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 Dodson was attracted to the rescue field when her youngest son wanted another dog. An SMU college graduate who pursued a career in system implementation consulting until the birth of twins, Jana is now the mom of 4 almost grown young men and passionate about children and animals. Jana first served as the DSDA Foster Coordinator for the past 2 1/2 years and started the Year 2020 as our new Treasurer.
Megan lives in Celina with her husband and 2 kids. Megan and her husband fostered dogs for WoofStock Second Chance Camp in Aubrey before they had kids. She grew up with dogs and lab mixes hold a special place in her heart. She has an 8 year old lab great Pyrenees mix named Daisy and a Maltipoo mix (who she foster failed from her friend Jennifer, our events coordinator) named June. Megan taught first grade before deciding to stay home with her kids. She now teaches part time and spends the rest of her time wrangling kids and dogs. She loves taking our foster dogs on outings to take pictures of them exploring the town. Megan's kids love dogs as well and enjoy helping her take pictures of the dogs or love on them.
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 20 years and has 1 dog fosters cats. 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 managing the medical care of all the DSDA animals.