Meet Laura! This Burlington native is now a full out Torontonian with a tattoo sleeve and nocturnal lifestyle. She was surrendered here after realizing that she was so much more than her love for Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls, and more into street dogs and chasing girls. She came into her position as founder after realizing that being a foster was not all it was cracked up to be. She wanted the responsibility of finding and rescuing dogs in order to annoy her neighbours even more. Although she spends most of her time answering emails, we try to think of her as human social although she continuously talks too loud and too fast (at least that’s what we’ve seen in her SOS TV appearances). She is, as you would expect, dog social and also dabbles with cats when the right one fits the bill. So, an Egypt Empress.. I mean straggly Egyptian street cat named King Tut. She is certainly not kid social and is more of a feral dog looking for her first real experience with reality. When she crawls out of her cave she is easily approachable with her chronic cut-eye and choke collar. It’s really all just a cover as she is just a lost mutt like the rest of us. Even though she may be in the position of the “alpha” of the group, she really can't bark or bite. Open up your home and give her a chance, as supposedly she was never allowed dogs in her apartment to begin with.
Jenna, Executive Director
Jenna from Burlington, ON, baby, blasts Backstreet Boys till she’s black and blue in the ears. She relates well to dogs, obviously, so we thought we’d also give her the enviable task of also relating to the public as our Public Relations Guru. If she ever tells you a bad joke, don’t worry about laughing to be polite because she’s already doubled over in hysterics because no one laughs at their own jokes better than Jenna. She also says she’s too shy to ever actually go through with karaoke, but we know that once she gets a taste of it Jenna will be back all right!
Allison, Finance Director
Allison found her forever home as Finance Director of Save Our Scruff in February 2015 with a goal to grow and expand the organization. When not working for the dogs, she can be found chilling with her dogs, Rookie and Rolland, or whipping up some vegan goodness in the kitchen. That's right, she loves all animals, not just dogs!
Allie, ADOPTION MANAGER
If you've adopted a dog through Save Our Scruff, chances are you've talked to Allie. When she's not hustling to find awesome homes for our Scruffs, you'll find her off exploring with her own two dogs Milly and Murphy (an SOS Alumni!), hitting the trails, or hitting the books studying to complete her CPA designation. Her dream job? Helping more awesome charities like SOS - from a dog friendly office of course.
ANDREA, Foster coordinator
If you know anything about Andrea, you know that she's an animal lover. One of her aspirations in life is to be a dog mom, but not just for one dog like she is now. Think more like 5 or 12. Part 2 of her aspirations is to practice in wildlife rehabilitation. So, when she’s not in the laboratory discussing pharyngeal slits found in invertebrate chordates, you might find her teaching kids this kind of stuff. Math and science are LIFE! But her favourite thing to be doing is lying on a beach with her own scruff Tex, now Pac (think Tupac). She started volunteering for SOS in the summer of 2015 and has been helping out whenever she can since. She has now found her way into Foster Counsellor. At this very moment, you can be sure Pac is featured on her snapchat story. Or find them both reading journal articles about climate change.
BRITTANY, Adoption Events Coordinator
Brittany is a dog-lover extraordinaire! Her favourite pastime is quite literally cuddling random dogs even when they are less than interested. She became heavily invested in SOS a year ago and already has had the pleasure of fostering 4 beautiful Save Our Scruff pups. They were all saved from different parts of the world and she loved each and every one of them from the bottom of her heart. She works in Marketing and has her desk fully decked out in Save Our Scruff paraphernalia. Brittany loves to bake for both humans and pups! Her foster pups have all enjoyed her homemade peanut butter puppy treats! She is currently offering her helping hands for the events/ fundraising team and can't wait to help more pups!
Caralee, Alumni Manager
We never have to tell Caralee anything twice because quite like a Golden Retriever and Poodle, she’s easy to train. And that’s an important because as Alumni Coordinator, Caralee is responsible for checking in with adopters post adoption to see how things are going. (We love our SOS community!!) Caralee considers herself a vegan-wannabe, and if you let her, will enlighten you with copious facts about all things animal welfare. When she’s not working with SOS by night or as a recruiter by day, you’ll likely find her lurking social media, particularly Instagram. And that’s a good thing because that’s how she found us!
Cynthia, Spay/Neuter Clinic Manager
Meet Cynthia! Coming to us with a love of travel and adventure, she definitely uses this in her role with SOS. Curious about every dog she meets everywhere, she is the perfect fit for our Spay and Neuter manager role. With the love of her husband, son and 2 rescue dogs behind her, there is nothing this girl can't do! You can usually find her answering emails in downward dog, while on a morning run or during a mountain climb.
Devon, Foster Manager
Just like the pups we bring in, Devon has seen the sights of the world, including Vancouver, Argentina, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Along those travels she’s had three rescue pets two dogs, Poncho (poodle mix) and Fido (Lhasa Apso mix), and one blind male cat, Potato. That experience is what makes her the dynamite Foster Manager who handles and tracks our incoming pups with their foster families she is. We asked her favourite quote and you’d almost think we’re making it up but we didn’t: The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog (M.K. Clinton,Showstoppers).
EMILIE, NEWSLETTER WRITER
Former Montrealer, lover of all things animals and pop culture – Emilie is on a mission to get the word out on all SOS-related happenings as our Newsletter Coordinator. When she realized she was stopping every dog owner in the street to talk about their scruff, she knew it was time to channel her dog-loving energy towards a wonderful cause, and SOS fit the bill perfectly. She lives her life in superlatives, so everything is the “greatest”, “best” and “most amazing thing ever” – no in -betweens. You can usually find her engaging in conversation with your dog, soaking up all the music the world has to offer, or making plans to conquer the world, Beyonce-style.
Felicia, Transport & Intake Manager
Felicia joined Save Our Scruff in May 2015, with the hope of spending some of her free time helping animals. Little did she know in a few short months she would live ,breathe and dream rescue dogs. As the Transport/Intake Manager Felicia is constantly barking orders at her #transportsquad and picking up rescues from all over the world! If she's not filling her car with 8 dogs and driving around Toronto she can be found at the dog park with her own dogs or cooking up some authentic Italian food and drinking vino with her boyfriend.
gwynne, foster reference manager
Meet Gwynne, our Foster Reference Manager here at SOS. Every foster application that comes through gets sent to our wonderful team of reference callers. Interested in fostering, fill out an application and join the team! When Gwynne isn't helping out with foster applications, she's a nanny and occasional student. Gwynne originally grew up in the country so loves hiking and camping. Moving to Toronto was a huge adjustment, but we are so glad she's found a home with SOS!
Jen, Fundraising Development Manager
Jen joined the SOS team to help build out the fundraising and development strategy. Her love of dogs and lack of math skills are a perfect combination, because for the first time in her life the equation is easy: more money = more dogs lives saved. When she’s not out encouraging people to put their paws out and support SOS, Jen can be found hanging out with her Bernedoodle Cheyne, that also doubles as a Teddy Bear.
Kristine has worn many collars with Save Our Scruff. She started as a transport volunteer, then she was a foster, and now she handles our post adoption vetting. And we’re thankful that she’s able to find time to help us because when she’s not helping us she’s helping shape the minds of future volunteers, fosters, and adopters as a kindergarten teacher in Toronto. Kristine originally joined us because she had the most amazing life experience with a rescue dog (two taps to the heart and a point to the sky) who changed her life all in the good ways (of course), and wanted to honour his spirit. She’s fostered and dogsat many SOS pups since, and we couldn’t be happier to have her on the team.
laura, burlington event coordinator
Laura has been volunteering for SOS for almost 2 years as a transporter, foster, home inspector and events. On her first cross boarder pick up Laura spotted a tiny little love bug hiding in the back of a crate, she scooped her up and even though this pup was not supposed to be a scruff it wasn’t hard to convince founder, Laura Bye to take her on and let Laura foster her….and then foster fail!! Ducky became her first scruff and lead to Laura wanting to dedicate as much time as she could to help SOS rescue as many pups as possible! Living out in the Burlington area she hopes to spread her crazy dog lady ways around and spread the word about SOS! What better way then to plan events for Burlington and surrounding areas, Yoga and Dogs anyone?! SOS 101?? Puppy Kissing Booths??!! Laura has some…weird…but fun ideas and can’t wait to continue to spread the love she feels from SOS everyday!
Lauren, Lead Designer
After adopting Snapple, a rescue from southern California, Lauren took it upon herself to do everything she could do to help give dogs like him a second chance. Before long she had foster failed on her first try, adopting a scruff from Texas named Andy. We’re thrilled to have had her sniff out SOS to lend her keen design sense because you oughtta know she’s the one who helps with all our design work. (Not to scratch behind our own ears or anything but they are pretty awesome). When she's not at her computer, you can usually find her working on her house and garden.
michelle, foster Coordinator
If there’s a dog around, you can bet that Michelle will be right there giving it some love! Michelle started fostering with SOS in 2016 out of a pure love for dogs and wanting to help save their lives (duh!) She then became a Foster Counsellor, where she guides new applicants into #fosterlife. When she’s not rescuing dogs or on the phone chatting up the new foster applicants, you can find Michelle cooking up a storm in the kitchen (most likely with a foster dog watching her every move)
molly, third Party Events Coordinator
Molly has grown up loving dogs all her life. After fostering for a year with Save Our Scruff and witnessing the magic that they create, Molly knew she wanted to do more. Molly thinks quite often about a pup she named Lee while vacationing on a small island called Jost Van Dyke. She sadly had to leave him behind, but loves that SOS does international rescue to save as many dogs as they can. By day, she does programming and events for children’s hospitals across Canada and is now using those skills to help raise donations for SOS through fundraising events.
paulinA, volunteer manager
Meet Paulina! She originally joined SOS dedicating her time to helping with transports, adoption events, and home visits. Overwhelmed by all the cuteness, Paulina eventually started fostering some of our rescues which led to her first adoption of one of her own foster scruffs, Odie! His playful personality and bald, wrinkly belly were no match for Paulina's heart, she fell in love instantly. Paulina continues to foster and now proudly wears the hat of the Volunteer Manager for SOS. Registered CPA by day, designated couch potato by night, you can find Paulina on the couch watching Days of Our Lives while snuggling with her 3 adorable Chihuahuas. Yup, she's that crazy Chihuahua lady.
Robyn, Registered Veterinary Technician
If you thought you loved dogs and animals you ain’t seen nothing yet. Hailing from Orangeville and residing in Brampton, Robyn is a key member of the SOS Vetting Team and a key member of animal rescue in general. She joined SOS because she was looking for different ways to help out animal rescue organizations. If you ask us this is pretty amazing because outside of SOS, she’s a Registered Veterinary Technician with not one but two animal clinics and volunteers for a second dog rescue! If they ever make another Dr. Doolittle movie let’s not even hold auditions; the role is hers!
Sigourney, Adoption Coordinator
Like all of us at SOS, Sigourney has a crazy huge love of dogs that led her to joining SOS. Sigourney is our Adoption Coordinator (and also the occasional transport and home visit because she’s that awesome). If you are interesting in meeting or adopting a Scruff, she's the one giving your application the A-OK. Growing up in Florida, she had her menagerie that included her first dog Tika; hamster Michael Jackson, Smokey, and Penny; mice Henry and Goober; fish Spike, Big Red, Valentine, Crawl the Warrior King, and of course rabbit Phoebe. (If you’re ever stuck on finding a good name for your pet don’t hesitate to ask Sigourney.)
Simone, Adoption Counsellor
In the digital world the contacts of Simone are placed into two separate, yet equally important groups: those whose call and text she’ll return before you’ve put your phone back in your pocket; and those who get a response long after their phone has been upgraded. Fortunately for SOS we’re the former because as an Adoption Counsellor, Simone is in charge of interviewing potential adopters and calling their references to ensure they are the right fit. (To be sure… it’s a lot of phone-tag.) When not saving scruffs Simone helps save felis silvestris catus, endothermic vertebrate, and reptiles at an animal hospital. Simone also keeps our fosters in the know regarding adoption status and ALSO is in charge of answering the emails to our general email inbox. This is one busy lady!!!
Taylor, Adoption Counsellor
If Taylor ever says she’s not hungry don’t listen because she’ll totally steal your food when you’re not looking. Her favourite things in life are dogs, pizza and wine, pretty much in that exact order. She was inspired to get involved with dog rescue after adopting her homegirl Belle the one eyed Morkie, and spending hours crying while watching sad dog videos on the Internet. Taylor started as a home visit volunteer before graduating to Volunteer Manager, and now an Adoption Counsellor. Occasionally, when she’s bored, she helps plan SOS events and writes up some dog bios, putting her journalism degree to good use. When she’s not volunteering for SOS Taylor works in marketing and communications and pretends like she’s decent soccer player. If you ever see her at the Trinity Bellwoods Dog Bowl be sure to say what’s up, she’ll probably already be snuggling your dog.
HOLLY, Adoption Counsellor
Holly Santandrea was born and raised in Stratford, the same artsy town that brings you Ontario’s annual Shakespeare Festival, and a notorious popular music recording artist (who shall remain unnamed). Holly got involved with SOS back in 2015, shortly after going through the process of adopting her own rescue pup Lucy, and realizing there are so many moving parts behind the scenes of dog adoption. Her dog Lucy shares her love of the Toronto Blue Jays by sporting a Blue Jays bandanna whenever there is a home-game, and always perks up when Marco Estrada is pitching on the mound (okay, and also when MVP Josh Donaldson hits a dinger out of the ballpark). Holly's dream is to one day own a hip bed & breakfast outside of Toronto, with enough acreage to house several adopted animals.
MEGHAN, Adoption Counsellor
Meghan has been donating her time as a transporter since 2016 and when an Instagram post calling for a new adoption counsellor came up - she jumped on it! Meghan is animal obsessed and dreams of one day opening her own sanctuary for any (and all) animals that she can accommodate.. and very likely about 17 dogs. When she's not out exploring and playing with her pup Linus, she's likely stopping to pet and love every dog possible.
NICOLE, FOSTER COUNSELLOR
Nicole lives in TO with the loves of her life Chris, Emily, Violet, Colton and her 12-year-old pup Penny. She’s obsessed with dogs, having grown up with them all her life and would have a million if she could. As soon as she came across an article on SOS she started volunteering and fostering immediately and hasn’t looked back. It’s possible Nicole owns clothes that don't have the SOS logo on them but we’re not sure she knows that… In between getting a thousand snacks for her kids and dog (do they ever stop eating…??) she’s probably baking a cake, reciting lines from Anchorman or being dragged to an obscure concert by her husband even though she’s more of a Bruno, Britney, Beyonce, Justin, Adam & Taylor kinda girl!
KATIE, FOSTER COUNSELLOR
Katie got involved with SOS in April of 2016 and foster failed on her second try with Snow White, now Belle. (No, the Disney theme was not intentional). Being unable to continue fostering, she stayed involved by helping out at adoption events and jumped at the chance to become an foster counsellor. She works with young adults with developmental disabilities and is finishing a Masters in psychology. As a former horseback rider, she dreams of owning a farm full of both dogs and horses. When she finds free time, she enjoys exploring the hidden trails in Toronto and hitting the barre studio.
Shelley Austin, Adoption Counsellor
Shelley, a native Torontonian, attended York University in the faculty of Fine Arts. She’s always been dog crazy, but before entering into the animal welfare community of Ontario, she was able to talk her way into some cool jobs like being an editorial assistant at Chatelaine Magazine (think the “Devil Wears Prada”) singing in a wedding band and teaching piano lessons while still in high school. After raising three kids to adulthood, Shelley began volunteering in 2011 as a dog-walker at the Toronto Humane Society which has led to her current gig as a director on the Board of the THS. Shelley is a driver with Freedom Drivers Animal Rescue Transport and has a few great stories of transporting Scruffs along Hwy 401 (ask her sometime about that St. Bernard). She met Laura, SOS founder, while delivering said St. Bernard and was so impressed with Laura and the organization, that she jumped at the chance to join the SOS adoption team. Shelley also facilitates rescues of Egyptian Baladi street pups and her favourite motto is “Every life saved is worth saving”. She can regularly be seen walking her two Boston Terriers, Bentley and Baxter.