From South Africa to Seattle: Sue Borgman’s global passion for animals

Sue served on the Seattle Humane Board from April 16, 2019 – May 1, 2022

When Sue Borgman and her husband Brad moved from Los Gatos, California to Seattle, they needed extra support for their dogs, Jake and Taz. Their November move had brought them to an environment that was much louder, busier, wetter and darker than their previous sunny and spacious surroundings. Jake in particular was showing his stress from the change through his walks, tending toward reactive behavior around cars. Through her search for a trainer, she found Abby Higgs, who successfully helped Sue’s dogs adapt to their new home — she also provided an initial connection to Seattle Humane. As a volunteer and advocate for the organization, Abby encouraged Sue to consider getting involved.  

“I thought to myself, if these are the kind of wonderful people that work at Seattle Humane, I want to be a part of this organization.” Sue officially joined the board in 2019.  

Sue Borgman

Brad and Sue with their pups, Jake and Gus.

As a board member, Sue has enjoyed hosting board events, as well as helping plan for Tuxes & Tails. “I like organizing good parties,” she laughs. She’s also enjoyed helping with staff recruitment efforts and is excited to be a part of the changes she sees underway through the pillars of Seattle Humane’s Storyline

“I think what we’ve done with some of our new programs is magic. Helping families who want pets to have a pet, and supporting them through hard times so they can keep their pets rather than having to give them up, that is what means the most to me.” 

Having personal experience with the complications a move can bring into an owner’s life, she’s also a passionate supporter of Seattle Humane’s newer community programs, including the Supporting Pet Owners in Transition (SPOT) program. “When you don’t own a home and are trying to find somewhere you can rent that will allow your pets, it shows how important programs such as SPOT are. It can be such a stressful process.” 

Outside of her board work, Sue is a passionate supporter of female entrepreneurs and a lover of travel, recently going on a bucket-list trip to Manitoba, Canada to see the polar bears.  

She’s also an agility training enthusiast and, in non-pandemic times, enjoys joining competitions for fun with her two dogs, Gus and Jake. “As a result, they are very well-behaved children. They listen to their mother,” she says with a twinkle in her eye. Gus and Jake are also somewhat famous in the Seattle Humane community as featured pups in the Seattle Humane calendar five times in a row! 

In addition to her work with Seattle Humane, Sue is also very involved with the Woodland Park Zoo. “Since I grew up in South Africa, I’m very passionate about animal conservation, and I think the awareness zoos raise is extremely valuable.”  

Looking toward the future for Seattle Humane, Sue is struck by the progress of the organization throughout her time as a board member. “It has been extremely rewarding to see the growth — I’m so proud of what the team has achieved.” Heading into 2022, she is excited to be part of the planning for Seattle Humane’s 125th Anniversary Tuxes & Tails gala in May. 

“I like that we are thinking out of the box for this one and trying to do things a bit differently. It’s definitely going to be a great event.” 

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