Heather Owen (she/her)


Heather Owen co-founded One Tail at a Time in 2008 while attending law school. She helped run the organization while practicing litigation in Cook County until 2015. That year she left her career to help One Tail open the Adoption Center and begin to reach its potential. Since then she has served as the Executive Director where she has been passionate about implementing progressive programming to address the problem of needless euthanasia. Heather is passionate about social justice, good books, and finding the best veggie tacos in the city. She is almost always accompanied by her One Tail alum and adventure buddy Trout.

Stacy Price (she/her)


Stacy Price comes to One Tail at a Time with over 15 years of animal welfare experience, starting her career studying techniques to prevent stress behaviors in zoo animals. Her focus was forever changed in 2009 when she adopted an overlooked senior white shepherd from a county shelter. With Vlad as her inspiration, Stacy has spent the last 10 years in leadership positions at various open intake and managed admission facilities before landing the job as One Tail’s Medical Director. When she’s not at the clinic, you can likely find Stacy at home with her six cats, two dogs, rabbit and incredibly tolerant husband.

Anna Johnson (she/her)


Anna Johnson has worked with dogs for over 20 years, beginning as a kennel worker and veterinary technician before spending 8 years as manager of Chicago Canine Rescue, where she fell in love with the Chicago rescue community. She loves working with vets to create meaningful partnerships to benefit animals in need, and finding creative solutions for providing rescue dogs with high quality vet care. When she’s not poking dogs with needles, Anna can be found at the barn with her horse, out for a run with her dogs, or eating all the pastries with friends.

Maggie Hudson (she/her)


Maggie’s animal advocacy began at age 12 when she made a PowerPoint presentation to convince her family to go vegetarian. After moving to Chicago in 2016, she started volunteering with One Tail and adopted her own OTAT dog, Piper, in 2018. Maggie has a background in nonprofit communications and fundraising and is overjoyed that she gets to use that experience to benefit the rescue pets of Chicago. When she’s not chatting with people about rescue dogs for work, she likes to chat with people about rescue dogs for fun. She also enjoys gardening, pottery, and exploring the neighborhoods of Chicago.

Dr. Rachael Wooten (she/her)


Dr. Rachael Wooten is originally from the Southwest suburbs of Chicago and earned her bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following her tenure at the UW-Madison, Dr. Wooten 'took her talents down South' to Alabama where she completed her DVM at Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017. While in veterinary school, Dr. Wooten’s passion to help underrepresented communities grew and she decided to pursue a career in Shelter Medicine and became particularly interested in soft tissue surgery. Following graduation, she moved back to Illinois to complete a one-year specialty internship at the University of Illinois CVM in shelter medicine. Through this internship she found an additional passion in teaching and community medicine. In 2018 she finally made it back to Chicago to practice shelter medicine full time and she hopes to make a long term impact on community outreach in the Chicagoland area. On her days off, you can find Dr. Wooten spending time with her husband (Nick), dog (Link), cat (Navi), playing sports or video games, singing/listening to music, and traveling whenever and wherever possible.

Carolina Hernandez (she/her)


Carolina grew up loving all animals big and small, she was raised in a tight-knit community where she learned to love helping others and sharing resources. She has worked in the veterinary field and animal care, including a dog rescue, for nearly 15 years. She loves working with animals and helping pet parents provide the best care possible for their beloved companions. She has a soft spot for senior and neonate pets. During her free time Carolina enjoys experimenting with new recipes at home or indulging in takeout pizza alongside her husband and their pup, Otis.

One Tail Staff

Jennifer Rogers (she/her)


Jennifer began her involvement with OTAT as a volunteer in 2016 and before joining the team as staff in 2018 she served as the Volunteer Coordinator for just over a year. Her favorite part of working in adoptions is finding the perfect match for not just our dogs but each and every person. She can often be heard whispering (with a tear in her eye) "have a good life" in each dog's ear as they head out the door with their new families. When she isn't working Jennifer likes to cook, listen to music and spend time with her family that include two dogs, Otis and OTAT alum, Pippa.

Kerry Panzone (she/her)


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 an OTAT foster home, then joined the associate board, and now runs our intake and foster programs! When she’s not at the shelter, you can find Kerry hiking across the country, going to local shows, or bartending on the weekends.

Kimberly Thomas (she/her)


Kim has nearly six years of experience working and volunteering in her passion field of animal welfare in her hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kim's favorite part about her job is getting creative to showcase adoptable animals. When she's not working, you can find Kim playing badminton, tending to her houseplants, or gushing over her dog and cat.

Ian Widner (he/him)


Ian grew up in Bradenton, Florida and moved to Chicago in 2016. He got his start in the veterinary field while working for a service dog training facility back home in Florida. After moving to Chicago, he spent four years working as a veterinary technician in shelter medicine prior to joining the OTAT team. Outside of work you can find Ian discussing reality TV with his cat Ralphie, struggling to keep his plants alive, or vacuuming endless amounts of cat hair off of everything he owns.

Kiara Cnota (she/her)


Kiara has been volunteering in animal shelters for over 18 years. After getting her degree in Animal Science, she began working as an Animal Caretaker for a local Animal Control. Here, she learned about OTAT and its mission to save the underdogs. She knew she had to be a part of their team, and after many years at animal control, she finally is! Her type is big-headed trouble makers and the shy guys and gals, as well as under-socialized kittens. In her free time, Kiara enjoys hanging out with her adopted cats, fostering animals, reading, backpacking, and traveling.

Aly Medina (she/her)


Aly is born and raised on the South side of Chicago. From an early age Aly loved anything and everything about animals and there hasn't been a moment in her life where she wasn't surrounded by a furry friend. Always passionate about serving her community, she has volunteered at various organizations and has spent 6+ years working in veterinary medicine. Now coordinating the Chicagoland Rescue Intervention and Support Program, she is able to keep pets in their loving homes by helping provide lifesaving medical care. When not at work, Aly can be found relaxing at home with her Fiance, 4 dogs and 6 cats or out on a road trip looking for a new place to camp.

Stephanie Cascio (she/her)


Stephanie has been involved with OTAT since adopting her late best friend, Annabelle, in 2015. First as an adopter and member, then as a volunteer, foster, and part-time staff member at Tortie & Co. After working in steel mills, coal-fueled power generating stations, and food processing plants as a union pipefitter/welder for almost 10 years, Stephanie decided to pursue her passions and find work that would have a positive impact on people and the planet. After earning her MLIS in 2021, she worked at a local non-profit until officially joining the team at OTAT. When she's not at work, you will most likely find Stephanie forcing her love and affection on her two senior cats (Belly & Icarus), reading a lot of fantasy, cozy mysteries, and some sci-fi, rewatching Star Wars (but mostly just Rogue One) for the millionth time with her partner, and constantly missing her Annabelle (the reason she's here at all).

Bailey McConnell (she/her)


Bailey has been working with animals for the entirety of her career. Being a foster parent, Bailey learned so much about force-free handling, positive reinforcement training, and the complexities of canines. Over the years, Bailey has had many animals spanning from fish to rabbits to insects and enjoys learning from all. Bailey is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, and nothing brings her more joy than using her knowledge to help animals and their humans. Bailey is a firm believer in L.I.M.A. (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) and applies those concepts to animal and human learners. Bailey volunteered in rescue and worked as a humane society on-staff behavior professional. Bailey is committed to furthering her education and plans to continue to span her knowledge of animal behavior. When Bailey's not working with OTAT dogs, you can find her with her two rescue Dobermans, Piper and Baron.

Mat Stokes (he/him)


Becoming responsible for a dog of his own taught Mat something important: they don't just happen. This principle has fueled a lifetime journey of discovery and facilitated a deeper appreciation for everything these fantastic animals can teach us. Mat's latest stop was becoming certified in R+ techniques through KPA. A soft spot in his heart for the dogs who need extra love brought him to the Behavior Center in 2019. The pups he met made it easy to stay. Mat and his wife are perfectly fine with the amount of time they have had to spend with their dog Midas while in quarantine.

Fresa Flores (he/they)


Fresa was born and raised in Chicago. He was raised by their Mexican immigrant parents who taught them to have compassion for all living beings. Fresa has worked in a variety of customer service jobs throughout the past 5 years. Fresa found their passion for helping animals find their forever homes by working as an adoptions associate over the past year. They have a soft spot for all the shy animals and especially for pocket pitties! In their freetime, Fresa likes to collect all the pink furniture for their home and to explore different parks with their dog, Mirko!

Cole Mason (he/him) - Coming Soon



Jennifer (she/her) - Coming Soon



Dr. Burke (she/her)


Dr. Molly Burke joined OTAT in January of 2022; returning back to Illinois after working at a local animal shelter in Ohio for 1.5 years. Dr. Burke grew up in a south suburb of Chicago where her passion for animals rapidly developed as she volunteered at a local animal shelter, attended camps at an animal farm, and dog sat for her neighbors. Dr. Burke graduated from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana with a Bachelors in Animal Sciences followed by her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. While Dr. Burke grew up with family dogs, she rescued a sassy cat named Willow after completing her undergrad and is now obsessed with cats. But don't worry, Dr. Burke will never miss the opportunity to love on a dog, especially a big headed Pitbull! She has a passion for shelter medicine and loves working towards helping control the pet overpopulation problem through high quality high volume spay and neuter. She enjoys getting to know all the OTAT animals and seeing them find their forever home. In her free time, Dr. Burke enjoys working out, playing board games, watching the latest Marvel movie, and spending time with her friends and family. Dr. Burke is excited to continue to meet OTAT fosters, volunteers, supporters, and of course, more OTAT animals!

Carrie Rubinas (she/they)


Carrie is a former pastry chef turned vet tech who got involved with OTAT as a foster and volunteer. She's currently pursuing her CVT certification and wants to help make animal healthcare accessible to all, everywhere it's needed. When she's not at work, she can be found at home with her husband, two dogs, and two cats, or sitting at a campsite deep in the woods somewhere without cell reception.

Molly Cadillac (she/her)


As a former dental hygienist, Molly originally became involved in animal rescue as a volunteer and foster. After years of working in the dental field, she had the opportunity to join the medical team at a suburban animal shelter and hasn't looked back since. When she's not working at the Ellis Clinic, Molly is usually spending time with her own dogs, Biggie and RoboCop, and trying to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Bill Drewenski (he/him)


Bill began volunteering with shelter animals in 2012, while attending university. He loved volunteering so much that he found himself playing hooky so he could walk dogs. This passion led him to become a veterinary technician. Since graduating technician school, Bill has only worked in shelter medicine. While not working, Bill enjoys listening to anything paranormal with his 2 cats and birdwatching with his dog. His Russian tortoise also helps him garden.

Gianna Montano (she/her)


Gianna grew up in Chicago in an animal-loving family and started volunteering at her first animal shelter when she was 10 years old. She has always known that she wanted to work with homeless animals. A longtime follower and fan of One Tail at a Time, Gianna was thrilled when she finally got to join the team! She has a special interest in behavior, specifically positive reinforcement training, and recently earned her Master's in Veterinary Medical Sciences with a concentration in Shelter Medicine. When Gianna isn't at work, you can find her with her four black and white kitties and elderly german shepherd!

Bob Martinez (he/him)


Bob has been involved in animal rescue since 1999 when he adopted his first dog, Krowzy. Bob has been passionate about volunteering with animals for all these years because of the unconditional love and companionship animals offer us. In recent years, Bob's volunteering has included volunteering at multiple One Tail at a Time locations as well as serving as a member of OTAT’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Board.
Outside of work, Bob enjoys animal photography, finding new restaurants, traveling, finding new books and re-reading his favorites. Bob lives in Andersonville with his husband, Peter, who works as an equity leadership coach and supports Bob in his animal rescue adventures.

Dr. Em Walter (she/her)


Dr. Emily Walter joined OTAT in June 2023 after working at a local high-volume animal shelter the previous year. She has always known that she wanted to take care of animals in need and decided to become a veterinarian after several years of working in the field.
Dr. Walter first started as a receptionist at a low cost animal clinic in northwestern Kentucky after graduating high school and eventually worked her way up to veterinary technician at an emergency and specialty animal hospital while completing her undergraduate degree. She obtained a Bachelor’s in Cellular Biology and Physiology from the University of Louisville and later graduated from Purdue University with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
Although Dr. Walter is definitely a cat person, she has a soft spot for senior pups and spicy chihuahuas. When she’s not working, you’ll either find her browsing a thrift store, enjoying a waterfront walk with her husband, Anthony, and their senior dog, Baylee, or lazing around with their 3 cats, Kylie, Louise, and Caroline

Cristina Reyes (she/her)


Bio coming soon!

Paula Peralta (she/her)


Paula’s compassion for animals is what led her to pursue a career in the veterinary medicine field. For as far as she can remember, her family has always had pets- rabbits, birds, and even scorpions!

Growing up in the Southwest Side of Chicago, she quickly learned that veterinary care in her underserved community was almost inaccessible due to cost, motivating her to bring back knowledge to her surroundings.

Paula began volunteering for a non-profit rescue organization where she assisted with intake exams and adoption events in Normal, IL while also studying Agriculture Pre-Veterinary Medicine at Illinois State University. Soon after, she started working as a veterinary assistant at a local high-volume spay/neuter clinic back at home. There, she discovered her passion for helping low-income families find cost-effective ways to obtain veterinary care for their fur babies.

When not working, you can find Paula at home hanging out with her husky, Kiwi, and her four cats, Cheeto, Bean, Whiskey, and Sweet Potato- not to forget her nocturnal bestie, Cappuccino (pictured), who she recently rescued from an urgent rehoming situation. Like many, her dream is to own a farm where she can continue helping animals in need and be able to provide space for them to thrive and live out their lives as happy as can be.

Valeria Renteria (she/her)


Valeria was raised in an animal-loving family and worked as a receptionist at her local high-volume animal shelter and then worked her way up to veterinary technician. She has then enjoyed learning and growing in shelter medicine and has hopes of continuing her education in the vet field.
Valeria grew up as a dog person but has discovered her undying love for cats, especially brown tabby cats, and has since adopted 4 cats that always keep her on her toes. When Valeria isn’t at work you can find her trying new restaurants, at the gym, or watching a sports game. Go Sox!