Laura Thomas’ passion project brings feel-good stories to life. 

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By Molly Jo Tilton, Photos by Andrea Altman

Austinite Laura Thomas’ new podcast Rescued by a Dog aims to bring a bit of good back into a gloomy, news-obsessed world. Each 30-minute episode focuses on one story of a dog who saved their owner’s life. 

“The world feels really heavy right now,” Thomas says. “Sometimes it feels like a dumpster fire. [It’s] really important to me to create something that brings light to the world.”

Thomas has had a long career of animal-related work. First as an editor for National Geographic and then working with Austin Pets Alive! But after deciding she needed a break from shelter work, she embarked on her passion project: a new podcast. 

“When I did leave the shelter, I was worried about having a lack of feeling, a lack of purpose in my life,” she says.  “I knew I needed to continue to maintain a connection to the animal welfare world. So this has been a life blood for me emotionally as I transitioned away from working in a shelter.

“This podcast was kind of waiting in the wings for me to have the time to do it,” she says. But starting a podcast isn’t always easy. For those like Thomas with little experience, there are a lot of challenges at first. From learning how to use equipment to interview techniques and marketing strategies. 

“The hardest part for me, quite frankly, has been figuring out how to market a podcast,” Thomas says. “I was pretty ignorant about social media; I’ve just had to get over my own fears and inhibitions about social media and embrace it as a tool to share these stories that I think are so uplifting.”

While Thomas remembers a time in her life when she dreamed of her hobbies becoming her income, she said now she just wants “to make things that make people happy and put them in the world and have that alone be enough of a reward.” 

You can find the Rescued by a Dog podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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