Karen Pitcock became an animal lover in 2006 when she finally gave in and let her hubby get a dog.
“By day two, PJ was mine and changed my life regarding animals,” she recalls.
Biscuit joined the family when Karen rescued her on I-10 and took to her A&M to repair her badly broken leg.
Karen worked in HR until she got tired of the corporate world. She decided to use her BS in Kinesiology; she started a non-profit where she trained at-risk teenagers to run 5K races to build their self-esteem.
Her love of animals and her desire to volunteer came together at AAR in 2011. Karen is friendly and passionate about promoting AAR; she is the perfect person to handle inquiries and fundraise for AAR, and represent AAR at many civic events.
James Gordon is an AAR original board member. He, Barbara Schultz, and Angie Fenton (retired) founded AAR in 2002.
As a teen, James worked at a veterinary clinic close to his home. That experience gave him skills that have been invaluable to AAR. For many years he assisted AAR’s contract spay/neuter veterinarian, groomed AAR animals, and helped with AAR intake and adoptions.
Currently, in addition to working at Wal-mart and running a mobile grooming business, James supports and assists with many of AAR’s offsite events.
Jacqui Smith joined Abandoned Animal Rescue in 2006.
Along with her husband David, and sons Michael and Bradley, they have worked in almost all areas of the shelter operations. After many years of working in Finance and Accounting, Jacqui decided to follow her heart, as animals are her true passion.
Jacqui’s family also includes a yellow Lab, Weston, and a golden retriever, Cooper, who was an Adoptee from AAR.
Originally from Australia, Jacqui was involved with the AKC and dog training in her spare time.
Gary Robinson began volunteering with AAR in 2009 with his three children to teach them responsibility while giving back to our community. Over the years, he has contributed as a Dog Handler, Play Yard Trainer, attended various Training Programs and provided consulting for cleaning solutions at previous and existing facilities. His understanding and passion for dogs as well as his commitment to AAR has led to his election to the Board 2018.
As a United Kingdom native, Gary found his roots in Texas when he met his wife, Mary, in 1987. Gary and Mary have raised three wonderful kids and nine crazy dogs, three of whom are AAR rescues. His hobbies include gardening, hiking and canoeing the Texas Rivers.
Gary has held the position of CFO at Windsor Building Services in Conroe for the past 25 years. His extensive experience managing budgets and all financial aspects will assist him in his role as a member of the AAR Board.
Sandy Oliver joined AAR in 2010 after retiring from many years as an educator and elementary school principal. Her dream in retirement was to change from helping children to helping dogs.
Prior to coming to AAR, her hobbies included obedience training and agility training with her family dogs.
At AAR, she started as a Dog Runner (volunteers who are trained to exercise the dogs on and off leash), and has continued in that role.
Sandy has been instrumental in researching programs to help dogs deal with the stimulation of shelter life. After seminars and training, the Dog Runner team has now incorporated dog training and “Dogs Playing for Life” into the dogs’ daily schedules. Sandy has been part of the adoption team and is the Dog Intake Coordinator for all dogs coming into the shelter.
Wendy Airlie has been with AAR since 2010 and thoroughly enjoys her Sunday afternoons dog running for AAR.
Wendy is a CPA and CIA and has been in the auditing and accounting field for more than 25 years.
She volunteers as AAR’s financial officer and is currently the National Director of Finance for Genesys Works.
Wendy is a proud mom of three black labs, one of whom was an AAR special guest who'd arrived with severe fear issues that turned around thanks to both a time and monetary investment from AAR’s devoted volunteers and generous donors, along with a stable home environment.
Anastasia Thormahlen joined AAR in the spring of 2013. She was invited to join the Cattery leadership team and, not long after that, became the Cattery’s medical and clinic liaison.
Anastasia designed the new AAR logo and has become AAR’s resident graphic designer and visual identity person. In addition to her work at AAR, she provides graphic design services to Stageworks Theatre for their shows.
Anastasia has a BFA in Interior Design and is licensed in the State of Texas. She has over 20 years of interior architectural design, construction documentation, and team and project management experience. Her employment included the architectural firm Gensler where she was promoted to Senior Associate.
Currently, Anastasia loves planning for the new AAR cattery space, creating new marketing pieces for AAR, and fostering kittens.
Marla McNeilly joined AAR in 2013 as a once-a-week volunteer as a dog runner, but her love of the shelter and the interaction with the dogs turned into a two-day-a-week commitment and becoming a shift leader.
Marla is a lifelong animal lover, who has been a “fur mom” to both dogs and cats, including permanently fostering one of AAR’s own, Bliss, along with her two rescue dogs, two cats, and one horse. She works primarily with the small/medium dogs and has a particular fondness for those that are a little ornery and need some extra patience.
One of her tasks at AAR is to learn the personality of new intake dogs and inputting the information AAR adoption page to help applicants match up with the dogs that might be the best fit for their lifestyle.
Outside of her shelter work, Marla is an 18-year real estate agent with RE/MAX Vintage, where she uses her large Houston metro area network to spread awareness of AAR and the benefits of adopting shelter dogs.
Cindy started working the in the veterinary field in 1992 and quickly realized this was her passion. She received her Associate degree in Applied Science in 1995 from Tomball College and became an LVT (Licensed Veterinary Technician). Over her 24 years as an LVT she worked in general practices, at Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists with the oncology department and the longest at Veterinary Dental Services where she passed her board exam and became a Veterinary Technician Specialists (VTS-Dentistry).
Cindy has served on 2 boards previously: AVDS (American Veterinary Dental Society) and AVDT (Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians).
In 2015 Cindy changed careers and became a Realtor with RE/MAX Signature where she has been a top producer every year. In 2018 she was in the top 250 individual RE/MAX agents in all of Texas. In 2017 Cindy adopted Petey and Parker, 2 kittens from AAR. She attended several AAR fundraisers and felt her calling was to come back to the veterinary field and volunteer with animals.
Cindy started at AAR in the Spring of 2018 and quickly got asked to help as the technician and with cat intakes. She is also the liaison to the volunteer Veterinarian. Cindy was elected to the Board in September 2019.