Board of Directors
Elise Bissell has been passionate about animal rescue since she was a child. She recalls rescuing kittens out of trash cans and injured dogs and cats off the road where she lived in a small west Texas border town called Marfa. She attended Texas Woman's University School of Nursing and graduated top 10 of her class in 1988. After spending several years as a Clinical Nurse at Parkland Memorial Hospital, getting married, having children, and then running her own medical case management businesses, she left the world of nursing for a life entrenched in that of animal rescue. She has always believed that all animals deserve to be loved and live happy, healthy lives. After founding and running Take Me Home Pet Rescue for the past 10 years, an organization whose primary focus is on shelter animals, she has left that organization to start another nonprofit organization that focuses on helping the street dogs of South Dallas. She assisted in forming the City of Richardson Animal Shelter Advisory Commission 8 years ago, which she still currently serves as Commissioner.
Growing up in Southern Dallas, David Maldonado has first hand knowledge of the loose and stray dog problem. In 2016 he started volunteering in dog rescue to help with the dogs that were being dumped in South Dallas near Dowdy Ferry. Since then, he has assisted in rescuing and trapping many dogs. He helped launch the South Dallas Outreach Team with its founder. He enjoys educating the Hispanic community about responsible pet ownership. David believes in not only rescuing the neglected street dogs but teaching people to be better pet owners as well. Education is key to stopping the stray dog problem in Dallas. Dallas Street Dog Advocates is the perfect outlet for those two things.
Relle Austin grew up in the Australian Outback and began rescuing animals at the age of 5 when her parents found a baby wallaby in its dead mothers pouch. They taught her how to nurture and care for it and since then she has gone on to raise lambs, goats, calves, birds and eventually cats and dogs. Relle began her tertiary studies at the Queensland Agricultural College and graduated from the University of Queensland, where she learned all she could about animals and their care. She moved to Texas in 2008 and began volunteering for her local animal rescue where she was a medical foster for some of the sickest intakes and went on to help with animal behavioral assistance and feral rehabilitation. Relle recently discovered her passion for street dogs and is active on the streets of south Dallas, trapping/catching stray dogs and working with people to educate on the importance of spay/neuter, vaccinations and parasite control.
Jana was attracted to the rescue field when her youngest son wanted another dog. A mom to 4 boys who are now young men, Jana treasured the countless number of fosters who taught the boys compassion and responsibility. Her family always had an extra dog along at carpool and sports games. An SMU college graduate who pursued a career in system implementation consulting until the birth of twins, Jana is passionate about children and animals. Jana first served as the DSDA Foster Coordinator for the past 2.5 years and became Treasurer in 2020.
Jennifer was born and raised in Richardson, TX and graduated from UT Dallas. She is the mother of two wonderful boys who are a phenomenal help with fostering dogs. Jennifer got into fostering and helping dogs after she adopted her rescue dog, Jake, from Relle Austin 2014. Since then she has adopted another rescue dog Snoopy, and has become a better advocate for rescue dogs. Along with fostering dogs and raising two kids, Jennifer also teaches kindergarten. She loves her job and loves sharing with her students the foster dogs she has in her care. Jennifer loves to foster what she calls the "littles." At her house you will probably not find a dog over 20 pounds, though she will never turn away a dog in need. To this day Jennifer has fostered over 30 dogs including a mama dog and her 11 puppies. Jennifer loves being the Event Coordinator for DSDA. She enjoys finding new and different ways to help raise funds and spread the word about the organization she loves.
Carolyn grew up in New Jersey and moved to Florida where she attended high school. She moved to Dallas in 1982 and spent 25 years in finance. She has been married for 23 years loves fostering animals in need. Her passion for animals began at a very young age having cats and dogs her entire life. She has rescued stray cats just about everywhere she has lived. She began volunteering and fostering in 2013 for different animal rescue organizations. After first serving 2 1/2 years as our Social Media Coordinator she has changed hats and in Year 2020 began co-managing the medical care of all the DSDA animals.
2nd Medical Coordinator
Melinda grew up in California and has loved animals her whole life. She graduated from UC Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering then made her way to Texas with her husband where they raised their son and daughter. Her daughter's passion for animals introduced her to a local rescue group. Once Melinda became an empty nester, she volunteered at the rescue by fostering and developing systems to help things run smoothly. As Dallas Street Dog Advocates started their journey she helped them get off the ground by fostering and becoming their Medical Coordinator. Along the way she has been able to join the intake team on a few of their adventures and feel the joy of rescuing helpless dogs, watching them blossom and find their loving forever homes. The newest member of her family is Murphy, the big fluffy lovable Great Pyrenees/Golden retriever mix, which yes was a wonderful foster failure.
Stacy moved to Texas 15 years ago from California, with her husband and Cocker Spaniel, Athena. Not knowing a soul around, she jumped right into volunteer work with her local Women’s Club, helping with community projects, programs and fundraising. After getting settled in their home in the Allen area, they welcomed two rescued Great Dane/Chow mix brothers into their hearts and home. This was the first time experiencing the love of, and for, a rescued pup. Now, there was no looking back! She and her husband now have two more rescue pups, saving one from a high kill shelter. In the summer of 2021, Stacy joined the DSDA team as Fundraising Coordinator after supporting from the sidelines.
Rebecca is a native Dallasite who grew up with a menagerie of pets. When her children were old enough, she and her husband began looking for a dog to add to the felines in their family. Enter DSDA, Oso of the Taco Truck Litter, and the family’s foster fail Bowen. Rebecca eventually realized she could put her organizational skills to use helping new owners, and joined the DSDA team.
Microchip Transfer Coordinator
Robin moved to Texas from Florida with her husband, Bert, oldest son, and rescue pup, Nellie, in 2009. They adopted Baxter in 2011 and when Nellie passed away, they adopted Piper. Robin is passionate about giving back to her community and about animal welfare. She found DSDA through a fundraising event and NTGD and fell in love with how welcoming the Board members and volunteers are, and the commitment everyone has to saving dogs.
Robin also volunteers with the Women of Flower Mound and is a past Board member for the DFW chapter of the University of South Florida Alumni Association. Her goal is to do whatever she can to help improve the lives of homeless and neglected pups.
Bottle Brigade Coordinator
Teri is DSDA's resident bottle-feeding baby coordinator. She is the expert on getting these little fur babies healthy and on a schedule. She coordinates all supplies and schedules and trains DSDA's bottle-feeding volunteers, affectionally called the "Bottle Brigade."
Teri is mom to Caleb, Ali and Zach and bonus mom to Ilana, Carey and Annah – who blessed her by marrying her three crazy kids! She is a home decor enthusiast and when not refurbishing an antique treasure, you will often find her snuggled up with her husband of 28 years, Mark. In direct competition with her hubby for attention are her three rescue dogs (Boss, Camo and Victor) and two feisty cats (Tuna and Buttercup).
Teri is the owner of www.pompandprose.com and a percentage of the proceeds from the Pampered Pup collection are donated to DSDA.
Teri is pictured with DSDA "foster failure" Victor.
Sarah is one of the members of the DSDA "Bottle Brigade". She has been married to her husband, Mark, since 2005 and they have two sons, ages 9 and 11.
Sarah is mama to two rescued Great Danes. Rex is a slightly grumpy old man who weighs in at a svelte 145 lbs. Jaeger (Yay-ger) is a three-nager who loves to snuggle.
Sarah is a proud Texas Aggie (Class of '99) and is studying to become a Master Gardener. She is a photographer and freelance writer who loves ghost shows and in her spare time co-manages a local moms group with almost 3000 members.
Sarah is pictured with her Stella, who crossed the rainbow bridge in November 2019.
Position description coming soon...
Position description coming soon...