Meet The Team

 

STAFF

LESLEY

ANNIKA

Annika’s love for animals started early growing up in a household filled with pets ranging from rats, snakes, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, cats and most importantly dogs. From a young age, she was passionate about helping animals in need and giving back to the community. After graduating from college with a degree in Communication from SDSU and spending 11 great years in San Diego, Annika moved to LA in 2012 where she became increasingly aware of the number of dogs needing homes. That inspired her to rescue two pit bulls, Harley and Cash. And it was because of them that she got involved with LARPBO (Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners). It was through LARPBO that she not only met her husband (fellow dog lover, founder and head trainer Troy Smith) but was also connected to Wags and Walks! Shortly thereafter Annika and Troy welcomed their first foster for Wags, a mama Pit Bull named Perdita, and her 8 four-week old puppies. From then on Annika knew her heart was in rescue, so she continued to volunteer and officially joined the team full time in January of 2017. Annika’s goals are to help increase awareness about rescues by creating a positive image of all dogs (especially Pit Bulls), and to encourage people to dream more, act more and love more!

Annika’s love for animals started early growing up in a household filled with pets ranging from rats, snakes, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, cats and most importantly dogs. From a young age, she was passionate about helping animals in need and giving back to the community. After graduating from college with a degree in Communication from SDSU and spending 11 great years in San Diego, Annika moved to LA in 2012 where she became increasingly aware of the number of dogs needing homes. That inspired her to rescue two pit bulls, Harley and Cash. And it was because of them that she got involved with LARPBO (Los Angeles Responsible Pit Bull Owners). It was through LARPBO that she not only met her husband (fellow dog lover, founder and head trainer Troy Smith) but was also connected to Wags and Walks! Shortly thereafter Annika and Troy welcomed their first foster for Wags, a mama Pit Bull named Perdita, and her 8 four-week old puppies. From then on Annika knew her heart was in rescue, so she continued to volunteer and officially joined the team full time in January of 2017. Annika’s goals are to help increase awareness about rescues by creating a positive image of all dogs (especially Pit Bulls), and to encourage people to dream more, act more and love more!

KATHRYN

Kathryn, our Events & Development Lead, is a Detroit native where she first discovered her passion for rescue dogs while fostering pit-bull type dogs with her parents. Through college she continued to volunteer and eventually landed her first job out of college at a private shelter. After moving to Los Angeles in 2015 with her pit bull Jax, she immediately reached out to Wags & Walks about volunteer opportunities. She has since been a part of the Wags & Walks family and is a lead of our Volunteer and Events Programs!

Kathryn, our Events & Development Lead, is a Detroit native where she first discovered her passion for rescue dogs while fostering pit-bull type dogs with her parents. Through college she continued to volunteer and eventually landed her first job out of college at a private shelter. After moving to Los Angeles in 2015 with her pit bull Jax, she immediately reached out to Wags & Walks about volunteer opportunities. She has since been a part of the Wags & Walks family and is a lead of our Volunteer and Events Programs!

 

LENA

A passionate lover of anything furry and four-legged, Lena has been involved in the animal rescue community for the past six years. Previously the Director of Development at San Antonio Pets Alive!, she oversaw all aspects of fundraising, marketing and program development contributing to the improvement of the city's live release rate from 30% to 85% that resulted in saving more than 20,000 dogs and cats in just three years. After relocating to Pasadena, Lena has continued to foster and volunteer with various groups and is now a member of the development team at Wags and Walks. With a Master's degree in Strategic Public Relations from USC, Lena works in the marketing and nonprofit development space with a variety of clients, including her favorite pet brands! Her heart belongs to her boxer, Lola, and her cat, Clover.

A passionate lover of anything furry and four-legged, Lena has been involved in the animal rescue community for the past six years. Previously the Director of Development at San Antonio Pets Alive!, she oversaw all aspects of fundraising, marketing and program development contributing to the improvement of the city's live release rate from 30% to 85% that resulted in saving more than 20,000 dogs and cats in just three years. After relocating to Pasadena, Lena has continued to foster and volunteer with various groups and is now a member of the development team at Wags and Walks. With a Master's degree in Strategic Public Relations from USC, Lena works in the marketing and nonprofit development space with a variety of clients, including her favorite pet brands! Her heart belongs to her boxer, Lola, and her cat, Clover.

ERICA F

Growing up in Michigan, dogs have been a huge part of Erica's life from a very young age. Her love for them began with her family's first rescue, an 80 pound mutt named Lily. It continued to grow when she started volunteering with her mom at local shelters around Detroit, where she learned more about the rescue world. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a bachelors in Communication Studies, Erica moved to Los Angeles to pursue TV production. After working as a production assistant for 6 months, she decided to follow her heart and leave the industry to work with dogs. Shortly after, she stumbled across Wags and Walks and started volunteering, which quickly turned into becoming part of the Wags and Walks family as the animal placement and foster coordinator.

Growing up in Michigan, dogs have been a huge part of Erica's life from a very young age. Her love for them began with her family's first rescue, an 80 pound mutt named Lily. It continued to grow when she started volunteering with her mom at local shelters around Detroit, where she learned more about the rescue world. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 2016 with a bachelors in Communication Studies, Erica moved to Los Angeles to pursue TV production. After working as a production assistant for 6 months, she decided to follow her heart and leave the industry to work with dogs. Shortly after, she stumbled across Wags and Walks and started volunteering, which quickly turned into becoming part of the Wags and Walks family as the animal placement and foster coordinator.

MIKAYLA

Mikayla is an elementary school teacher, writer and proud dog mom to two Wags and Walks alum, Mae and Bean! She is so proud to be part of something so great, that brings so much joy to so many people (and animals, too!)

Mikayla is an elementary school teacher, writer and proud dog mom to two Wags and Walks alum, Mae and Bean! She is so proud to be part of something so great, that brings so much joy to so many people (and animals, too!)

 

JESSICA

Since a kid, Jessica has been fascinated with all animals and has a passion for helping those in need. In high school her love for animals flourished when she took a Veterinary science course and was hooked! Since then, she has worked in all sorts of fields; at a dairy farm, as a veterinary technician and even a nursing assistant in an ICU. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her 4 children and rescue pup Lucy. Her sister Megan (also with Wags and Walks) introduced her to the organization and since then has worked from across the country handling a lot of Wags behind the scenes. She also fosters for local organizations in Pennsylvania and loves to visit LA in the summer.

Since a kid, Jessica has been fascinated with all animals and has a passion for helping those in need. In high school her love for animals flourished when she took a Veterinary science course and was hooked! Since then, she has worked in all sorts of fields; at a dairy farm, as a veterinary technician and even a nursing assistant in an ICU. She currently resides in Pennsylvania with her 4 children and rescue pup Lucy. Her sister Megan (also with Wags and Walks) introduced her to the organization and since then has worked from across the country handling a lot of Wags behind the scenes. She also fosters for local organizations in Pennsylvania and loves to visit LA in the summer.

KATIE

Prior to working with dogs, Katie was pursuing a career in film and television production. In between gigs she found a job at a dog daycare and the spark was lit. The red carpet dream was traded for a mission to help homeless dogs find a family. Katie has to work along side numerous Los Angeles based dog trainers as well as nationally recognized behaviorists and spent time volunteering at sanctuaries in Utah and New Mexico. She has cared for thousands of dogs in daycare and boarding as well as supervised the animal care for five years at a local adoption center where she met Lesley and learned about Wags and Walks. Katie shares her home and life with her husband and two dogs, and is blessed to have two wonderful big sisters and two fantastic nieces.

Prior to working with dogs, Katie was pursuing a career in film and television production. In between gigs she found a job at a dog daycare and the spark was lit. The red carpet dream was traded for a mission to help homeless dogs find a family. Katie has to work along side numerous Los Angeles based dog trainers as well as nationally recognized behaviorists and spent time volunteering at sanctuaries in Utah and New Mexico. She has cared for thousands of dogs in daycare and boarding as well as supervised the animal care for five years at a local adoption center where she met Lesley and learned about Wags and Walks. Katie shares her home and life with her husband and two dogs, and is blessed to have two wonderful big sisters and two fantastic nieces.

CHLOE

Chloe, a SoCal native, has been an animal lover for as long as she can remember. Her deep love for all animals comes from growing up around a variety of different pets. As a child her family had dogs, cats, chickens, a duck and a fish. Her love for animals and passion for helping others led her to major in sociology and public administration at California State University, Fullerton. After rescuing her dog, a hound-mix named Cooper, Chloe saw first-hand just how many amazing dogs were stuck in shelters and wanted to get involved in dog rescue. Interested in pursuing a career in the world of not-for-profits, specifically in dog rescue, Chloe came across Wags and Walks where she is currently the Development & Volunteer Coordinator and assists the team in rescuing as many dogs as possible.

Chloe, a SoCal native, has been an animal lover for as long as she can remember. Her deep love for all animals comes from growing up around a variety of different pets. As a child her family had dogs, cats, chickens, a duck and a fish. Her love for animals and passion for helping others led her to major in sociology and public administration at California State University, Fullerton. After rescuing her dog, a hound-mix named Cooper, Chloe saw first-hand just how many amazing dogs were stuck in shelters and wanted to get involved in dog rescue. Interested in pursuing a career in the world of not-for-profits, specifically in dog rescue, Chloe came across Wags and Walks where she is currently the Development & Volunteer Coordinator and assists the team in rescuing as many dogs as possible.

 
Stefanie grew up a middle-child in the chaos of a tight-knit family of six kids and amongst a menagerie of animals. A Northwest Ohio native, she was raised in a home that encouraged curiosity and love of all creatures, and took full advantage of that sentiment, parading through the door with a new critter seemingly every day. From all types of wildlife, to domesticated pets like Guinea Pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, kittens, and finally an entire litter of Beagle puppies, she didn’t discriminate and could nearly always be found returning someone’s runaway dog or out on an emergency rescue mission. It’s no surprise then that her life has revolved around animal care, which has taken shape in a variety of different roles over the years. From being a volunteer dog walker throughout high school, to majoring in Animal Science at the University of Kentucky and working as an Emergency Vet Tech at a small animal hospital, to spending 18 months training a service dog as a lead handler and subsequently continuing with her own dog training operation, she has always been involved with animals in some capacity. Stefanie’s lifelong passion for rescue and rehabilitation led her and her four-legged best friend, an Australian Labradoodle named Romeo, to California and consequently to Wags and Walks, where she exercises her talents as our Adoptions and Alumni Relations Director. A compassionate animal rights advocate and a sucker for second chances, Stefanie has dedicated her whole heart to rescue, and has found home and a deep sense of purpose with our furry friends and our devoted family.

Stefanie grew up a middle-child in the chaos of a tight-knit family of six kids and amongst a menagerie of animals. A Northwest Ohio native, she was raised in a home that encouraged curiosity and love of all creatures, and took full advantage of that sentiment, parading through the door with a new critter seemingly every day. From all types of wildlife, to domesticated pets like Guinea Pigs, rabbits, chinchillas, kittens, and finally an entire litter of Beagle puppies, she didn’t discriminate and could nearly always be found returning someone’s runaway dog or out on an emergency rescue mission. It’s no surprise then that her life has revolved around animal care, which has taken shape in a variety of different roles over the years. From being a volunteer dog walker throughout high school, to majoring in Animal Science at the University of Kentucky and working as an Emergency Vet Tech at a small animal hospital, to spending 18 months training a service dog as a lead handler and subsequently continuing with her own dog training operation, she has always been involved with animals in some capacity. Stefanie’s lifelong passion for rescue and rehabilitation led her and her four-legged best friend, an Australian Labradoodle named Romeo, to California and consequently to Wags and Walks, where she exercises her talents as our Adoptions and Alumni Relations Director. A compassionate animal rights advocate and a sucker for second chances, Stefanie has dedicated her whole heart to rescue, and has found home and a deep sense of purpose with our furry friends and our devoted family.

A SoCal native, from the moment Monica was born there were always rescue dogs in her household. From a young age she started bringing home creatures of all shapes and sizes. From caring for tiny injured reptiles and rodents, to finding homes for street dogs and cats, and everything in between, there was never a shortage of critters to care for. Originally focused on a career in general and emergency medicine for humans, she had the opportunity to visit many different shelters both in the U.S. and internationally to learn the inner workings of these facilities which led to a strong drive to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a voice for the ones who have none. Currently she resides with her son and their three rescues- two pups (one a Wags alum) plus a cat, and is now the center manager and a member of the animal care team.

A SoCal native, from the moment Monica was born there were always rescue dogs in her household. From a young age she started bringing home creatures of all shapes and sizes. From caring for tiny injured reptiles and rodents, to finding homes for street dogs and cats, and everything in between, there was never a shortage of critters to care for. Originally focused on a career in general and emergency medicine for humans, she had the opportunity to visit many different shelters both in the U.S. and internationally to learn the inner workings of these facilities which led to a strong drive to fulfill a lifelong dream of being a voice for the ones who have none. Currently she resides with her son and their three rescues- two pups (one a Wags alum) plus a cat, and is now the center manager and a member of the animal care team.

A Chicago native, Amanda has grown up with dogs in her family throughout her life. From her grandma’s Beagle to her uncle’s Rottweilers to her very own partners in crime, a German Shorthaired Pointer named Keelin and a Jack Russell Terrier named Bindy. Amanda graduated from Illinois State University in May of 2016 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She packed up her car to head to Los Angeles, leaving the Midwest behind. Shortly after settling in LA she started volunteering at Wags and Walks and loved everything about it! She soon began training to learn more about the adoptions process which then ultimately lead her to her employment at Wags as the part time Adoptions Coordinator! Amanda spends the other part of her time coaching gymnastics for an after-school program at UCLA. She is loving the fast-paced environment that the rescue world has to offer and is looking forward to helping more adorable pups find their forever homes!

A Chicago native, Amanda has grown up with dogs in her family throughout her life. From her grandma’s Beagle to her uncle’s Rottweilers to her very own partners in crime, a German Shorthaired Pointer named Keelin and a Jack Russell Terrier named Bindy. Amanda graduated from Illinois State University in May of 2016 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. She packed up her car to head to Los Angeles, leaving the Midwest behind. Shortly after settling in LA she started volunteering at Wags and Walks and loved everything about it! She soon began training to learn more about the adoptions process which then ultimately lead her to her employment at Wags as the part time Adoptions Coordinator! Amanda spends the other part of her time coaching gymnastics for an after-school program at UCLA. She is loving the fast-paced environment that the rescue world has to offer and is looking forward to helping more adorable pups find their forever homes!

 

DEANNA

Deanna, a New Hampshire native, has never gone longer than 5 months without a animal in the house. From dogs, to kittens, to hamsters, animals have always been a huge part of her life. Unsurprisingly, she found herself volunteering at the local ASPCA throughout college and has only continued to be involved in the rescue world. She discovered Wags and Walks shortly after moving to LA in 2016 while searching for a dog of her own. She started fostering until she found her perfect match - a Korean Jindo Wags rescued from a dog meat market in Korea. As a member of our Adoptions Team, she loves helping dogs find amazing forever homes.

Deanna, a New Hampshire native, has never gone longer than 5 months without a animal in the house. From dogs, to kittens, to hamsters, animals have always been a huge part of her life. Unsurprisingly, she found herself volunteering at the local ASPCA throughout college and has only continued to be involved in the rescue world. She discovered Wags and Walks shortly after moving to LA in 2016 while searching for a dog of her own. She started fostering until she found her perfect match - a Korean Jindo Wags rescued from a dog meat market in Korea. As a member of our Adoptions Team, she loves helping dogs find amazing forever homes.

SABINE

Sabine is a veterinary technician with skill sets focused in emergency medicine as well as critical anesthesia. Having built a career on her devotion to helping animals, Sabine acquired her RVT certification and has continued to progress in other facets of specialty medicine. Wanting to do more, an opportunity to work for Wags and Walks presented itself and she couldn’t be more grateful. Pit bulls are her love, which leads us to Alabama... her beloved rescue of more than 11 years. Convinced that this new role came at a turning point in her life, Sabine embraced this position, and is eager to devote all that she can to helping these very special animals in need.

Sabine is a veterinary technician with skill sets focused in emergency medicine as well as critical anesthesia. Having built a career on her devotion to helping animals, Sabine acquired her RVT certification and has continued to progress in other facets of specialty medicine. Wanting to do more, an opportunity to work for Wags and Walks presented itself and she couldn’t be more grateful. Pit bulls are her love, which leads us to Alabama... her beloved rescue of more than 11 years. Convinced that this new role came at a turning point in her life, Sabine embraced this position, and is eager to devote all that she can to helping these very special animals in need.

CORRINE

Corinne is a Rhode Island native, who came to Los Angeles in 2010 and brought along her fur kid Jasper; an Aussie Shepherd. Since then she’s slowly added to the pack with Jack Russel; Jesse, mini doxen; Winnie, and her two cats, Tau and Twig. Corinne has always wanted to translate her passion for animals into a full time career which led her to do multiple volunteer excursions working with Big Cats in South Africa. However, after volunteering at the local animal shelters in LA, she realized just how many dogs here are also in need of help. Her search for the right place to get involved led her to Wags and Walks!

Corinne is a Rhode Island native, who came to Los Angeles in 2010 and brought along her fur kid Jasper; an Aussie Shepherd. Since then she’s slowly added to the pack with Jack Russel; Jesse, mini doxen; Winnie, and her two cats, Tau and Twig. Corinne has always wanted to translate her passion for animals into a full time career which led her to do multiple volunteer excursions working with Big Cats in South Africa. However, after volunteering at the local animal shelters in LA, she realized just how many dogs here are also in need of help. Her search for the right place to get involved led her to Wags and Walks!

 

DOMINIQUE

Hello! My name is Dominique and my passion is caring for our four legged friends. I have worked with animals for the past three years and enjoy every second I get tending to them. Big or small, soft or scaly, the world is blessed to have some of the most beautiful creatures for us to enjoy. In return for their never ending companionship I vow to care and love and protect them to best of my abilities. Animals have an innocence that no human possess and I feel we must always be grateful for them.

Hello! My name is Dominique and my passion is caring for our four legged friends. I have worked with animals for the past three years and enjoy every second I get tending to them. Big or small, soft or scaly, the world is blessed to have some of the most beautiful creatures for us to enjoy. In return for their never ending companionship I vow to care and love and protect them to best of my abilities. Animals have an innocence that no human possess and I feel we must always be grateful for them.

ANDREW

Andrew comes from the world of show business. In 2010, he began volunteering at the East Valley shelter and became a devoted advocate for homeless dogs (and cats and rabbits and chickens and reptiles...). He has been working with Wags & Walks for years and he is now thrilled to be working for them.

Andrew comes from the world of show business. In 2010, he began volunteering at the East Valley shelter and became a devoted advocate for homeless dogs (and cats and rabbits and chickens and reptiles...). He has been working with Wags & Walks for years and he is now thrilled to be working for them.

DEBBIE

A lifelong animal lover, Debbie moved to LA from NY in 2003 and immediately joined the local rescue community. In pursuit of her passion to help animals, Debbie has worked for numerous animal rescue organizations in Los Angeles. She found her home with Wags & Walks in 2014 as an administrator and member of the medical team.

A lifelong animal lover, Debbie moved to LA from NY in 2003 and immediately joined the local rescue community. In pursuit of her passion to help animals, Debbie has worked for numerous animal rescue organizations in Los Angeles. She found her home with Wags & Walks in 2014 as an administrator and member of the medical team.

 

DESTINY

Growing up on a ranch, Destiny has loved animals since before she could talk. This love grew while volunteering and fostering for local shelters, as well as working toward a degree in veterinary technology. During her time in shelters, she saved a tiny chihuahua she named Cricket from being euthanized. Seeing how many dogs like Cricket were in need of help turned into passion for rescue, which led her to Wags and Walks as an Animal Caretaker. She is loving being part of a great team and meeting amazing new pups every day!

Growing up on a ranch, Destiny has loved animals since before she could talk. This love grew while volunteering and fostering for local shelters, as well as working toward a degree in veterinary technology. During her time in shelters, she saved a tiny chihuahua she named Cricket from being euthanized. Seeing how many dogs like Cricket were in need of help turned into passion for rescue, which led her to Wags and Walks as an Animal Caretaker. She is loving being part of a great team and meeting amazing new pups every day!

PERRY

Perry was born and raised in New Jersey, where his love for animals started at birth. His family had always loved and cared for animals, growing up with many dogs and cats througout his childhood. He began his journey into animal care and rescue by helping his uncle run a cat rescue and sanctuary in Los Angeles. After relocating to Chicago, he began working as an animal caregiver at a large non-profit rescue, PAWS Chicago. This position led to a career in helping animals find forever homes where they can be loved and cherished. Perry and his wife have two wonderful rescue dogs, Vinnie and Dolly. After recently returning to Los Angeles he is very happy to be working with like minded individuals at Wags and Walks and being part of a team dedicated to animal welfare and happiness.

Perry was born and raised in New Jersey, where his love for animals started at birth. His family had always loved and cared for animals, growing up with many dogs and cats througout his childhood. He began his journey into animal care and rescue by helping his uncle run a cat rescue and sanctuary in Los Angeles. After relocating to Chicago, he began working as an animal caregiver at a large non-profit rescue, PAWS Chicago. This position led to a career in helping animals find forever homes where they can be loved and cherished. Perry and his wife have two wonderful rescue dogs, Vinnie and Dolly. After recently returning to Los Angeles he is very happy to be working with like minded individuals at Wags and Walks and being part of a team dedicated to animal welfare and happiness.

WENDY

Wendy, an LA native, has been an animal lover and dog obsessed her whole life. It started with Charlie, her childhood beagle dachshund mix, hamsters, a turtle and fish. Wendy, her amazing husband and their 2 awesome (now grown) kids have fostered to adopt dogs over the years, and adopted 4 rescues over the years including a shepard collie mix, a spaniel mix, a yellow lab, and a malti-poo. Wendy loves all dogs, big and small, pups and seniors. She decided to retire early from her long time career in education, educational administration, and admissions to spend her days volunteering. Once Wendy walked into Wags & Walks she found her next "home" and hasn't looked back. Wendy is passionate about rescuing and rehoming these amazing dogs and is a super happy volunteer!

Wendy, an LA native, has been an animal lover and dog obsessed her whole life. It started with Charlie, her childhood beagle dachshund mix, hamsters, a turtle and fish. Wendy, her amazing husband and their 2 awesome (now grown) kids have fostered to adopt dogs over the years, and adopted 4 rescues over the years including a shepard collie mix, a spaniel mix, a yellow lab, and a malti-poo. Wendy loves all dogs, big and small, pups and seniors. She decided to retire early from her long time career in education, educational administration, and admissions to spend her days volunteering. Once Wendy walked into Wags & Walks she found her next "home" and hasn't looked back. Wendy is passionate about rescuing and rehoming these amazing dogs and is a super happy volunteer!

 

ERICA G

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 45 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! Erica coordinates many of our adoption events for Wags & Walks, fosters dogs for the organization and keeps our website up to date!

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 45 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! Erica coordinates many of our adoption events for Wags & Walks, fosters dogs for the organization and keeps our website up to date!

COURTNEY

Since childhood, Courtney has always been obsessed with dogs. After graduating from college and moving to Los Angeles, she knew fostering would be the perfect way to give back and help dogs find their forever families. Over the years, Courtney has fostered countless dogs including her two foster fails, Pippen and Payton. She is passionate about rescue and made it a mission to become more involved with the organization. Courtney is now our Social Media Director and loves connecting with our adopters and supporters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Since childhood, Courtney has always been obsessed with dogs. After graduating from college and moving to Los Angeles, she knew fostering would be the perfect way to give back and help dogs find their forever families. Over the years, Courtney has fostered countless dogs including her two foster fails, Pippen and Payton. She is passionate about rescue and made it a mission to become more involved with the organization. Courtney is now our Social Media Director and loves connecting with our adopters and supporters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

RACHEL

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.

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.

 

MIMI

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LYNN

Last September I officially became an "empty nester" when I packed up my two beautiful girls to move them to college. I decided I needed a passion. I wanted to dedicate myself to something that I loved and to spend time doing something that would make me happy everyday. My dear friend Nicole Foos took me to lunch with Lesley Zipkin Brog. She said there were many opportunities with Wags and Walks and that I would be welcome. I was signed up before lunch ended and I have volunteered in every capacity since from helping to save dogs at the shelter, donor development and fundraising. I am so thankful to Lesley for her passion and welcoming me to the team. I am so proud of what we are doing. We are truly bringing happiness home!

Last September I officially became an "empty nester" when I packed up my two beautiful girls to move them to college. I decided I needed a passion. I wanted to dedicate myself to something that I loved and to spend time doing something that would make me happy everyday. My dear friend Nicole Foos took me to lunch with Lesley Zipkin Brog. She said there were many opportunities with Wags and Walks and that I would be welcome. I was signed up before lunch ended and I have volunteered in every capacity since from helping to save dogs at the shelter, donor development and fundraising. I am so thankful to Lesley for her passion and welcoming me to the team. I am so proud of what we are doing. We are truly bringing happiness home!

BONNIE

Originally from New Jersey, Bonnie attended college and grad school in New England and moved to LA in her mid-20's. Though she didn't grow up with dogs, they eventually found her. While filming for work, she quickly found out about the horrors of puppy mills. From there she educated herself about shelter statistics and what terms like PTS meant for otherwise healthy, blameless animals. In another life, Bonnie would have become a veterinarian, but in this one she turned to rescue and adoption, working with the Bill Foundation for twelve years before finding Wags and Walks through a colleague. Bonnie is part of the Wags and Walks Adoption Team where she loves the vitality, enthusiasm, energy, savvy, compassion, support and camaraderie of her human and canine cohort and can be found most Saturdays and Sundays at the Wags and Walks Welcome Center.  Bonnie left the entertainment industry after 25 years. Her proudest production is daughter Caitlin, a doctoral student in the field of substance abuse and addictive behavior. Husband Kenn shares life (and bed) with two rescue dogs and Bonnie whose day job is spent administering the only merit-based/need blind high school scholarship program for under served youth in the United States. Bonnie has the pleasure and privilege of changing the lives of kids during the week and dogs on the weekend.

Originally from New Jersey, Bonnie attended college and grad school in New England and moved to LA in her mid-20's. Though she didn't grow up with dogs, they eventually found her. While filming for work, she quickly found out about the horrors of puppy mills. From there she educated herself about shelter statistics and what terms like PTS meant for otherwise healthy, blameless animals. In another life, Bonnie would have become a veterinarian, but in this one she turned to rescue and adoption, working with the Bill Foundation for twelve years before finding Wags and Walks through a colleague. Bonnie is part of the Wags and Walks Adoption Team where she loves the vitality, enthusiasm, energy, savvy, compassion, support and camaraderie of her human and canine cohort and can be found most Saturdays and Sundays at the Wags and Walks Welcome Center.

Bonnie left the entertainment industry after 25 years. Her proudest production is daughter Caitlin, a doctoral student in the field of substance abuse and addictive behavior. Husband Kenn shares life (and bed) with two rescue dogs and Bonnie whose day job is spent administering the only merit-based/need blind high school scholarship program for under served youth in the United States. Bonnie has the pleasure and privilege of changing the lives of kids during the week and dogs on the weekend.

LAURIE

Laurie’s first love was a white dog with brown ears named Snowball...a stuffed animal. It’s that toy as a small child that started her obsession with dogs and love of animals. While in third grade, her family finally got its first dog and Laurie promptly read multiple books on the breed. Eventually they became a two dog household with the addition of her first rescue pup from a local shelter. Laurie’s rescuing continued when she moved to NYC and took in a stray cat that lived in her building’s alley. After relocating across country to LA with kitty Lulu in tow she decided to begin volunteering and fostering. Laurie found Wags & Walks as a volunteer and never left, she now helps with alumni outreach and our litter reunions. If only she could convince her cat to love dogs too!

Laurie’s first love was a white dog with brown ears named Snowball...a stuffed animal. It’s that toy as a small child that started her obsession with dogs and love of animals. While in third grade, her family finally got its first dog and Laurie promptly read multiple books on the breed. Eventually they became a two dog household with the addition of her first rescue pup from a local shelter. Laurie’s rescuing continued when she moved to NYC and took in a stray cat that lived in her building’s alley. After relocating across country to LA with kitty Lulu in tow she decided to begin volunteering and fostering. Laurie found Wags & Walks as a volunteer and never left, she now helps with alumni outreach and our litter reunions. If only she could convince her cat to love dogs too!

 

KADIE

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.

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.

LAUREN

Lauren is a SoCal native who has always loved dogs. She is a full believer in the motto “dogs are better than humans.” Lauren even created a dog instagram because her entire camera roll consists of dogs she’s stopped to pet. Growing up, Lauren’s other strong passion besides dogs was sports. Her love of sports led her to get a degree in Broadcast/Sports Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. After moving back to LA, she dove deep into the sports media world. Lauren stumbled upon Wags and Walks while looking for a way to get involved with dogs in her free time. Finding Wags has been a saving grace for Lauren and she gets so much joy every time she comes here. She genuinely believes her time as a volunteer has helped her more than it has helped the dogs. Lauren uses her broadcast journalism background to help with photography, videography and social media at Wags and Walks. She feels so lucky to be part of such a great team and organization.

Lauren is a SoCal native who has always loved dogs. She is a full believer in the motto “dogs are better than humans.” Lauren even created a dog instagram because her entire camera roll consists of dogs she’s stopped to pet. Growing up, Lauren’s other strong passion besides dogs was sports. Her love of sports led her to get a degree in Broadcast/Sports Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. After moving back to LA, she dove deep into the sports media world. Lauren stumbled upon Wags and Walks while looking for a way to get involved with dogs in her free time. Finding Wags has been a saving grace for Lauren and she gets so much joy every time she comes here. She genuinely believes her time as a volunteer has helped her more than it has helped the dogs. Lauren uses her broadcast journalism background to help with photography, videography and social media at Wags and Walks. She feels so lucky to be part of such a great team and organization.

SHANNON

Shannon grew up outside of Philadelphia and had dogs since the day she was born….3 dogs, in fact, for most of her life. Moving to Santa Monica 4 years ago was her first time living without a dog since her senior dog decided to stay behind to live the suburban life with her parents. After finding Wags and Walks on Instagram, she immediately started getting in some much needed pup time. Falling in love with the rescue world, she now stays busy with Wags and Walks volunteering at events, fostering and co-running the blog.

Shannon grew up outside of Philadelphia and had dogs since the day she was born….3 dogs, in fact, for most of her life. Moving to Santa Monica 4 years ago was her first time living without a dog since her senior dog decided to stay behind to live the suburban life with her parents. After finding Wags and Walks on Instagram, she immediately started getting in some much needed pup time. Falling in love with the rescue world, she now stays busy with Wags and Walks volunteering at events, fostering and co-running the blog.

 
 

MALLORY

A Los Angeles native, Mallory has always had a passion for animals. After looking for ways to get involved further, she stumbled across Wags and Walks and just a couple of weeks later took in her first foster dog! Since then she has fostered hundreds of dogs (in addition to 6 of her own dogs) and is Wags' go-to foster for litters and nursing moms. In addition to being an incredible foster home, Mallory and her family are long time supporters of Wags and Walks and look forward to watching the organization continue to grow.

A Los Angeles native, Mallory has always had a passion for animals. After looking for ways to get involved further, she stumbled across Wags and Walks and just a couple of weeks later took in her first foster dog! Since then she has fostered hundreds of dogs (in addition to 6 of her own dogs) and is Wags' go-to foster for litters and nursing moms. In addition to being an incredible foster home, Mallory and her family are long time supporters of Wags and Walks and look forward to watching the organization continue to grow.

ALIA

Alia has alway been a lover of dogs and horses, sassy squirrels make her smile too. By day, she is an entertainment PR executive and is happy to lend her publicity prowess to the paw-sitively perfect pooches at Wags and Walks. Walking and caring for the pups at Wags and Walks is a magical escape from the Hollywood circus. “When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'” —Rudyard Kipling

Alia has alway been a lover of dogs and horses, sassy squirrels make her smile too. By day, she is an entertainment PR executive and is happy to lend her publicity prowess to the paw-sitively perfect pooches at Wags and Walks. Walking and caring for the pups at Wags and Walks is a magical escape from the Hollywood circus. “When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'” —Rudyard Kipling

DANIELLE

From the moment Danielle pet her first fluffy puppy, which was probably her stuffed dog, Squirt, it’s all she ever wanted. Growing up in Montreal, Danielle had hamsters, birds, guinea pigs and gold fish but never had a dog. Instead, she would borrow her neighbors dogs and take them on walks as often as she could. Whenever people would ask her, “What kind of dog do you want when you finally get one?” Her answer was always, “I don’t care, I just want to rescue a little fluffy puppy!" After fostering with Wags and Walks for 2 years, she finally adopted her fluffy mutt, Peanut. She now helps with the marketing team planning campaigns and events.

From the moment Danielle pet her first fluffy puppy, which was probably her stuffed dog, Squirt, it’s all she ever wanted. Growing up in Montreal, Danielle had hamsters, birds, guinea pigs and gold fish but never had a dog. Instead, she would borrow her neighbors dogs and take them on walks as often as she could. Whenever people would ask her, “What kind of dog do you want when you finally get one?” Her answer was always, “I don’t care, I just want to rescue a little fluffy puppy!" After fostering with Wags and Walks for 2 years, she finally adopted her fluffy mutt, Peanut. She now helps with the marketing team planning campaigns and events.

 

LEANN

Coming from ranches in Washington state, Leann is no stranger to all kinds of animals both big and small. As a child, she was always bringing home stray animals from kittens to goats. When she met Cooper (Pit Bull previously known as Oreo) in Wags and Walks first year, there was no going back. Generous with her time and finances, Leann has never failed to give or help when needed. In fact, her company provides matching funds on donations and donates to Wags for each hour she volunteers her time. Leann and her husband Scott are two time Wags and Walks alumni and a recipient of our Wag-a-tarian award in 2014. Leann’s goals are to show people what amazing family friendly dogs can be found through rescuing and dispel the negative stereotypes Pit Bulls tend to have, having three of her own. Leann, Scott and their four legged children go way beyond volunteers, they are our family.

Coming from ranches in Washington state, Leann is no stranger to all kinds of animals both big and small. As a child, she was always bringing home stray animals from kittens to goats. When she met Cooper (Pit Bull previously known as Oreo) in Wags and Walks first year, there was no going back. Generous with her time and finances, Leann has never failed to give or help when needed. In fact, her company provides matching funds on donations and donates to Wags for each hour she volunteers her time. Leann and her husband Scott are two time Wags and Walks alumni and a recipient of our Wag-a-tarian award in 2014. Leann’s goals are to show people what amazing family friendly dogs can be found through rescuing and dispel the negative stereotypes Pit Bulls tend to have, having three of her own. Leann, Scott and their four legged children go way beyond volunteers, they are our family.

KELLY

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 now coordinates our Facebook account!

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 now coordinates our Facebook account!

COREY

Founder of Corcha Balanced K9s. Corey got his start in 2009 as an animal care attendant and worked his way up the ranks. Quickly becoming a hands-on intern. Corey then graduated to a certified trainer at K9s Only School of Dog Training founded by behaviorist and master trainer, Bobby Dorafshar.  Corey has trained over 1,100 dogs, totaling over 35,000 hours working with K9s from all over the world. Corey has trained dogs for many celebrity clients.  From first hand experience with his own pitbull and chihuahua, Corey believes that "cookie cutter" training doesn't work for all dogs. Each dog needs an individual plan of training based on their history, temperament, character, and personality. Education is key to developing a healthy balanced relationship with our dogs.

Founder of Corcha Balanced K9s. Corey got his start in 2009 as an animal care attendant and worked his way up the ranks. Quickly becoming a hands-on intern. Corey then graduated to a certified trainer at K9s Only School of Dog Training founded by behaviorist and master trainer, Bobby Dorafshar.

Corey has trained over 1,100 dogs, totaling over 35,000 hours working with K9s from all over the world. Corey has trained dogs for many celebrity clients.

From first hand experience with his own pitbull and chihuahua, Corey believes that "cookie cutter" training doesn't work for all dogs. Each dog needs an individual plan of training based on their history, temperament, character, and personality. Education is key to developing a healthy balanced relationship with our dogs.

 

ANTHONY

The CORE Dog Training and Boarding team all have a shared interest in their hearts... They want to help as many behaviorally challenged dogs from being rehomed, abandoned or euthanized by molding them into well balanced, happy members of your family. We customize training for each dog and their family through positive reinforcement and a transferrable clear line of communication. After all, no two dogs and their families are ever the same!

The CORE Dog Training and Boarding team all have a shared interest in their hearts... They want to help as many behaviorally challenged dogs from being rehomed, abandoned or euthanized by molding them into well balanced, happy members of your family. We customize training for each dog and their family through positive reinforcement and a transferrable clear line of communication. After all, no two dogs and their families are ever the same!

EMILY

Emily was born in Buffalo, New York. From birth, her household was filled with animals. After studying dog behavior, she found her calling in life. Emily focuses on troubled animals, believing all dogs should be given a chance regardless of the problem. Acting as a translator between owner and pet she will implement the necessary actions to correct any active problem.

Emily was born in Buffalo, New York. From birth, her household was filled with animals. After studying dog behavior, she found her calling in life. Emily focuses on troubled animals, believing all dogs should be given a chance regardless of the problem. Acting as a translator between owner and pet she will implement the necessary actions to correct any active problem.

NICK

Dogs are my life! I grew up with dogs and have been training and working with dogs professionally for over 10 years. I love the intricacies of all dogs and their genetic differences. Each individual dog responds to different training techniques and I am always fascinated to learn and adjust to see what works. They all want to live a happy, healthy life and I continue to help owners and dogs find the balance of proper dog ownership.

Dogs are my life! I grew up with dogs and have been training and working with dogs professionally for over 10 years. I love the intricacies of all dogs and their genetic differences. Each individual dog responds to different training techniques and I am always fascinated to learn and adjust to see what works. They all want to live a happy, healthy life and I continue to help owners and dogs find the balance of proper dog ownership.

 

MEGAN

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 helps identify dogs for Wags & Walks to rescue and pinch hits however she can and whenever she can to help keep the organization move forward.

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 helps identify dogs for Wags & Walks to rescue and pinch hits however she can and whenever she can to help keep the organization move forward.

BETSY

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.

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.

DR JEFF WERBER

Dr Jeff Werber has been part of the Wags and Walks family since the day we started to rescue dogs. Our founder was raised by a veterinarian so she searched for someone who was not only an expert and a brilliant diagnostician, but also someone who was compassionate about the dogs and believed in rescue. We count on him for always being straightforward, available and there when we need him. With over 30 years of experience he is one of our go to guys for the dogs we save due to his kind and understanding approach to rescue.

Dr Jeff Werber has been part of the Wags and Walks family since the day we started to rescue dogs. Our founder was raised by a veterinarian so she searched for someone who was not only an expert and a brilliant diagnostician, but also someone who was compassionate about the dogs and believed in rescue. We count on him for always being straightforward, available and there when we need him. With over 30 years of experience he is one of our go to guys for the dogs we save due to his kind and understanding approach to rescue.

VOLUNTEERS

 

WAGS & WALKS EXECUTIVE BOARD

                                    Lesley Brog         Founder & Chief Animal Lover

                                    Kimmy Kovacs     President

                                    Craig Dobbin       Vice President

                                     Erica Gately        Secretary

                                      Eric Weiss           Treasurer

                                      Barry Littman       Legal