Meet the HHA Board

Jenn, Rygel & Penny

Rygel came into Jenn's life over six years ago and he's been the constant companion to her and her family since. Penny is a 17 year old Dachshund Greyhound mix who is suffering from renal failure. She was taken to the Agoura Shelter after her family could no longer care for her. With the help of HHA funding special food for renal failure, Penny was given a chance to live out her remaining time in foster care in Jenn's home. She quickly became part of their pack and lets them know how grateful she is everyday with her wagging tail and the love she has for her new family.

Jenn spent the better part of the past 18 years working in the music business but found her true calling in life when she began volunteering at the Agoura Shelter in 2010. She loves the time she spends caring for the homeless dogs each week, but especially loves being able to educate the public. "The homeless pet population is a world-wide problem of epidemic proportions" says Jenn. "If I can change the minds of just a few people I come into contact with each week, I'm doing my part to change the statistics."

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Michelle, Rebel & Riley
(1st Vice President)

Rebel found his way to Michelle and her husband Casey 6 years ago. After losing their lab of 14 years the search was on within days because the house was not a home without a dog in it. They found Rebel at Karma Rescue and decided he was the one. Rebel was their first experience cohabitating with a dominant breed, and after some consistant, calm work, Rebel settled nicely into the family.

Michelle began volunteering at the Agoura Animal Shelter early 2014, at that point her husband Casey knew he was in trouble because it was just a matter of time before she brought another 4 legged friend home. And he was right, Riley came to the shelter in July with his buddy Royce who was quicly adopted. Riley's shy demeanor didn't help his cause as he was consistently overlooked. However Michelle could see glimpes of a loving and playful dog during their interactions. It was discovered that Riley had multiple conformational issues and HHA sent him to MCAH, where they diagnosed him with having permantely dislocated patellas and elbow displasia in both elbows. Riley had surgery on his left knee and both elbows were scoped. The next six weeks were spent in foster care with Michelle, where he made a great recovery and found his forever home. It has taken time but everyday he continues to come out of his shell. He is able to hike everyday and rough house with his new brother Rebel.

Michelle and her husband are transplants from MA and have been enjoying CA for 18 years. Michelle spent time working at a local veterinary clinic and also owned and operated a pet sitting business for several years. She now spends her time volunteering at the shelter and competing with her horse "Jack" in Three Day Eventing at the training and prelim levels.

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Tim and Cassie, Ivy, Truman and Franklin
(2nd Vice President)

Cassie came to Tim and Janice as a 6 month old puppy when they lived in the Venice canals. Cassie climbed the fence of the house next door where she was being fostered by a local animal rescue, came to Tim's back door and said "WOOF!" Cassie had suffered terrible abuse and lived on the streets in south LA, before the rescue organization found her. Then Cassie picked Tim to be her forever companion. She has been Tim and Janice's loyal teacher for almost 11 years.

A few years later, Tim saw a very shy, timid Rottweiler mix rescued by the same organization and decided Cassie needed a sister. Ivy was very scared when she was rescued from the South Central LA City shelter on her last day, and had a broken shoulder from terrible prior abuse. Tim and Janice took her to the vet, and after surgery, she was good as new. It took Ivy six months to trust Tim, but now, 5 years later, she is seldom more than two feet from him when he is home and is the sweetest dog; she needed someone to believe in her and keep her safe.

Truman was a little, partially blind cat that was living at the Agoura shelter. Tim believes that every house needs the unpredictable energy of a cat and now, 3 years later, Truman is a happy, affectionate boy that has required extensive medical care, but is worth the effort as he is the sweetest little guy in the world.

Franklin was found as a 4 week old kitten that was lost from his feral mommy in the backyard of an Agoura volunteer. Tim decided to take Franklin and add him to the menagerie. Now 9 months old, he has certainly lived up to Tim's wish of unpredictable energy! When he is not cuddling with Janice he is exploring every nook and cranny of the house with his incorrigible curiosity.

When not volunteering at the Agoura Shelter, Tim is a Product Manager at Simpson Strong-Tie developing lateral systems that help buildings resist damage from earthquakes and other natural disasters. He travels all over the country and Japan (Tim speaks Japanese after living there for three years after the Kobe earthquake) promoting earthquake safety to hopefully save more lives and property during and after the next earthquake.

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Irene & Brodie

Brodie, who we think is a Briard mix, came to Irene Faust from the Agoura Shelter 8 years ago. He has made it clear that he is an only dog, but is tolerant of his person volunteering with other pups. Irene has been a shelter volunteer for 3 years and recently joined the HHA board. She started volunteering because of her love for dogs. She just retired from her medical practice and now has more time to be involved in the community. She hopes that her over 30 years in medicine will help assist with her role in HHA.

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Tamy and Kala
(Associate Secretary)

Kala joined Tamy's family in December 2011 after they were introduced by a volunteer at the Agoura Animal Shelter. After looking at many dogs, Tamy, her husband, Mitchell and their 3 kids knew Kala was the right dog for them. At the shelter, Kala was diagnosed by the veterinarians funded by HHA to have kennel depression but it quickly resolved after arriving at her forever home. Being the first pit bull the family owned, Tamy hired the professional help of one of the trainers who volunteers at the Agoura Shelter. They all learned that Kala is an affectionate dog, loves sleeping in the kids' beds and being with the family, she is a smart and loyal dog and learns very quickly. Since Kala came into their life, the family became a "pit bull lover" family and they advocate for the breed whenever the opportunity arises.

Tamy was impressed with the volunteers' work at the Agoura Animal Shelter and since she was around dogs all her life she decided to volunteer at the shelter and started in October 2012. As a physical therapist, Tamy helps rehabilitate people during the day and finds her work with the dogs as rewarding as her job. "I learn so much from the volunteers but just as much from the dogs."

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Hank and Hemingway

Angie & Rocco

Rocco, abandoned in a backyard after his family moved, came into Angie's life over six years ago. Since that time he rides shotgun in her big ole diesel truck on their way to the barn. Now Rocco along with two other recues find themselves snuggled on the couch, doggy beds and in Angie and Larry's human bed. Angie was born loving animals; her family always had a house full of dogs and cats. With persistence her family fulfilled her dreams of owning a horse when she was 14. She's never been without dogs or horses since. Owning their own business for 25 years then managing the business for 3 horse trainers, Angie turned her energy towards the shelter. Angie's husband Larry has been a volunteer at Agoura Shelter for over 3 years. His passion for the animals grew into donating 100% of the funds he raises from the wood he transforms into art on his lathe to HHA. A year ago Angie joined him at the shelter volunteering with the dogs. Two horses were brought in and that changed her path, she is now heading up the horse program. Angie said, “It's an honor and privilege to be part of an amazing organization. There is nothing more inspiring for life than working with thoughtful and caring people who feel the same way about saving an animal's life as I do.”

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Hank and Hemingway

Pat, Hank & Hemingway
(Associate Treasurer)

Sharing the bed are two of Pat's 8 pet rescues. Hank, the ivory lab, and Hemingway, the tuxedo cat were rescued in Minnesota where Pat lived before moving to California a year ago. Otis, the orange tabby, was brought to the Agoura shelter. He needed his tail amputated and also underwent heart surgery. He became Pat's first foster failure. Missy, is a 20 year old hospice shelter cat that will remain with her. Ava is a 13 year old German Shepherd rescued in Michigan when her owner left her to starve to death in a foreclosure home. Sara, another cat rescued in Michigan joins Charlie, a 60+ old Amazon parrot that came to her 15 years ago with multiple injuries.

Volunteering with animals has been a big part of her life. After teaching for many years, she decided to start a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation organization in Michigan. This gave her the opportunity to help orphaned and injured wildlife, and to develop education programs for students and adults about the importance of wildlife and the environment. Dealing with all these injuries, she decided to work at a vet clinic part time to become more proficient in taking care of the medical cases.

Her move to California has enabled her to help with her grandson, and volunteering at the animal shelter and HHA have given her the perfect opporunity to do what she loves-helping animals find their forever homes, especially those with medical needs.


Dr. Dean
(Advisory Board Member)

Upon receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Michigan in 1991, Dr. Dean went on to Veterinary School at Cornell University, graduating in 1995. He was recruited by California Animal Hospital and performed an internship from 1995 until 1996 under Drs. Ettenger, Lusk, and Feldman, specialists of cardiology and internal medicine. He then practiced for three years in Manhattan Beach at Bay Animal Hospital. In 1999 Dr. Graulich moved to Malibu where, from 2000 until 2005 he had his own practice, Pacific Coast Animal Hospital. Having outgrown this smaller facility, he proudly opened the doors to Malibu Coast Animal Hospital in December of 2004. Among his special interests and areas of expertise are giant-sized dog breeds, dermatology, soft-tissue surgery, and cardiology.

Dr. Dean is a founding member of Malibu Pet Companions, and has been on the Malibu Pet Companions Board of Directors since 1996, currently serving in an advisory capacity. He has given numerous volunteer hours to the medical care of the homeless pets served by Malibu Pet Companions. His generosity and compassion for shelter animals has no boundaries. We are honored to have Dr. Dean Graulich on the Board of Malibu Pet Companions.


Eric & Cookie

Cookie joined Eric's family in December of 2013. She was rescued by Forever Friends Golden Rescue and was living with a foster before being adopted by Eric and Marti. She was a little timid when she first came into their lives since she had no human socialization prior to the foster family. Eric and Marti took Cookie everywhere and had her meet as many people and dogs as possible. It seemed to work because Cookie is now a typical golden retriever who loves everybody she meets. You can't help but smile when you see her face, and she is very popular in the neighborhood with all the other dogs and dog owners.

Eric has been a shelter volunteer for over 1 1/2 years and enjoys helping out with the Saturday afternoon crew. He appreciates all the hard work by all the volunteers, but is especially excited to help even more through his involvement with HHA.

When not at the shelter, he works as an IT Manager building and maintaining software for a financial services company. He also enjoys playing guitar and spending time with his wife and 2 children.

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Maureen with Dublin and Georgia

Dublin came to Maureen 7 years ago as a outgoing social puppy. She had had pets all of her life but had never anticipated the fulfillment and joy one receives in rescuing a homeless animal. Then came Georgia who found us through a German Shepherd rescue in Sacramento. The rest is history. Maureen has volunteered at the Agoura Animal Shelter for approximately 3 years and has recently joined the HHA board.

She has found that she cherishes the work at the Shelter. She always reminds herself that it is truly a process. If one looked at a particular day there could be sadness. The joy comes when one of our miracle dogs gets a new forever home. The difference HHA makes in the lives of helpless animals and ultimately their new owners is inspiring. It is wonderfully gratifying to be a part of such a dedicated group of people and to associate with so many wonderful dogs.

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Robin & Sweet Pea
(Director Emeritus)

Sweet Pea's guardian is former HHA President from 2007-2014 and current Director Emeritus, Robin, who has volunteered at the Agoura Animal Shelter for over 15 years. Robin fostered Sweet Pea while the dog was recovering from surgery after being hit by a car left her with a hip injury and several missing front teeth, and with patches scraped down to the raw skin. With FHO and spay surgery funded by HHA bringing her to good health, and with lots of TLC from her foster mom, Robin, Sweet Pea became a beloved member of the family along with her dog siblings Sophie Rose and Augie.

Robin loves her work at the Shelter saying, "It is my great fortune to be able to give love and care to these precious homeless fur babies. While the work we do is not always easy on the heart, these are the animals that need us the most. I am thankful every day to be able to participate is such fulfilling volunteer work and to be President of an organization that helps so many shelter animals."

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Barbara & Snowball
(Honorary Board Member)

Snowball arrived at the Agoura Shelter on July 4th weekend 2004. He was 8 months old with a badly broken and infected leg. HHA saved his life by finding a vet to amputate his leg. Barbara fostered Snowball after his surgery. Her female cat Bassie fell in love with Snowball so he joined their family. Snowball likes to climb bookshelves and play with both Bassie and his younger friend Cooper, also a former HHA foster, who had a broken leg. Barbara says, "I have always loved cats and am delighted to have been able to add both Cooper and Snowball to my family. Both are cats that definitely deserved a second chance. HHA made that possible. I have been a volunteer at the Agoura Animal Shelter since 1999 and with HHA since July 2007."


Christina & Besito
(Honorary Board Member)

Besito came into Christina's life in May of 2011. Christina saw a plea on Facebook that a foster was needed for a mother dog and her puppies. The mother dog had been found wondering the streets and was bought to the Baldwin Park Shelter where is promptly gave birth to a litter of 13 puppies! Besito was the runt of the litter and was half the size of the rest of the pups. Because of her size and the huge competition Besito needed extra help in the feeding department so she spent a lot of special time with Christina. When it was time for the litter to leave, Christina couldn't part with the little pup and decided to make her a permanent part of the pack!

Christina has been around animals most of her life, from competing with her dogs in 4-H obedience trials as a kid to her first job, working as an assistant dog groomer. Christina currently works as a pet sitter and fosters dogs for local rescues, mostly pregnant moms or moms with pups. She is currently working toward becoming a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.

"I came for a visit to the shelter in 2011 and knew I wanted to spend time with all the wonderful dogs I saw at the shelter and hopefully make a difference in their lives. I'm always amazed by all the fantastic pups and caring people I have met while volunteering at the Agoura Shelter!"


Clara & Lucky
(Honorary Board Member)

Lucky's mama is HHA Honorary Board Member, Clara and they were meant to be together! In late 2005, she was looking for a cat and 5 week old Lucky was looking for a home. Only one of two cats to survive from a litter of 8, he needed a home where he'd receive a lot of TLC. And in return, sweet little Lucky gave all the love his little heart & body could muster. Lucky is now a beautiful 6 year old and has 3 kitty brothers (Benny, Sammy & Smokey) but he's still king of the house!

Clara has been an animal girl all her life having grown up on an orchard with dogs, cats, ducks, chickens, rabbits and the occasional mouse or hamster. But it wasn't until 2011 that she found her true passion when she began volunteering with the cats at the Agoura Animal Shelter. She's delighted to be able to help animals that have lost their homes, through no fault of their own. At times the work can be heartbreaking but is worth every moment each time a cat finds a new family. People often say to her "The cats are so lucky to have you" and her answer is always "I'm the lucky one. I get so much joy out of doing this; I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner!"

Being one of the newest HHA board members, Clara looks forward to further increasing her ability to help the shelter babies. She is tremendously proud to be a member of such an amazing organization.


Deanna & Inky
(Honorary Board Member)

I'm Inky, a handsome, black Maine Coon mix. My guardian is HHA's Honorary Board Member and shelter volunteer, Deanna. HHA generously paid for a special procedure (radioactive iodine I-131) to cure my hyperthyroidism. Now I don't have to take daily medication, which makes me very happy. Deanna fostered me after my procedure and found me to be an easy-going cat, so she decided I should stay with her. Deanna nicknamed me Inka-bud (Inky-Buddy) because I am gentle with all cats including foster kittens. Those mischievous foster kittens like to play with my tail which I don't care for, but I let them have their fun. I live with Deanna's other former-shelter-pets Mosey (my sleeping buddy), Gingersnap (my playmate), and Jellybean (my grooming buddy).

Deanna has enjoyed working as a volunteer at the shelter for the last two years, and being an active member of HHA for the last year. "It has been rewarding working at the shelter, helping adopters pick out the perfect pet for them. It is great to be part of an organization like HHA that funds medical care for shelter animals. It is rewarding to see an animal come into the shelter sick and scraggly and then through HHA's TLC the animal thrives, becomes robust and healthy, and then goes on to a forever home."


(Honorary Board Member)

Jack lives with his wife, Mignonne, and their menagerie of animals, including three goldens and 15 cats! Jack, a Los Angeles native, served on the board of directors for the West Valley Jewish Community Center for approximately 18 years, eventually becoming President of the Board of Directors. His occupation as an independent financial consultant allowed him time to support Mignonne in her efforts as volunteer at the Los Angeles County Animal Shelter in Agoura Hills, as well as her work in founding and operating Malibu Pet Companions. Jack currently serves as an honorary board member.


Jan & Dixie
(Honorary Board Member)

Shortly signing on as a dog volunteer in April 2010, little knowing what it would lead to, I was asked if I would foster a young momma and her three pups. The answer was, of course, yes. Thus Dixie entered my life. This raggie little "street walker" was a very good mother and when she could get away from her pups she loved running in a big yard with other household pets.

The puppies were successfully adopted and Dixie looked so happy in a real home (almost a smile on her face) that I could not bring herself to introduce her to the shelter life. As time went on I found it was getting difficult for me to safely work with the dogs, but I did not want to leave my work at the shelter so I shifted to volunteering with the cats.

Helping with the purr machines has been a new experience, but has rewarded me with 4 new "furballs" to keep Dixie company. They are Nye-Nye (Misty), a Herpes carrier cat, Figaro and Shane, treated ringworm cats and Murphy.

I joined the Board of HHA in 2013 and I have learned to appreciate all the talent that is on this Board and the love they put into their work for the animals.


Joyce & Frankie
(Honorary Board Member)

Joyce, an Agoura Animal Shelter volunteer for four years, belongs to Lon Franco Dettori, aka Frankie, a lovely long-haired Siamese-mix who trusted no one and had a heart murmur when he first arrived at the shelter. He pinned himself to the wall behind the cat trees and refused to come out, even to eat. One day, however, he started following Joyce all around the Habikat, and who could resist that? So Frankie came home with Joyce to join Luigi, Guido, and Papagena (the feline mafia). HHA paid for his EKG, which fortunately showed a fairly benign heart murmur. Joyce says now, "Even if it had been malignant and would shorten his life significantly, in my heart he was already mine. It took 6 months before he would venture downstairs in my home and 2 years before he would come on to my lap, but now he is my number 1 companion. I am happy to serve on the board of an organization that does so much for so many medically needy homeless animals."


Karla & Gumby
(Honorary Board Member)

Gumby, a mature but lively German Shorthair Pointer, belongs to Honorary Board Member, Karla. Gumby came to the Agoura Shelter as a stray with a large festering tumor on his rump. HHA stepped in to fund the removal of the tumor, and while in foster care with Karla, her family fell in love with him. In no time at all they had decided to make him a member of their own "pack".

"I have a soft spot in my heart for the 'youth-challenged' dogs that are abandoned or relinquished to the shelter," says Karla. "I believe that these dogs should be shown respect and gratitude in their golden years for their loyalty. I feel so fortunate to be associated with an organization that gives a second chance to these animals so that they can become a loving member of someone's family." Karla has been a volunteer at the Agoura shelter for 6 years and with HHA for 4 years.


Lois & Cosmo
(Honorary Board Member)

Cosmo arrived at the shelter in February of 2009 as a very frightened stray. He cowered in the corner of his kennel and shook most of the time. When he finally got a chance to get out in the play yard, he wouldn't let anyone near him; he was a master at running and dodging. Lois fell in love with the tiny boy and she spent time with him in the shelter's "real room" to get him used to being with her. After getting him home, she worked with him to slowly increase his trust. Now, almost a year later, he is a lively, playful little boy with typical Jack Russell energy who keeps his "sister" Nikki in great shape.

Lois has been a shelter volunteer for 3 years, and she feels that her time spent with our dogs is the best part of her week.

"I am honored to be able to work with such a great group of volunteers and staff, and to spend time with the dogs at the shelter. To know how much their lives are enriched by the volunteer program touches my heart. Also, when we are able to match a dog with the perfect forever home, it is the most wonderful feeling of all."

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(Honorary Board Member)

Mignonne and her husband Jack are guardians to a large brood of rescued dogs and cats! Mignonne began her volunteer dedication to the Agoura Hills Animal Shelter in 1994 while working full time as an accountant for Trax Softworks, Culver City, CA. This followed about 10 years as board member and volunteer at the West Valley Jewish Community Center. In 2002 she was recognized as Los Angeles County Volunteer of the Year for the Animal Care division of Los Angeles County. A resident of Calabasas then Agoura Hills, Mignonne was well known by her neighbors and the community for her efforts towards saving and rescuing over 350 animals (all of which had been either injured or abandoned) by finding them foster or adoptive homes on her own. Mignonne has created relationships with various Vet clinics in and around the Malibu area who work with the shelter in providing discounts for vet services. Mignonne is the founder and past President of Malibu Pet Companions, and has been an honorary board member since moving to eastern Tennessee.


Pattie & Dartie
(Honorary Board Member)

D’artagnan rescued our Honorary Board Member, Pattie, over 10 years ago from a local shelter. A “medical miracle” himself, D’artagnan proved that with the right medical treatment along with loving care, shelter animals can live a full and wonderful life. It also planted a seed within Pattie that she could do more and give more to help other animals like her beloved pup. Pattie has been in love with animals her entire life and began volunteering at the Agoura Animal Shelter almost 1 year ago.

Pattie has been in the marketing, advertising and PR business for decades. And she is truly a thrilled to be able to put her skills to work for something she feels so passionate about – taking care of precious fur babies until they find their forever home. All she needs is a tail wag, loving kiss and pooper scooper, and she knows there is no other place she’d rather be!


(Honorary Board Member)

Sherman is a founding member and has been on the board of Malibu Pet Companions since 1996. Her compassion for animals is legendary, if an animal is in need Sherman is there no matter the breed, no matter the size, mice to horses, she saves them all! We are honored to have Sherman as a board member with Malibu Pet Companions and appreciate the passion she brings to our organization and the compassion she has for all creatures great and small.

This article says it all:

"To many of LA's neediest animals, Sherman is a guardian angel. Technically, she is the proprietor of Sherman's Place -- Dog Grooming and Supplies, but the reality is that Sherman is a woman on a mission to save as many animals -- regardless of their species or breed -- from harm, hunger and often death. As she herself notes, she is "supposed" to be in business to make money, but sometimes winds up "on the other end of things" because of her unflagging dedication to making sure no animals are sacrificed on her watch. She is a regular at shelters and pounds, showing up on days when animals are euthanized, and swooping in at the last moment with a stay of execution. Sherman almost never has a pre-assigned home for the pets she saves. She worries about who will take them in after she ensures their safety. And so, it is rare to visit her shop and not see a selection of darling, furry friends who have just received a new lease on life..."

Read the entire article at Tasty Baby


Susan & Reese & Annie
(Honorary Board Member)

As you can see by the picture Susan loves the old ones! Reese, the chocolate boy on the left came into the shelter as a stray with a younger partner. They both had sarcoptic mange and Reese could hardly walk or move his head up and down. HHA treated his mange and his partner went to a rescue group. It was love at first sight for Susan and Reese came to live at Susan's house-She along with husband Glenn were lucky to have this senior boy for 4 years.

Annie, the yellow girl, also was a stray that came into the shelter with a younger partner (who was adopted). Annie was a very senior girl with a major head tilt. HHA ran tests (the head tilt was a neurological condition) and also treated her when she was injured by another dog and needed surgery. Robin, our president, took care of Annie after her surgery and when Susan and Glenn got back from vacation Annie came to their house to stay. What started as a senior adoption turned into hospice care as Annie's health continued to decline. Susan and Glenn had this wonderful girl for just a year when she passed away. Susan says:"It is very rewarding to volunteer at the shelter and with a group like HHA. I've been an Agoura shelter volunteer since May 1998 and with HHA for 4 years and hope to continue to volunteer for many more years to come."

Thank you, Susan, for your years of service and best wishes with your move to be closer to your grandchildren!


Trina & Charlie
(Honorary Board Member)

In April of 2008, Trina was volunteering with a rescue group and got her first foster assignment to pick-up a small and very sick Chihuahua named Charlie from the local shelter. When she got there, Trina read that his family surrendered him because he was getting too old (8 years) and they didn't like the gray in his face. Shocked and dismayed, Trina took one look at Charlie and instantly fell in-love with him! In that moment, she became his permanent guardian. She wanted Charlie to have a second chance at life and realized that he wasn't alone. Countless animals needed what Charlie did, so this was the beginning of Trina's true calling - to make a difference in the welfare of animals one life at a time.

Trina began volunteering at the Agoura Animal Shelter in April of 2010. She jumped in with both feet because she knew that her weekly visits were making a difference. Though Trina has both dogs and cats at home, she gravitated towards the cats because they were in desperate need of support. She is thrilled, because her efforts paid-off and she is now the volunteer coordinator for the cat department! Trina is full-filling her dream and is thrilled to be part of such an amazing and dynamic group. As far as she is concerned, it doesn't get better than that!