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.

Darlene Pereda (she/her)


Darlene’s drive to make positive change in the lives of vulnerable people (both human & animal) first led her to start volunteering with Chicago rescues in 2012. Since completing her M.S. in International Public Service at DePaul University in 2015, she has worked with nonprofit organizations focused on issues like youth homelessness, type 1 diabetes research, and community-based healthcare. After volunteering at several Community Pet Days, the Parvo Prevention Project, and CACC, Darlene recognized the huge shortage of veterinary, educational, and financial resources in Chicago’s historically underserved communities. As Community Engagement Manager, Darlene helps OTAT bring culturally competent, innovative, life-saving programming to Chicago’s homeless pets and communities in need of better access to high-quality, affordable veterinary care and compassionate pet owner support. Outside of OTAT, Darlene loves spending time with her own two dogs, Sen & Lindy, volunteering with other local organizations, and growing a nonprofit she co-founded dedicated to expanding financial literacy skills.

Jennifer Rogers (she/her)


Jennifer was in the catering and events industry for over 15 years before coming to OTAT. Jennifer began looking to volunteer with a non-profit after her children went to college, and with her love of dogs quickly settled in as OTAT’s volunteer coordinator. She fell head over heels in love with rescue and recently left her job to join the staff full time as an Adoption Coordinator. When not making matches for OTAT dogs or driving them around the city, Jennifer spends her time cooking for friends and family or relaxing with her husband + two dogs, Violet and Otis.

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.

Mia Lindner (she/her) - Coming soon



Amber Severance (she/they)


Amber is a serial OTAT foster and volunteer turned staff member. She's got a soft spot for special needs animals and thrives spending time in person with pets! You’ll find her around town with her dogs Tina and Gene, being overly enthusiastic about bowling and/or hanging around the Isolation House for playgroups and enrichment. Warning: she's always trying to land her bad jokes!!! Amber is dedicated to Chicago pets, and loves visiting CACC to assess dogs, host CRISP shifts and will always advocate to keep pets with their families.

Allyson Rosenthal (she/her) - Coming Soon


Allyson has been involved in rescue since 2009 as a volunteer, board member, and shelter manager of Heartland Animal Shelter in the north suburbs. She loves watching an animal blossom from intake to adoption, and is particularly passionate about advocating for our local dogs. Having been raised with foster siblings, in her free time she serves as a mentor at a group home for kids in foster care, and generally strives to be a voice for the forgotten members of our society whether animals or children. She was drawn to OTAT because of its community- centric model that sees people as part of the solution and not the problem. Allyson has an MA in English Lit and after putting her baby to bed in the evening, loves to read the latest fiction and/or write fiery political op-eds in the Notes app on her phone that no one will ever read.

Elisse LaRoche (she/her)


Originally from Vancouver, Canada, Elisse has been volunteering in the Chicago animal rescue community for over a decade. While most of that experience has been with dogs, cats are her one true love. In 2021, she opened One Tail at a Time's Cat Adoption center/Gift shop, Tortie & Co. When she's not in the shop, she is probably reading books about communism and having very loud opinions on the internet. She also loves Batman.

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.

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.

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.

Rebecca Frale (she/they)


Becky has been in the animal rescue and caretaking field in various settings since 2007. While simultaneously still working with animals, she also earned her Master of Social Work degree in 2016. During her career in social work, she primarily focused on animal-assisted therapy and emotional support animals. She soon realized that her main passion has always been working with pets so she went back to a career working in animal rescue. What she loves most about working with animals is witnessing the incredible bond between them and humans, how resilient they can be on their beautiful journeys of healing and thriving, and (of course) pet adoption success stories! She currently has three rescued pets of her own - two cats and a parrot - who all get along very well

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



Ellis Veterinary Clinic Staff

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.

Dr. Burke (she/her)


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.

Carrie Rubinas (she/her)


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.

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!