Rachel Berry, Executive Director
Rachel recently moved to Portland after a stint in the U.S. Virgin Islands and is excited to be back home in the Pacific Northwest! Rachel previously worked in Washington as a public defender and most recently clerked for a family law judge in the U.S. Virgin Islands. During her time in the Caribbean, she worked at an animal shelter, providing direct care for the dogs and cats, and witnessed firsthand the dramatic impact that accessible veterinary services can have on both people and their pets. Rachel lives in North Portland with her husband, Matt, and two cats from St. Croix who are adjusting well to the climate and are glad they don’t have to fly that long ever again! Rachel is excited to work with the fabulous people at PAW Team and to be part of keeping pets healthy and with their people!
Kristin "K" Anderson CVT, Medical Director
Kristin, who goes by K, is honored to be the Medical Director of the Portland Animal Welfare Team! She volunteered at PAW Team for two years helping with whatever needed attention and officially joined as our Medical Director in January 2014. K is a certified veterinary technician and brings a wealth of medical knowledge to the team. She believes everyone should have the gift of animal companionship regardless of financial circumstances and feels so fortunate to be part of an organization that helps to keep animals healthy and happy and with their people who love them more than anything. K also feels incredibly lucky to share her life with her husband and three adorable rescued sidekicks - Hector, Nadine, and Gus Gus.
Amy Kunz, Client Coordinator
Amy fell in love with PAW Team in early 2017 as our client coordinator intern. With the completion of her internship she graduated with her Associates of Applied Science Degree in Human Services. Her passion for helping others led her to a position that opened her eyes to the dire care needed for the companion animals of those in need. Amy is extremely dedicated to PAW Team and is very humbled and honored to be in this position. Amy has a true love for puppy drool, traveling, beautiful places, and her bloodhound, Thurston.
Kara Klepinger, Client and Volunteer Coordinator
Kara Klepinger became our Client Coordinator in July 2017. Kara received her BA in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound in 2015. After graduating, she taught English to elementary schoolers in Southern France for 10 months. While she loved the experience, she discovered that she does not want to pursue teaching and is more interested in pursuing a career in social work. Because of her passion for animals and helping others, PAW Team is a perfect fit for Kara. She currently lives without an animal companion and is excited to get her pet fix while working at PAW Team.
Kristie Perry, President
Kristie has lived most of her life in the company of canines. She was a high school student when she took on her first volunteer gig cleaning kennels at the local animal shelter in Bergen County, NJ. Upon moving to Oregon in 1996, she began volunteering for a number of environmental and animal welfare organizations, including the Sierra Club of Oregon and Golden Bond Golden Retriever Rescue. She has spent the last 20 years raising money for non-profit organizations, political candidates, and ballot measure campaigns. By day, Kristie is the Director of Donor Relations for Central City Concern, a nonprofit agency serving single adults and families in the Portland metro area who are impacted by homelessness, poverty and addictions. When not working to make the world a more fair, just, and healthy place for people and their pets, you will most likely find Kristie on some mountain chasing after her husband, Tom, and golden retriever, Duncan.
Megan Vaniman, JD, Secretary
Megan V has always had a love for animals. Megan joined the PAW Board after learning about the services PAW Team provides to animals and their loving owners in late 2017. Megan moved to Portland in 2009 to attend law school. While in law school, Megan was an associate editor of the Environmental Law Review and advocated for a better environment for all animals. Since then, Megan has continued to address social and political inequities through her legal work. She is an active member of the Oregon Women Lawyers and is on the committee for the St. Andrew Legal Clinic’s annual Race for Justice. She is currently an attorney with Harris Bricken.
When not working or volunteering with PAW Team, Megan can be found running in a local race, cycling, or backpacking in the Pacific Northwest with her partner, Nate, and their dog Ernie Banks. She also has two cats, Harriet Schmarriet and Juniper, she adopted from local shelters.
Megan DiPierro, Treasurer
Megan graduated with a degree in finance from the University of Nevada, Reno. Throughout her career she has pursued her passion for animal health care. In the past decade, she has worked as a Volunteer Manager at the Greenhill Humane Society and a Business Analyst at VetSource, a veterinary pharmacy. After earning her MBA from Portland State University, Megan began working at Banfield Pet Hospital as a Pricing Analyst.
Megan first volunteered with the PAW Team in late 2016. After realizing the positive impact they had on the community she felt honored to become a part of that team. In her time off Megan enjoys taking her dog Matilda to the park and updating her mid-century home.
Julia Doty has been volunteering with PAW Team since 2012. She joined the board of directors in 2014 and has served as the board secretary since 2015. After earning a Bachelor's degree in Psychology in 2008 from Northeastern University, Julia completed two years of service with Americorps. She is passionate about helping people in poverty access the resources they need. Her favorite thing about volunteering at PAW Team is being able to witness the fierce connection between people and their pets. For her day job, Julia is the Director of Resident Services for Northwest Housing Alternatives, a non profit affordable housing developer based in Milwaukie, OR.
Andrea Sanchez, DVM
Dr. Andrea Sanchez has been a small animal veterinarian since graduating from Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007. Since that time she has worked at Banfield Pet Hospital in a variety of roles, including clinician, chief-of-staff, medical director, hospital openings manager, and senior manager of operations support.
In her spare time, Dr. Sanchez enjoys volunteering as a clinician for Portland area Veterans Stand Down events, volunteering at Central City Concern's Free Clinics, and giving talks to school-age children and educational groups. She has coordinated and given talks about empathy for animals and responsible pet ownership to over 1000 school-age children. Every year she co-hosts and directs Mars Ambassador Project, a program that brings a full week of free preventive care clinics and educational programs to underserved communities all over the world. In 2016, the program took place in New Orleans, Louisiana. She also sits on the committee of the Banfield Better Together Fund, a fund that provides support to associates of Banfield Pet Hospital after natural disasters. Most importantly, she is adoptive mother to four rescued fur-children, Danny, Frankie, Felix, and Pablo Escobar.
Barbara Spears’ life revolves around two very diverse interests - animals and business. She began her participation in animal rights issues over three decades ago by working to ban wildlife trapping, bear baiting, and cougar hunting. From those initial efforts, she continued her activism, working on the full range of local and national animal protection causes.
Barbara was co-founder and co-owner of Kaboom and LUX Lighting in Northwest Portland, which consumed much of her time and energy until LUX was sold in 2005. Since that time, she has invested her time in issues involving homeless companion animals, particularly those that end up in publicly funded animal control agencies. She campaigned for improved performance at Multnomah County Animal Services and is pleased to see increasing save rates.
Barbara is proud to be a PAW Team board member and believes whole heartedly in its mission to alleviate suffering by providing free veterinary medical care to the animals of those less fortunate. Especially important to her is preventing animal abandonment and pet overpopulation - the keys to keeping animals alive, well and out of shelters. She is happy to have two rescued dogs, Topper and Millie, in her life.
Lisa Williams, DVM
As a Portland, Oregon native who never strayed too far away from home, Lisa loves the NW community, the outdoors, the mountains, and the ocean. After almost 10 years as a practicing veterinarian, as well as 12 years as a finance professional, Lisa believes in authenticity, accountability, compassion, commitment to personal growth and connection with people and their animals. Lisa has a natural ease in talking with people and genuinely enjoys meeting new clients and listening to the challenges they face in the care of their pets. Veterinary medicine brings together all kinds of people, including coworkers, clients, other for profit industry people and those who work in the not–for-profit sector. In order for our veterinary community to be successful, we all must work well together. Lisa believes the key to this requires treating all with dignity and respect even while working out differences and maintaining high ethical standards for personal and professional interaction. Lisa has been active in the Portland Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) and has volunteered at a not-for-profit clinic in Rarotonga (Cook Islands), for the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) in Mississippi post hurricane Katrina, and for the Perros Project in Huanchaco, Peru. When not stopping to pet every dog on every street corner, and when not caring for those that make it to her clinic, you can most often find Lisa with a latte and working in the yard or enjoying walks, runs or bike rides through our wonderful neighborhoods.
Margaret Wixson, DVM
Margaret Wixson first became involved in providing veterinary care for pets of people experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty in 2007 as a volunteer vet assistant for VETSOS, a mobile clinic in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a veterinary student at UC Davis, she was a spay/neuter coordinator for the student-run Mercer Clinic for Pets of the Homeless. Margaret is driven by the knowledge that veterinary care is necessary for both animal and human health and strongly supports efforts to reduce pet overpopulation through spay/neuter. Since becoming involved with PAW Team in 2017, she has been impressed by the compassion, services, and standard of care PAW Team is able to offer patients and their companion people.
During the day, she is a shelter veterinarian at Oregon Humane Society. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring local volcanoes on skis and playing Irish banjo and cittern with her husband.
Jason is a dedicated dog lover, animal advocate, and experienced Portland small business owner. He and his wife raised their first golden retriever, Sadie, while in college at Oregon State University. In 1997, Jason started Sadie’s Dog Time, LLC a dog walking and daycare business serving the Portland area until 2008. As the business grew so did Jason’s awareness of a pressing issue facing thousands of Portland dog owners. Where could they legally take their dogs off leash? In 1999 only two Portland parks had officially designated off leash areas for use. Jason, determined to find workable solutions to this growing issue, created C-SPOT (Citizens for Safe Parks with Off-leash Territory) in 2000, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number of off-leash areas through education, advocacy, and strategically working with the Portland Parks Department. Thanks, in large part, to the dedicated members of C-SPOT the number of designated off leash areas in Portland parks increased dramatically by 2002 and are still being enjoyed by dog lovers today. In 2006 Jason opened Switch Shoes and Clothing, a women’s retail boutique, in SW Multnomah Village with his wife and another couple. From 2015-2017 Jason held down his marketing, social media, and website responsibilities for Switch while also serving as the MVBA (Multnomah Village Business Association) President. When Jason is not at the PAW Team he can be found volunteering with the Guide Dogs for the Blind or enjoying time with his family; wife Jen, sons Ben and Zach, and his two dogs Levy and Lucy.
Annette Talbott, JD
Annette has been a four legged pet lover since she was a kid. She was the kid always trying to get her Mom to adopt stray pets. She has had cats and dogs by her side throughout her life. She moved to Portland over 30 years ago to go to law school to study environmental law at Lewis & Clark Law School. She worked for Legal Aid in law school and has never lost sight of how critical housing is to keeping one’s life on track. She went on to work in state agencies and in political positions for elected state and legislative officials for over 20 years focusing on elections, employment, labor, land use and economic and social justice issues. She currently works for a federal agency on natural resources, public lands and Indian law matters. She has a four pack of Chocolate Labrador Retrievers who keep her very busy throwing tennis balls and swimming. She is so pleased to be on the board to assist homeless and low income individuals in getting their family pets the care they need while they work to obtain housing.
A lifelong advocate and lover of animals, Megan became connected to PAW Team in 2017 when she began serving on the PawPalooza event committee and she’s been hooked ever since. As a social worker who believes fundamentally in the importance of inter-connectedness and community, Megan is beyond thrilled to join PAW Team and to get to be a part of such an awesome group of people doing amazing work in the community.
In her spare time she can be found exploring the beach, wandering the trails, and relaxing in her hammock in the backyard. A recent homeowner, Megan is looking forward to setting down roots, adopting a dog and spending weekends exploring her new neighborhood.
Ryan is a Pacific Northwest native who grew up with cats and now trains dogs in his spare time. He has owned everything from a guinea pig to a homing pigeon and has a rule to pet at least one dog per day (it’s the key to happiness). Ryan came to learn of PAW Team when his dog Oskar was in need of help due to a cruciate ligament tear in his right knee and his family was not in a place to afford it. Having experienced and witnessed PAW Team’s services in action Ryan saw an opportunity to help grow their programming and help others who are in the same position his family once was.
Ryan started his career in sales and quickly grew to building businesses and marketing strategies. Having experience in sales, marketing, strategy, and non profit management/fundraising consulting, Ryan’s goal is to grow PAW Team’s programming to help as many people as possible in the Portland Metro area and beyond.
When Ryan isn’t working or volunteering you will find with him with his wife Maggie and their pup Oskar climbing a mountain, backpacking/camping, hiking, or weeding the garden.