Lisa Peacock is the driving force behind the creation and implementation of The Peacock Foundation and its animal-assisted intervention program.
At the age of nine, she suffered the loss of her father in the crash of Northwest Flight 255. As a young child death did not make sense, and she was more focused on creating joy for her mother than figuring out where her father had gone. At her lowest points she would seek out the comfort of animals (horses, dogs, cats, rabbits). These animals would never tell others how much her heart hurt. In 1996, Lisa began her higher education at Arizona State University. And in the spring of 1997, she was thriving.
Until April 29, when her world shattered. Her mother was killed in a car accident on the way to a meeting. At the age of 19, Lisa was an orphan. Relying on friends and family, she tried to pick up the pieces of her life. Never would she imagine that the key to her healing would again lie in the paws, beaks, and hooves of others. She began working at the Phoenix Zoo in the fall of 1997, and has since professed this as the inspiration for The Peacock Foundation.
Lisa often contemplates what her life would have been like without the accessibility to animals. Drugs, sex, violence, and other harming behaviors were all hovering in the wings. However, given the choice, an animal was the more appealing of the choices.
“Ask any child, “ she says, “and they will tell you time after time that they would choose to be with an animal when they are sad or upset.” However, so many children do not have this option. That is why Lisa has devoted her life to finding the children without access to animals, and making sure they get to experience the love and compassion they deserve.
Since 2002, The Peacock Foundation has provided group counseling services to more than 5,000 children at over 20 community organizations. The programs have been so sought after that there is now a waiting list, and Lisa is dreaming of the day when that list is again empty.