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.
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 Snicker, aka Nick, who was a foster fail from the candy bar litter. Along with fostering dogs and raising two kids, Jennifer also teaches elementary. 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 150 dogs including a 8 mama dogs and their litters. She enjoys finding new and different ways to spread the word about the organization she loves.
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.
Carolyn grew up in New Jersey and moved to Florida where she attended high school. She moved to Dallas in 1982 and spent over 20 years in finance and 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.
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.
Canine Behaviorist & Trainer
Position description coming soon...
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 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.
Ana Gladys Lueiro
Ana has always had a soft spot for animals, dogs and otters being her favorites. She came across DSDA in August 2018, and has served as a volunteer member since. In May 2020, she fostered DSDA’s Mr. Darcy (nka as Mr. Freckles) and succeeded in adding him to her family. In addition to her fur baby, she also has a son, Lorenzo, who recently completed his Eagle Scout project, benefiting DSDA. DSDA has become a part of her family in so many ways. She recently took over the foster coordinator role and enjoys working with the wonderful fosters that make DSDA so uniquely special. As the foster coordinator, Ana helps match available fosters and their homes with animals coming into our care or for temporary coverage when foster families are unavailable. Strong organizational skills and frequent, open communication helps her greatly in this role.
Olivia has been a DSDA fan since 2020 after adopting her dog Ruth. Shortly after, she opened up her home to begin fostering puppies and adult dogs. One of the dogs ended up as a foster fail (now known as Moss).
What Olivia finds most rewarding about being part of DSDA is the dog community support and the proactive approach DSDA takes to tackle the street dog problem in the Dallas Metroplex.
In her spare time, Olivia enjoys being active outdoors with her family, yoga, and finding methods to incorporate technology into rescuing dogs.
Interested in becoming a position held volunteer?