The Peacock Foundation was started in 2002 as a Public Benefit Company. Lisa Peacock was the driving force behind the creation and implementation of our animal-assisted interventions. Her story inspires the work that we do.
At 9 years old, Lisa lost her father in the crash of Northwest Flight 255. As a young child, death did not make sense, and she became more focused on creating joy for her mother than figuring out where her father had gone. At her lowest points, Lisa sought comfort from animals (horses, dogs, cats, and rabbits). These animals would never tell others how much her heart hurt.
In 1996, Lisa began her higher education at Arizona State University, and by the spring of 1997, she was thriving. But on April 29, 1997, her world shattered. Her mother was killed in a car accident on the way to a meeting. At 19, she was an orphan.
Relying on friends and family, she tried to pick up the pieces of her life. She never imagined 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 option. “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. Lisa has devoted her life to ensuring that these children get to experience the love, compassion, and healing that animals can provide.