As the daughter of a vet, dogs have been a big part of Lesley's life since she was a child. While volunteering at local rescues after moving to LA, Lesley quickly became aware of the devastating number of healthy, family-friendly dogs that were being euthanized in the shelters due to lack of space. In 2009, Lesley mustered up the courage to leave her comfortable pharmaceutical sales job and vowed to make as big of a dent as she could in this misconception and resulting shelter overcrowding crisis. Armed with dog-loving, intelligent, loyal volunteers who share Lesley’s can-do attitude, Wags and Walks has quickly become the fastest growing dog rescue organization in Los Angeles.
From the time she can remember, Erica has been an animal lover. As a young child, she had a family cat as well as many fish and birds. At 10 years old, she finally convinced her parents to add a dog to the family, which led to 3 amazing family dogs over the years. In the fall of 2011, after offering to foster an American Bulldog named Cupcake, Erica met Lesley Brog and it became clear she had to be a part of the Wags & Walks team. Since joining Wags & Walks, Erica has adopted 3 Wags dogs - Charlie an 80 pound pit bull, Brynn a 35 pound timid pit bull and Heartly a boxer/pointer/lab with all the confidence in the world! Erica's parents and brother have all adopted Wags & Walks dogs as well! As Wags & Walks Adoption Event Coordinator, Erica coordinates all of the regularly scheduled adoption events for Wags & Walks, fosters many dogs for the organization and keeps our website up to date!
Kristen began volunteering with Wags and Walks in January 2013. She met Lesley through a friend and jumped at the opportunity to help her amazing cause. As Fundraising and Marketing Coordinator, Kristen organizes fundraising events throughout the year to benefit Wags and Walks and also creates fliers and promotional materials for adoption events. Kristen is thrilled to be a part of such an incredible team and is honored to play a part in the continued success of Wags and Walks. She loves all dogs, but has a special affinity towards scraggly terriers with under-bites. She loves them even more if they have a little "attitude". Kristen currently lives with her husband and their adorable rescue pugs, pit bull and senior dog. You'll see Kristen at Wags and Walks fundraisers and events.
Kimmy's first introduction to Wags and Walks was spent snuggling with a litter of pitbull puppies during a "meeting" with Lesley Brog and she hasn't looked back since! Despite years of begging her parents for a dog (at age 8 she even refused to open her holiday gifts since none of the boxes were barking), her only pets growing up were hamsters, goldfish and even a newt! These days she has her very own lovable mutt named Sawyer and unlimited access to LA’s finest through Wags and Walks. You may be hearing from Kimmy if you or your business is interested in partnering with Wags and Walks or at some of Wags and Walks events throughout the year.
Ever since she was a baby, Crystle has been around dogs. She never thought she would find one that she would love more than her childhood dog, Scottie. Then she fostered (and eventually adopted) a special dog named Zeke. She saw what fostering and volunteering at a dog rescue could do for not only herself, but also for the dogs in need. In the summer of 2013, Crystle was laid off of work. With all this free time she decided to start becoming more involved with dog rescues. She started transporting for Wags and Walks and then began to get more and more responsibilities. Crystle spends time at our local shelters choosing some of the dogs Wags and Walks rescues.
Megan, a dog lover like the rest of the team, was horrified by reports that thousands of homeless dogs in Sochi were being euthanized due to the 2014 Olympics. When she attended the Winter Olympics in 2014 and witnessed the awful conditions the dogs were in, she and a few other friends decided to take action and rescue some of the Sochi dogs. After the dogs made it back to the USA they were adopted by wonderful forever families! Witnessing the world wide homeless dog epidemic, Megan wanted to be more involved in dog rescue in her local are of Los Angeles. After volunteering at NKLA she found Wags and Walks, started fostering dogs and fell in love with the process. After a year of fostering, Megan and her husband Jeff decided to adopt one of their foster dogs named "Bug"- now "Bo." Megan wanted to help Wags and Walks save even more dogs and saw how quickly the rescue was growing so she asked if she could take on more responsibilities. Megan is now Wags and Walks's Foster Coordinator among many other things!
As a life long animal advocate, Jamie has been apart of the rescue community for over 10 years. Volunteering her time with local rescue organizations and helping connect people with rescue dogs, Jamie's path eventually led to Wags and Walks. As our volunteer liaison and adoption coordinator, Jamie is instrumental in helping Wags and Walks' grow our volunteer community and help find our rescued dogs wonderful forever homes.
Growing up in a house full of dogs, Kathryn has been an animal-lover since day one. She began volunteering at a young age, which eventually developed into an internship throughout college with a local Detroit rescue. After being exposed to the shelter conditions in Detroit, Kathryn knew that rescue is where she wanted to be. When she graduated college, she worked as a Marketing & Events Coordinator based out of Pontiac, Michigan. This is where she adopted the first dog of her own - a black pittie named Jax! Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Kathryn met fellow Wags and Walks team member, Kimmy Kovacs, who insisted Kathryn join Lesley and the Wags & Walks team! Less than a week after moving, Kathryn knew she met her match! Kathryn is now the Volunteer and Development Coordinator for Wags & Walks. She hopes to continue to grow with Wags & Walks and develop strong relationships within the community and all of our dedicated volunteers.
Kelly has always had a soft spot for animals of all shapes and sizes - she grew up with two dogs as well as many hamsters, birds, hermit crabs and even a caterpillar! Yet for some crazy reason that even she doesn't remember, she was very afraid of dogs in her early 20s - but thanks to an awesome coworker and his adorable dog, she quickly conquered her fear and is more in love with our furry friends than ever! After Kelly and her husband Charlie adopted Clyne (pictured) from Wags and Walks in July 2014, she knew she wanted to become a volunteer and she is now the head of the Social Media team. Most of the posts on Facebook are by Kelly and she also helps create GoFundMe pages, fliers for adoption events, updates to Facebook albums and much more! She'll also help out with fundraisers whenever she is able. You're likely to see Kelly at any of our adoption events or fundraisers - unless she's catching up on sleep after her super-busy weeks at work!
A huge fan and advocate of the bully breeds, it is no surprise that Kayla grew up with big dogs. Her first dogs were Rottweilers and now she’s the proud Mom of a blue nose pit bull. Ever since adopting Blue with her Fiancé in the winter of 2014 she has been on a mission to change the perception of this misunderstood breed. Kayla actually applied for another puppy through Wags and Walks and Kimmy recruited her. If you follow us on Instagram you have already seen her work. Kayla is also a serial foster Mom, Auction Chairman and helps at most of our events.
Rachel has loved animals ever since she was a little girl. Her first pet was a white rat, and soon after that her family got their first dog, a Wheaten Terrier named Maggie. Ever since Maggie came into Rachel's life when she was 7 years old, she has loved dogs more than anything. Rachel discovered Wags and Walks through Instagram, which is where she eventually found the Wags dog that she adopted. After adopting her dog Winnie and finding the incredible team at Wags and Walks, Rachel began volunteering and is now part of the social media team, helping other dog lovers find their perfect match. Nothing makes Rachel happier than playing a small part in saving a dog's life and bringing happiness home to their new forever family.
Growing up in Michigan, Kadie always had a love for dogs and a desire to help others. Through her love of pit bulls, Kadie found Wags and Walks and began volunteering in the fall of 2013. Shortly after that, Kadie began fostering pit bulls for the organization and foster failed with two beautiful girls, Pearl and Millie. Kadie continues to foster for the organization, but has also merged her professional life as a therapist and her volunteer life with Wags and Walks by bringing some of our pit bulls to out reach programs in the community. Kadie helps Wags and Walks show the community of Los Angeles what amazing dogs pit bulls and all rescue dogs can be.
Veronica joined the Wags and Walks team in June 2014. Having fostered and volunteered for other rescues since she was a teenager, she finally adopted her first wonderful mutt, Bean, in 2013 from an independent rescuer. She is now a mother of two fur babies including pit bull Cash (pictured). Veronica is dedicated to spreading awareness of the huge homeless dog population in Los Angeles and making big changes through advocating rescue. Veronica is primarily responsible for facilitating "meet'n'greets" with potential adopters and pups of interest a for Wags and Walks when we are not holding adoption events as well as helping to run The Wags Club.
Growing up, Amy would ask for stuffed animals, instead of baby dolls and would wheel them around the neighborhood in strollers. Because of Amy’s elaborate poster presentations/ PowerPoint presentations called “Why Amy Deserves a ‘Insert Animal Here,’ Amy was fortunate (and persuasive) enough to grow up surrounded by many pets (2 rabbits, 2 rats, 1 hermit crab, a few frogs, and two beautiful poodles- Misty & Trixxxie). After Amy graduated from college in 2012, she moved to Los Angeles and thought about the idea of having her very own dog. She locked eyes with Sherman, a Wags and Walks pup, in 2014 and knew she had to have him. The two have been inseparable ever since! After adopting Sherman, Amy began volunteering for Wags and Walks & knew she could help other families find dogs as wonderful as Sherman. If you foster with Wags and Walks, Amy will be one of your primary contacts!
Nicole Foos is proud and excited to be one of the fundraising chairs for Wags and Walks. An event planner, facilitator of Women’s Healing Circles, lawyer, wife and mother of two she has been a dog lover and owner virtually her whole life - currently Frankie, a pit/lab mix and Wags and Walks alumni Chester (formerly Smokey) a pit bull mix.
Betsy Rosenfeld Vargas is the author of The Complete Single's Guide to Being a Dog Owner, a blogger at LoveThyDog.com and a devoted rescuer with over 14 years experiences and thousands of animals' lives saved and or improved. That said we don't let her out much. She's a bit too tender-hearted to deal with some of the grimmer realities of rescue--she leaves those to Lesley. Instead Betsy concentrates on strategy and fundraising and that's right where we like her. Betsy lives in Beverly Hills and is the mother to three sons… one of the two-legged variety and two of the furry, four-legged kind.
Wags & Walks Executive Board
Lesley Brog Founder & Chief Animal Lover
Kimmy Kovacs President
Craig Dobbin Vice President
Erica Gately Secretary
Eric Weiss Treasurer