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Board & Staff

Board Members

  • Anne Blankenship
    Anne Blankenship

    Board Member
    Social Media Director

    Anne joined the Pet Allies board in 2021 after spending numerous summers in the White Mountains with friends in Lakeside, Arizona & volunteering with the organization. Anne is originally from Dallas, Texas & recently retired in 2020, now spending the fall/winter months in Texas and the spring & summer months in Arizona.

    After 23 years as a paralegal working for various law firms in the Dallas area, Anne decided to follow her true passion & started her own business as a personal chef 15 years ago. She attended culinary school in addition to working for various catering companies on week-ends, as well as building her business with personal chef clients.

    Anne has previously worked at Dallas Legal Hospice as a volunteer notary for 7 years, assisting with the execution of estate planning documents. She was also a volunteer for 2 years with the Supper Club Project through AIDS Services of Dallas, helping to cook and serve dinner once a month. Another “pet project” was working for a no-kill shelter in the Dallas area, Operation Kindness, where she volunteered to help with dog-walking and socializing every kitten available in the building. She currently volunteers with The Resource Center in Dallas, helping to provide hot meals on a weekly basis to those in need.

    The experience she has with social media is one of the strengths that Anne brings to Pet Allies. She is hoping to expand the Internet presence of Pet Allies through various mediums such as Facebook & Instagram, as well as assisting with marketing for the organization.
    Anne lives with her partner Kathy, also an animal advocate, and they enjoy traveling the United States and hopefully Europe in the near future.

    “Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received - only what you have given: a full heart, enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.” -St. Francis of Assisi

  • Karen Harter
    Karen Harter

    Board Member
    Board Treasurer

    Karen grew up near Fort Wayne, Indiana, and worked at the local veterinarian's office while in high school. She has always had pets including cats, dogs, fish, and parakeets. While in college at Ball State University, she had an opportunity to intern at an architect's office in Phoenix, AZ. Once out of college, she moved to Phoenix where she lived for over 30 years. A major renovation project to the Show Low hospital brought her to the White Mountains area.

    While in Phoenix, she also became a real estate agent and eventually got into property management, which, 22 years later, she still does part-time. Karen began buying rental houses and used her architectural experience to remodel and upgrade those houses. She still owns rental houses in Phoenix and Lakeside.

    Karen started volunteering with Pet Allies after the rescue of the more than 120 hoarded cats in August, 2021. She was happy to help and even happier to see the transformation of the traumatized cats "coming out of their shells" to become the affectionate beings they were meant to be. Her helping with the cats gave her the chance to work side by side with Pet Allies' veterinary technicians and other volunteers. She was so impressed with the care and concern the technicians and volunteers showed toward the traumatized cats and decided this is the group with which she wanted to be involved.

    When not taking care of her two cats Henry and Chaz, Karen can be found working on small building projects around the house, tending her large garden, working on a puzzle, or taking long weekend sightseeing trips with friends.

  • Lisa Jonas
    Lisa Jonas

    Board Member
    Donor Engagement Director
    Graphic Designer

    Lisa joined the Pet Allies board after moving here from Colorado in 2018. Lisa held the role of President for Grand County Pet Pals, an all-volunteer non-profit promoting responsible pet stewardship in Grand County, Colorado for 11 years before moving to Arizona.

    Jonas has over 30 years of experience in the design and production of visual communications, creative direction, brand management, and leading teams for Fortune 500 companies as well as small businesses and non-profits. Her greatest passion is animal advocacy and she endeavors to blend her creative and business expertise for the greater good of all animals and their welfare. She is consistently in awe of animals and their healing essence and strives to promote the importance of the human/animal bond and nurture that connection.

    Lisa lives with her husband Wayne their two rescue dogs Betty and Stella, both former Pet Allies residents, plus five previously homeless, and now incredibly spoiled cats.

  • Jennifer Rinaldi
    Jennifer Rinaldi

    Board Member
    Grants and Event Coordinator

    Jennifer Rinaldi is an artist and her work is almost exclusively of equines. From an early age, she began to draw them; this infatuation has continued expressing itself through the equis subject matter. She thinks of each as a self-portrait. Media is no barrier, be it clay, wood, bronze, or paint, the need to tell a story is evident in her works.

    Along with her artistic endeavors Jen is an event planner and has always involved herself in volunteer community events. From Grass Ridge Horse Trials as lead jump judge and board member to the Fairgrounds in Sonoita which she managed for 5 years, animal events have been her specialty. From 500 to 5,000 people no group is too large and no non-profit too small. Her passion is helping in whatever capacity needed.

    Jen’s education has been broad and varied. She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, and UW Milwaukee. She has worked as an artist in every job she has been hired to do. She worked at Oak Brook Esser Studios in WI, as a glass designer, and restoration specialist, moved to Arizona to continue in glass, and has gone on to graphic design and media. She recently retired from managing The Sonoita Fairgrounds, where she designed all of the print and graphic media for their events.

    Jen's work can be found at www.rinaldiarts.com

  • Kathy Waldren
    Kathy Waldren

    Board Member
    Board Secretary

    Kathy was born and raised in California and moved to Arizona in 1964. She and her husband split their time between Show Low and Tucson after retiring from Tucson Unified School District after 30 years. They are proud parents of 1 son who lives in Show Low full time. Kathy volunteers at the shelter during the summer and enjoys every minute of it. They have adopted 3 dogs over the past 8 years, Dolly, Penny, and Hershey.

  • Rebecca Bloomquist
    Rebecca Bloomquist

    Board Advisor
    Marketing Consultant

    Rebecca has been a member of Pet Allies since 1999 and has been on the Board of Pet Allies since 2005. Rebecca's passion is helping pets live longer, healthier lives through spaying/neutering. She acts as the Spay/Neuter Adviser for Pet Allies. Rebecca helps develop a protocol for Pet Allies' high volume spay/neuter clinic and is also a Marketing volunteer.

    Rebecca advises Pet Allies in all avian matters and fosters feathered friends while they await their new forever home. Among the variety of pets, Rebecca fosters she holds a special soft spot for rats and degus. She and her dog Sirius volunteered at Navapache Regional Medical Center as a Certified Therapy Team. Rebecca has been a small business owner for the past 34 years. She brings both business and marketing skills to Pet Allies assisting with the design and implementation of marketing campaigns and staff training to help further the mission of the group and its programs.

    Rebecca shares her life with a blue & gold macaws: George; and her little dog Three. Her husband, Dan, is her best friend....

Board Member Job Description


Staff Members

  • RJ Owens
    RJ Owens

    Director
    Foster Chair
    rjowens@petalliesaz.org

    RJ is Director, of Pet Allies, after being Board President for several years. She has been a dynamic member of Pet Allies since 2002 and has seen immense changes and expansion in the organization. As part of a hands-on working board, RJ's positions include Foster Chair. RJ's passion is fostering dogs for Pet Allies. There is a great joy in seeing pets find new loving forever homes. Many more people contact Pet Allies for pet assistance than the organization is able to help and this is the most challenging element of the position.
    RJ acts as Fundraising Chair. With many years of business experience, RJ leads Pet Allies into the future making the group mission a reality. Prior to volunteering her time with Pet Allies RJ served as Treasurer and Foster Chair for the Silver Creek Regional Humane Society, as a foster for Arizona Humane Society, on the Board of Directors as Secretary for Westridge Lutheran Church, President of Women of Westridge, a volunteer for Maricopa County Legal Secretaries Association, and Treasurer of the East King County Legal Secretaries Association.

    In her spare time, RJ loves to garden, especially garlic. She is a Master Gardener and volunteers with the local County Extension as well as helps her friends and clients of the Barkin' Basement with their gardening questions. She also reads avidly, principally psychological thrillers. RJ shares her home with dogs and cats from the shelter who are senior or medically or behaviorally challenged, making them less adoptable. RJ fosters dogs who receive love and guidance while awaiting their own forever, loving homes.

  • Jennifer Drew
    Jennifer Drew

    Animal Shelter Manager

    Jennifer and her family, which includes 2 horses, 2 dogs, and a handful of barn cats, moved to the White Mountains in 2019. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and has been a veterinary nurse since 1991. Working in the veterinary field was a childhood dream and she has fulfilled that dream by working in general practices as well as emergency/critical care, and specialty practices.

    When not at Pet Allies leading the shelter staff in the care of homeless, stray, and owner-surrendered animals, her hobbies include horseback riding and wood working.

    Jennifer has also used her skills and talents to raise and assist in the training of several service dogs.

  • Alisha Cook
    Alisha Cook

    Alisha Cook joined the Pet Allies staff in September, 2022 as an Animal Care Technician after having moved to the Show Low area from Tucson, AZ. Alisha was born in southern California, but her family moved to Tucson when she was a teenager and she attended high school in the area. She then went to Pima Medical Institute, where she studied a vet tech curriculum for 1 ½ years. Alisha has worked with animals her entire life, including a stint as an Animal Control Officer in Tucson where she had many responsibilities. When she moved to the Show Low area, she cleaned houses for a year until she saw that Pet Allies was looking for employees. Alisha submitted her application & was hired, happy to be working with animals again.

  • Christine Doyle
    Christine Doyle

    Christine Doyle joined the Pet Allies staff in September, 2022 as the “Front Desk Wizard” for the shelter. Christine is from Tucson, where she attended high school. Her parents relocated to the Pinetop/Lakeside area later in life & Christine would visit them occasionally & it is where she ended up meeting her husband. As her daughters grew older, Christine looked for ways to volunteer & serve the local community, and was involved with the Arizona Rangers, Show Low Company for 5 years. The Arizona Rangers are an all-volunteer organization who assist local law enforcement whenever needed. Christine was the first female captain of the Show Low company. Wanting to continue to serve the community, Christine was going to volunteer at Pet Allies, & then decided to submit an application. She is usually the first face you see when you walk into the shelter, greeting everyone with a smile.

  • Christina Elenes
    Christina Elenes

    Christina (“Chris”) Elenes joined the Pet Allies staff in August, 2022, after having recently moved to the Vernon, Arizona area from Norco, California. Chris previously worked at the Norco Animal Shelter in many capacities, starting as a volunteer at the age of 12. She was hired at the age of 15 as a kennel attendant/tech and eventually became an Animal Control Officer with them, where she was on call many times after hours. Chris has always wanted to live in a small town, so she was very happy to find that Pet Allies had a position open when she was looking to make a move. Chris has volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary and has worked with everything from horses, peacocks, birds, dogs, cats & more in her lifetime of helping animals. At one time, Chris fostered 30 kittens who were “bottle babies” in her home! Pet Allies is happy to have such an experienced & talented person working for the shelter.

  • Amanda Ratcliffe
    Amanda Ratcliffe

    Enrichment Specialist

  • Karen Beebe
    Karen Beebe

    Lead Surgery Technician

    Karen started her veterinary medicine journey in her senior year of high school, at a practice in Minnesota as a kennel tech after school and on weekends. Karen is a native of Arizona and has been in our lovely White Mountain area for 30 years now. She has been working in local veterinary practices for 16 of those years. Karen started working with Pet Allies in 2011 in their front office. A true believer in the spay/neuter cause, and the feral cat "eartip". She has 3 barncats of her own, and they all sport the beautiful mark of S/N. Always having an interest in the surgery side veterinary medicine, RJ offered her an opportunity to work as their surgery recovery technician. It was a good fit, and Karen says "she's livin' the dream".

    Karen is married to Ed, and they have two adult children, Chris and Melissa. Chris serves in our Army as a Staff Sergeant. Melissa is a vampire (phlebotomist), in a local doctor's office. Karen is a proud grandmother of 2 (so far). Karen has furry kids, too, with 3 ferals, 2 house cats, 2 horses, and a dog. Oh, she's also is a chicken rancher

  • Kathy Grabow
    Kathy Grabow

    Dental Technician

    Kathy grew up on a farm in a small town in Nebraska where she developed her love for animals large and small. In her younger years she rode hunter jumpers which is where her love of the Jack Russell began and started her name at Pet Allies " Jack Russell of all trades". Currently Kathy has 4 Jack Russell's,1 Golden Retriever, 2 Horses and 3 Feral Cats. In 2005 she and her husband bought property in the White Mountains where they enjoy riding their horses and exploring wildlife in the forest. Kathy has been associated with Pet Allies for 7 years in which she started volunteering at the clinic recovering animals after surgery and was then hired as a Recovery Technician. After a short time she was placed in the position of Surgery Technician and Dental Technician which is her current duties at Pet Allies. Pet Allies is fulfilling her passion for working with animals.

  • Alice Hill

    Alice Hill
    Clinic Recovery Leader

  • Debbie Collins-Rivera
    Debbie Collins-Rivera

    Lead Veterinary Technician

    Debbie hails from the fast paced Urban Jungle of the Bronx and entered veterinary medicine as a licensed Veterinary Technician in 1994. She excels in the areas of nursing care and surgical assistance and has worked in several animal hospitals while in New York. Debbie applied her skills to become a senior technician at a high volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic.

    In 2004 Debbie relocated, with her family, to the White Mountains of Arizona. From the Jungle to the Country was a drastic transition for a city girl used to all a large city has to offer. The animals of the White Mountains have greatly benefited from Debbie's amazing animal handling skills, calm demeanor and professional attention to detail. Debbie began working with Pet Allies in 2007 as lead technician of the surgical team at the spay/neuter clinic. Her experience as a licensed Veterinary Technician will benefit thousands of animals, helping them live longer, healthier lives.

    Debbie shares her life with husband David, son Emmett and 3 kitties: Grizzle, Dusty and The Cheese. Some of Debbie's other interests include tattoos, body piercing and her ever growing Tarot card and Oracle card collection. The cards are in her favor....