story short, Pawsitive Beginnings was born. 

Reef: Have you always worked around animals?

Jeanne: I’ve always had animals in my life, but not all of my jobs have involved animals. I have worked at several aquariums, trained horses, aquaculture, florist and been an environmental consultant.  

Reef: Where did you grow up and when did you start working at the farm? 

Jeanne: I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina on James Island, and started working at the farm in September 2006.

Reef: What animal at the farm has had the most impact on your life? 

Jeanne: That would’ve been Mo the sloth.

Reef: Mo was undoubtedly one of the most loved creatures and had an impact on so many people who got to meet him. Even those who never had the opportunity to meet him fell in love with him. So do you believe that the inmates change after having the opportunity to care for the animals?

Jeanne: They absolutely do. Many of them gain a greater appreciation of animals and learn compassion and responsibility.

Reef: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met as a result of supervising the farm?

Jeanne: Well Reef, that would have to be you, of course.

Reef: Yes! I love the appreciation for me. I have waited for an interviewee to answer that question with the obvious answer that I am, in fact, the most interesting fox in the world. On that same note, what is your favorite thing about me?

Jeanne: Your sassy attitude!

Reef: You are right about that, my friend. Lastly, what is your opinion on fur being used in fashion? 

Jeanne: It’s cruel and outdated. Fur coats are for animals, not people. 

That’s all for this week my friends. Head on over to pawsitivebeginnings.org to see what’s new. We have an online fundraising event coming up on June 4, and it is a good one. You can get your tickets online by heading to our website. 

Until next time, Reef, over and out!

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Reef was born on a fur farm on or around March 28, 2021. He was able to be rescued when his mother and siblings started to reject him. Reef is missing toes on his front, right paw and the tip of his tail is missing due to injuries sustained in his short time on the fur farm. Reef arrived at Key Largo on May 6, 2021 by Nicole Navarro, of Pawsitive Beginnings Inc.