Leadership

Heather

Heather Owen (she/her)

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

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)

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

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)

SHELTER DIRECTOR

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

Maggie Hudson (she/her)

DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

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)

MEDICAL DIRECTOR

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)

PET MUTUAL AID DIRECTOR

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.

Takisha Keys (she/her)

DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES

Born and raised in Chicago, Takisha has always been a people's advocate. With over 17 years of Human Resources experience, her work has taken her all over the US and Europe. Takisha specializes in strengthening HR infrastructures and creating positive and inclusive work environments. Growing up animals were always a part of her family’s household which began Takisha’s love of animals. Takisha enjoys spending time with her dog Leda and shopping for antiques.

One Tail Staff

Jennifer Rogers (she/her)

ADOPTION MANAGER

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)

ISO HOUSE MANAGER

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)

MARKETING MANAGER

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 and tell their stories. When she's not working, you can find Kim spending time outdoors with her dog, tending to her houseplants, or snapping photos of friends and family.
Ian

Ian Widner (he/him)

CAT & CRITTER FOSTER PROGRAM MANAGER

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)

DOG FOSTER PROGRAM MANAGER

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)

CRISP/CLIENT MANAGER

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/they)

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

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).

Autumn Evans (she/her)

TORTIE & CO MANAGER

Autumn Evans grew up in the suburbs of Chicago in an animal-loving family who kept everything from hamsters to horses. She received a degree in creative writing and then walked a few different paths, including social media marketing, managing various small businesses, and teaching English as a second language. Throughout these experiences, she continued to be involved in volunteering and fostering until she took the natural leap into working in animal welfare full time. She started as a caregiver in a large open-admissions shelter and then worked as a vet assistant and foster coordinator specializing in cat care. Now, she's excited to combine all of her experience and love for animals into helping those in need at One Tail at a Time. When she's not working, you can find her taking walks in Chicago's cemeteries, curled up at home with a book and her 5 cats, or traveling around the world visiting other animal rescues and sanctuaries.

Cole Mason (he/him)

BC MANAGER

Cole Mason has over 15 years experience working with animals, starting as a dog walker and running his own business before becoming certified as a dog trainer through the Karen Pryor Academy. When he's not at the training and behavior center, he can be found camping with his wife and three dogs, watching sci-fi movies, and playing dungeons and dragons.

Stacy Sandow (she/her)

ADOPTION CENTER MANAGER

After spending over a decade in the social work field, Stacy decided to take a "temporary break" and began managing the daycare of a dog training school. Five years later it was safe to say that "break" had turned into a permanent career change, as she had fallen in love with working with dogs and their people. Stacy became involved in animal rescue through volunteering and fostering and jumped at the chance to work for OTAT in what she frequently refers to as her "dream job." Though she has left the social work field, Stacy still brings its values of social justice and the dignity and worth of all people (and animals!) to her position at OTAT. Stacy has a special soft spot for the mama dogs, the blockheads, and the shy, scaredy dogs. When not working, you can find Stacy spending time with her own two blockheads, reading, hugging trees, taking photos of insects, or catching a film at the Music Box.

Carrie Rubinas (she/they)

DOG FOSTER COORDINATOR

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.

Fresa Flores (he/they)

DOG FOSTER COORDINATOR

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!

Gianna Montano (she/her)

CAT & CRITTER COORDINATOR

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!

Jenn (she/her)

ADOPTIONS COORDINATOR

When Jenn was 6, she asked her parents for a sibling or a dog. She got both.
Fast forward to 18 years later, Jenn and her family found themselves dropping off her sibling at college and once again, she asked her parents for another sibling or a dog. Being done raising kids, they brought her to OTAT and rescued her life long dream dog, a pittie named Balvin.
A few months later, Jenn joined our OTAT team as our adoptions coordinator. During her time here, she has adopted a lab beagle and a puppy mill poodle. When Jenn isn't working...or adopting, she likes to spend her free time hanging out with her pets, friends and family. She hopes that one day she will become TikTok famous and help educate and bring awareness to people about animal rescue and the importance of helping those without a voice.

Dr. Burke (she/her)

VETERINARIAN

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!

Valeria Renteria (she/her)

VETERINARY TECHNICIAN

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!

Molly Cadillac (she/her)

LEAD VETERINARY TECHNICIAN

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)

LEAD VETERINARY TECHNICIAN

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.

Sarah Mylan (she/her)

VOLUNTEER MANAGER

Sarah grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, and has lived with pets from dogs and cats to snakes, birds, and rats. She has held roles in veterinary clinics, humane education programs, and after-school organizations, and for eight years she directed programs incorporating dogs into social-emotional learning and literacy curriculums in Chicago Public Schools. She recently got her Master’s in Social Work and specialized her studies in Human-Animal-Environment Interactions. She is passionate about expanding access to pet-keeping and increasing equity and anti-oppressive practices in animal welfare and education. Sarah strongly relates to the “potato” dogs who prioritize naps and cuddles. When she’s not working, she is likely hanging out with her niece and nephew, rewatching her favorite comfort shows, or attempting a random DIY project

Cristina Reyes (she/her)

VETERINARY TECHNICIAN

Cristina began her involvement with OTAT in 2021 as a relief technician, and before joining with OTAT she was a Surgical Prep Technician for 6 years at another non-profit organization. Her favorite part of working at OTAT is snuggling all the adorable Pitties. When Cristina isn't at OTAT she is going on adventures with her 2 year old daughter and family including two sweet pit bulls and a cat who rules the house and were all rescued from a local shelter.

Paula Peralta (she/her)

VETERINARY TECHNICIAN

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.

Ashley Paquette (she/her)

VETERINARY TECHNICIAN

Ashley has been involved in animal care in many ways throughout her career. Her journey started in 2008 assisting in a small animal general practice in Texas, and her love for animals and medicine only grew from there. Her roles have since ranged from veterinary nursing in emergency and specialty clinics to zookeeping and pet insurance. It's safe to say that taking care of animals is her lifelong passion. She joined One Tail at a Time to direct her passion towards helping shelter animals have a better life. She grew up in Texas, but moved to Chicago in 2017 with her husband Andrew and all their pets to follow his career in music. When Ashley isn't working, she can be found enjoying live music, hiking with her dog, or at home spending time with all of her other animals. Ashley currently has a dog, cat, cockatiel, two colubrid snakes, and a bearded dragon.

Kate (she/her)

MARKETING COORDINATOR

Kate Quill has worked in marketing and customer service roles within animal care in Chicago since 2021. Although she enjoyed working at a vet clinic, a doggy daycare and a dog training facility - she knew in her gut that she eventually wanted to work at an animal shelter. She has been extremely passionate about animal rescue for her entire life! Her family rescued their yellow lab, Dew, back in the early 2000's and Kate's first "big girl purchase" after college graduation was her Australian Shepherd mutt, Dex. Dew and Dex are the catalyst for Kate's overwhelming desire to help animals find their forever home. She's thrilled to now use her creative skills and genuine love for the animal welfare industry every day as the Marketing Coordinator for OTAT. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, adding to her record collection, trying new Chicago restaurants and rooting for the Cubs.