For the past 27 years, Rios has been working as a vet assistant and a receptionist at Antioch Veterinary Hospital with three locations in the East Bay. "I’m really proud of the fact that I’ve been at the same job for so long," she said. “The car that Mike’s Auto Body gave me played a big part of that, because it allowed me to get to work without car breakdowns or delayed buses, for example.”
Rios has always had a strong connection with pets, especially those with ailments or who are handicapped, she said. "I have been pet sitting for more than ten years now, taking care of an elderly cat that has diabetes and other cats and dogs who require special attention. Many of my clients give me the keys to their homes and know that they can count on me, because I love the job.”
As the owner of two feisty Chihuahuas named Nina and Bella, and too many cats to mention, Rios lives to help animals every day at her job and at home. She loves giving back as a way of “paying it forward” after Mike’s helped her out during a time when she needed it the most. As a result, she works with several pet non-profit organizations at Antioch Veteran Hospital, including groups such as Animal Rescue Recon, Halo and Harp, and Ozzie Pound Puppies, among others.
“Getting dogs and cats adopted is always fulfilling—I never get tired of it,” Rios said. “There are a lot of good owners and a ton of wonderful pets out there in the Bay Area that have lost their homes for whatever reason. So, when we find a good match, it’s very satisfying.
Since receiving her Honda Accord, Rios’ entire family has been able to use the vehicle to enhance all of their lives, she said. "It has more than 150,000 miles on it and for many years it was like a member of our family. A few many years ago, it was stolen at my son's school in Pittsburg and we thought we’d never get it back. But, a few days later the police called us and said they found it totally unharmed.”