Our Team
Board of Directors

Our Team

Susan Patterson

Founder & Adoptions / Fosters

In 2009, when I dared to reach out my hand into the dark and pull a tiny, abused, and terrified dog into my life, I knew everything had changed.

Dogs are my world. I have never not been around animals and never want a life without them. I believe wholeheartedly that dogs rescue you right back, that they are made of magic; capable of healing you with their simple ability to live in the moment and love everyone more than themselves.

Today, we are over 75 volunteers strong, diverse in our walks of life, all with a passion for one thing: the value and love of a dog.

Mary Milton

Adoptions & Rescue Coordinator

I’m with Rick

Ivana Luca

Adoptions /Operations

“They are constant reminders that life reveals the best of itself when we live fully in the moment and extend our unconditional love. And it is very true, that the most tender, uncomplicated, most generous part of our being blossoms, without any effort, when it comes to the LOVE of a DOG.”- Maira Kalman

I grew up in Europe and felt an affinity with animals from birth. Our family dog was an abused rescue who became my childhood best friend. He was my greatest teacher and would help me when I would pick up stray dogs (or any other animal) that needed to be nursed back to health.

This childhood affinity with animals has later led me on a path to work with numerous animal non-profit organizations across the world from dolphin to elephant rescue and rehabilitation.

But dogs have always been where my heart is, and I am now so honoured to be a part of this wonderful organization and amongst such an incredible team of people with golden hearts.

Marion Dickson

Foster Coordinator / Reference Check

I first became involved with TDIAO when we attended their adoption event in October of 2013 where we adopted our sweet Maggie. I was so impressed with this group of volunteers, their dedication to the dogs and how well the event was organized I knew I wanted to volunteer for them.  My first experience was being a foster for TDIAO, and what a rewarding experience this was. Helping to acclimatize and train our new arrivals, watching them meet their new furever families was such an rewarding experience!   Since then I have been involved in many other areas of our rescue, the most exciting and rewarding one of all would be our large adoption event in November each year, seeing all those perspective adopters and watching their reactions when they meet their new family dog is amazing.

I have loved animals my whole life, I have always been drawn to the ones that no one else wanted, and have rescued many animals over my life time.

Making new friends both human and dog, has enriched my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Janet Randall

Home Check Coordinator

I first became involved with TDIAO when we attended their adoption event in October of 2013 where we adopted our sweet Maggie. I was so impressed with this group of volunteers, their dedication to the dogs and how well the event was organized I knew I wanted to volunteer for them.  My first experience was being a foster for TDIAO, and what a rewarding experience this was. Helping to acclimatize and train our new arrivals, watching them meet their new furever families was such an rewarding experience!   Since then I have been involved in many other areas of our rescue, the most exciting and rewarding one of all would be our large adoption event in November each year, seeing all those perspective adopters and watching their reactions when they meet their new family dog is amazing.

I have loved animals my whole life, I have always been drawn to the ones that no one else wanted, and have rescued many animals over my life time.

Making new friends both human and dog, has enriched my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Paul Jasich

Transport and Transfer Coordinator

My first involvement with TDIAO came when my family decided it was time to adopt a rescue dog. We were so impressed by the whole experience with TDIAO: from the initial home check, meeting our puppy at his foster home, and even corresponding with various members for arrangements and paper work. Everyone on the TDIAO team was so dedicated to finding the BEST home for the little puppy they had been trusted with. I knew I wanted to be part of that team as well!

I feel so lucky to work alongside such an amazing and varied group of people who all bring their strengths to the team so generously!

Getting to meet so many wonderful dogs has been pretty awesome too

Carolyn Laurin

Administrative Coordinator

I was introduced to TDIAO by a friend who adopted Dexy, TDIAO’s first official rescue. She asked me if I would be interested in volunteering at TDIAO’s first big adoption event. Well, like many of you, I love animals so it didn’t take me more than a split second to say yes. Needless to say the experience was like no other and there’s been no looking back ever since. Year after year, I’m amazed by our incredible TDIAO volunteers pulling together to make our world a little better. It’s such a wonderful feeling to be part of a great team working towards saving dogs and giving them a better life. Watching our rescues leave with their new owners grinning from ear to ear as they take their new furry friend home makes the work we do worth every minute.

Rick Crook

Rescue Coordinator

I am with Mary

Tracy Reeder

Follow Up Coordinator

I first became aware of Thank Dog I Am Out during the lead up to one of their first adoption events. I continued to follow the good work of Susan and the rescue over the years.

Being a dog lover, I often considered submitting an application to volunteer but it wasn’t until losing my dog after 15 years together that I finally decided to apply. I wanted “give back” and do something in her honour.
When I attended my first meeting, I knew I had chosen the right organization. Susan’s love and compassion for animals was clearly apparent as was the rest of her team’s.

Every dog deserves the opportunity to be loved and have a forever home. It’s extremely rewarding to be part of a team that strives to help make that happen

Jason Reeder

Operations

I am with Tracy!

Kathy Stahr

Finances

As Susan Patterson’s sister we were brought up sharing a love of animals. When she started rescuing dogs I watched these discarded pups blossom as they were welcomed into loving homes, and was inspired to be a part of it. I had some bookkeeping experience so when TDIAO was formed and started growing quickly I offered up my volunteer services both behind the scenes and at the big annual adoption events. I continue to manage the society’s finances because I know that with every adoption a life is saved and a family is enriched. It’s been a wild ride and a very rewarding experience!

Tania Ryan

Visual Artist

In November 2016 I was covering the TDIAO adoption event for my Publication, The Urban Pet Gazette, where I first met Susan. Susan’s passion inspired me to raise funds and awareness for the Thank DOG I am out by creating a calendar “The Underdogs Project”. In 2017 Susan approached me with the concept of a book to celebrate the continuing success of Thank DOG I Am Out. It was an amazing experience to meet up with adopters and meet and photograph all the adorable dogs who might not have ever had a chance to find a fur-ever home. As the owner of the Vancity Bark, I look forward to continuing to use my skills in visual arts, raising awareness for animal welfare for TDIAO.

Friso Halbertsma

Graphic Artist

Debbie Bloom Feldstein

TDIAO USA

Deb is founder of the amazing Winter Warriors and Ice Brigade
programs providing beds, blankets, ice and toys to the hundreds of dogs stuck in California’s rural shelters during their extreme weather conditions.

She has worked tirelessly for thousands of dogs and joined Thank Dog I Am Out in 2017 selecting, and  prepping our dogs – including vetting and transport from California.

She is TDIAO family to the core and we would be lost without her.

Jonny Staub

Media Spokesperson

Jonny Staub is a radio host of the top rated Jonny, Holly & Nira morning show in Vancouver BC. He has also worked in markets including Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton. A successful on-air coach and mentor, he thrives on growing “up and coming” talent and has a passion for media training.

He’s a Crossfit athlete who also nerds out drawing comic books in his spare time and loves a North Shore hike with his boyfriend “Tuna” (Jason), and their two dogs Wermmy and GusGus. He is the media spokesperson for Thank DOG I Am Out Dog Rescue Society and supports all their efforts to rescue as many dogs at risk as they can.

Board of Directors

Susan Patterson

In 2009, when I dared to reach out my hand into the dark and pull a tiny, abused, and terrified dog into my life, I knew everything had changed.

Dogs are my world. I have never not been around animals and never want a life without them. I believe wholeheartedly that dogs rescue you right back, that they are made of magic; capable of healing you with their simple ability to live in the moment and love everyone more than themselves.

Today, we are over 75 volunteers strong, diverse in our walks of life, all with a passion for one thing: the value and love of a dog.

Dr Suann Adams

I accepted a position on the Board of TDIAO because of my experience as a veterinarian. I firmly believe that for every responsible person who wants to share their life with a dog, there is a dog out there who needs that person. And those dogs with the most need to be united with the most caring and responsible people are too often euthanized without find their life-long home.

Arya Eshghi

Arya joined Thank Dog I Am Out because of her passion and compassion for animals. She strongly supports this organizations mandate to  “rescue and re-home any dog at risk of being euthanized, surrendered, abused or neglected”.

Kim Kawaguchi

Serving on the TDIAO Board offers me the opportunity to work with those who share a passion and dedication for helping dogs out of a desperate situation and into a caring, home environment. The experience and knowledge brought together with this group inspires me to be commitment to a cause I believe in.

The teamwork involved by a few, with even fewer resources, has achieved impressive results in a short period of time. My hope is that this valuable work continues to grow and be successful and true to the mandate.

Suzanne Laurie

Suzanne has always had a deep love and respect for animals. The bond between human and animal is a sacred one and she was always the kid rescuing the stranded kitten or the injured bird or begging her parents to find room for “one more”.

In her professional life, Suzanne is an accomplished facilitator, program leader, coach, educational designer, and organizational consultant. Her experience developing leaders in all organizational settings and her expertise in both profit and non-profit, and large and small organizational settings provides a unique and strategic perspective for unleashing people’s greatness.

Splitting her time between Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast, Suzanne lives with a house full of animals whose current roster includes three amazing dogs and a socially forward cat.