Board of Directors and Staff



Heather Owen

Executive Director

Heather Owen is an Illinois attorney who recently left her law firm to help One Tail at a Time launch their new Adoption Center. Heather enjoys keeping up to date on progressive animal welfare policies and new studies in best practices and applying them to OTAT. Heather also co-founded the Hold Fast Community Foundation, a group that provides support and services to grassroots non-profits in Chicago. When not rescuing dogs, Heather is usually with her sidekick Rude Dog.

Anna Friedman

Shelter Director

Anna Friedman has worked as a Humane Educator in local shelters for the past five years. Her favorite part of being the Shelter Manager for OTAT is watching the transformation in the dogs that come from horrific conditions and end up in loving adoptive homes. When she’s not saving dogs, Anna prefers to be in Door County with her husband and three dogs.

Melissa Fisher

Associate Board President

Melissa Fisher is a mortgage underwriter with a business degree from Northern Illinois University. She began volunteering with OTAT as a photographer and foster home but quickly became an integral member of the team. Melissa now runs the Associate Board while sharing her home with OTAT alum Sport Chicken, Bogart and rescues Higgs and Kobe the cat.


Cara Schwalbach

Development Team

Cara promised her husband she’d wait one year after moving to Chicago to adopt a dog, and within a year had adopted two. Shortly after, she grew her own list of dog walking clients and became active in Chicago’s rescue community. Cara’s favorite part about fundraising and development is helping people help dogs, and she finds that pretty easy to do at OTAT! Before diving head first into fundraising, Cara performed professionally in Musical Theatre and managed a a bridal boutique in the Gold Coast neighborhood!


Alli Rooney

Adoption Center Manager

Alli Rooney grew up loving all dogs, but it wasn’t until she adopted her own rescue mutt that she truly valued the importance of no-kill shelters and all the hard work that goes into keeping pets safe. After volunteering with One Tail at a Time for two years as an Adoption Center volunteer, Associate Board member and foster home, she officially became the Adoption Center Manager. She takes great pride in watching the dogs transform from intake, to foster home, and to finally finding their forever home. When she is not at the Center caring for the adoptable dogs, she is likely at home petting her dog, Swayze.


Kerry Panzone

Intake and Foster Director

Kerry Panzone has worked in various shelters in the Chicagoland area for the past 14 years. In her most recent position as Rescue Coordinator for an Animal Control shelter, she worked with dozens of rescue groups in the area and decided One Tail at a Time was the one she wanted to become more involved with. Kerry started out as a foster home, then joined the associate board, and is now employed as an Adoption Specialist. When she’s not at the shelter, you can find Kerry hiking across the country, going to local shows, or bartending on the weekends.


Kim Theobauld (President), Alli Rooney, Ann Hinterman, April Muller, Brandi Morris, Cara Schwalbach, David Blakeman, Elizabeth Hermann Smith, Eunice Oh, Jared Honn, Jessie Biondo, Laura Silvka, Mark Vanderhoff, Melissa Fisher, Shelby Green, Stephanie McCutcheon

Thank you to our volunteer-based program managers!


April Muller, Twitter Manager
Jennifer Rogers, Volunteer Coordinator
Laura Slivka, Marathon Mutts Manager
Lauren Scalzo, CRISP Manager
Varisa Lertburapa, Adoption Events Coordinator