Our Team

Paws for Hope is a small team passionate about animals and their ongoing care and protection. We’re even more passionate about finding a way to make animal welfare more sustainable in B.C. so we’re not stuck heads-down in emergency response mode unable to plan and build for the long term, especially important in a region that receives no government funding and sometimes limited corporate support for these animals.

Kathy Powelson, Executive Director | kathy@pawsforhope.org | 604-396-9297

Kathy is the founder of Paws for Hope Animal Foundation and has spent the majority of her career working to support at-risk youth through front line work, program funding, and community capacity building. Through this work, she recognized the importance of working with individual organizations and communities to build and support capacity to address the unique needs of each community and their young people. As she became involved in animal welfare issues in B.C., she realized that this same approach was needed to address the issues faced by animal welfare and rescue organizations in order to enhance the overall welfare of animals.

Kathy is a published author and holds a Masters degree in Criminology. Her and her partner live in Burnaby with their daughter, puppy mill survivor, Chili, shelter rescue, Skippy, and VOKRA rescue Cinnibar.

Lisa Henderson, Crazy About Cats Program Coordinator | lisa@pawsforhope.org

Lisa Henderson is a Registered Veterinary Technologist and has been a life-long animal lover. She began her veterinary career more than 20 years ago as a veterinary assistant, later returning to school to become an RVT. Lisa has been with Paws for Hope since its inception as a founding Board Member until December 2013 when she transitioned into the position of Animal Health Clinic Coordinator.

Lisa grew up in the Fraser Valley where she currently lives with her husband, son, and her first two kids – Lily, a senior mixed breed rescue and Tuddy, a 14 year old Himalayan/Siamese mix adopted from the Vancouver SPCA in 2002.

Tanya Jamieson , Animal Health Clinic Coordinator | tanya@pawsforhope.org

Tanya’s love for animals was the reason she pursued a career in the veterinary field. After graduating from the Veterinary Office Assistant Program at Granville Business College in 2000, Tanay worked at a clinic in Squamish for five years. For the past eleven years, she has worked as a receptionist at Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital.

Tanya has two very spoiled cats, Guiness and Traffic, both adopted from clinics she has worked at.

Torrance McCartney, SpayAid BC Coordinator | spayaid@pawsforhope.org

Torrance’s compassion for animals was evident at an extremely young age while growing up in rural Australia. Witnessing large populations of stray cats and dogs in remote native communities and the hunting of wildlife such as turtles and dugongs moved her to action. Her resolve to help animals was solidified further while traveling in Indonesia and Mexico where she witnessed the dreadful conditions of the strays in these countries.

She has worked closely and volunteered with many organizations over the years, most recently Circle F Horse Rescue, Pro Animal Melaque, MexPup, BCSPCA, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue and Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and Advocacy. Her roles have ranged from animal care to fundraising and administration. Torrance is extremely excited to be involved with an organization as inspiring as Paws For Hope and its dedicated team.

Board of Directors

Shawn Llewellyn, President | shawn@pawsforhope.org

Dr. Llewellyn is a practicing veterinarian and partner at Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital in Surrey, B.C. Shawn completed an honours degree in Animal Sciences from Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture before graduating from the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island.

He has received the Christofor Award in Animal Welfare and was the 2016 recipient of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Humane Award. The award recognizes leadership in the welfare and well-being of animals.

Dr. Llewellyn is a member of the College of Veterinarians of B.C.’s Animal Welfare Committee, which acts as a voice on animal welfare matters in the province and helps influence legislative and bylaw changes. He also sits on various other committees that involve animal health decisions and policies.

He has been a Board member with Paws for Hope since its founding year and has been integral in the development and implementation of our veterinary related programs and services. In addition to being Board President, and working with the Foundation’s Executive Director on community engagement and partnership building, he now leads our involvement with a one-health initiative for homeless and at-risk youth in Vancouver.

He lives in Vancouver with his two cats, Kyla and Casey

Breanna Laubach, Vice President | breanna@pawsforhope.org

Breanna was born and raised in North Vancouver, BC and has always shared her life with pets. Her life-long love of animals inspired her to become involved with Paws For Hope. With a background in communication, her goals are to bring her resourcefulness and creativity to benefit the growth and longevity of the Foundation. Although Breanna’s main focus is for the welfare of companion animals within British Columbia, her love and support reaches a number of wildlife organizations from Oregon to Australia, where facilities focus on the research and preservation of unique and endangered animals such as koalas and sloths.

She lives with her pit bull mix, Lucy, whom she adopted from a local animal rescue. Breanna also fosters for Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) and has assisted in finding forever homes for many of their rescues

Anton Abrahams, Treasurer | anton@pawsforhope.org

Anton is currently the Senior IT Manager at Pan American Silver Corp. He received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from SFU in 2007 and and his Master of Business Administration in 2016, also from SFU. He is an avid animal lover in general, but especially so with cats. He has had cats from as far back as he can remember, most of which were rescues. Anton became a Board member with Paws for Hope because he wanted to make a difference in the wellbeing of animals. As well, he believes that his experience in IT and knowledge of business can be extremely useful as Paws for Hope grows.

Anton was born in Russia and spent some time in Japan, but he currently lives in Vancouver with his partner and their Chihuahua Tila and half Siamese Stoli.

Jeanette Hill, Secretary | jeanette@pawsforhope.org

Jeanette has a passion for animal welfare and has always had animals in her life. She has volunteered with both mental health and animal rescue organizations in the lower mainland and is very excited to expand her involvement with animal welfare through Paws for Hope. Jeanette is currently a Product Development Manager in the performance management and measurement area with Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) of Canada. One of her main focus areas is on program and curriculum development for business professionals in the not-for-profit and charity sector. She received her business degree from SFU in 2008 and obtained a CPA, CMA designation in 2013.

Jeanette currently lives in North Vancouver with her partner and their dog Cookie.

Lori Mason, Director | lori@pawsforhope.org

Dogs have always been an important part of Lori’s life and over the years, she has volunteered at shelters as a dog walker, volunteer coordinator, and behavioural specialist. Today she is a certified Master Dog Trainer teaching all levels of obedience and agility and has a passion for helping people with new rescues and dogs with behavioural problems. It was Lori’s vision that began Paws for Hope’s Roxy’s Relief program which she continues to play a vital role within. Lori lives in Vancouver with her two dogs and one foster dog

Noa Nichol, Director | noa@pawsforhope.org

Noa, a writer and editor, has been working in Canadian print and online media – including such pet-focused publications as Modern Dog and Modern Cat magazines – for more than 15 years. In 2016, while on maternity leave from her editor role at Vancouver-based Glacier Media, she launched a website, Adopteez, which gives responsible shelters across North America additional communications tools, free of charge, with which to network animals seeking adoption.

Noa lives in Fort Langley with her husband, daughter and two rescue dogs, Max and Atrayu

Melissa Stephens, Director | melissa@pawsforhope.org

Dr. Stephens is a practicing veterinarian at Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital who is passionate about animal welfare and equal access to veterinary health care for all pet owners. Growing up in Surrey, B.C., Melissa was surrounded by animals and has a deep understanding and respect for the human-animal bond. She pursued a career in veterinary medicine not only because she loves to encourage and help support this bond, but also to act as an advocate for those who do not have a voice.
She believes wholeheartedly in the work that Paws for Hope does – so much so that she decided to pursue a position on the board of directors. She has volunteered at many of Paws for Hope’s clinics for the homeless and low-income earners of Vancouver, and is very excited to continue to offer free vet care at these clinics as well as taking on a more active role in their planning.
Melissa continues to live in Surrey and dote upon her two shelties, Sophie and Charlie.

Rhianydd Bellis, Director | rhianydd@pawsforhope.org

Rhianydd is a Crown Counsel for the Ministry of Justice. She received her Bachelor of Arts (with Distinction) from Bishop’s University in 2003 and her Baccalaureate of Laws from Dalhousie University in 2007. Rhianydd articled with the Attorney General’s office and was called to the Bar of British Columbia in 2008. Her law practice consists of regulatory and criminal offence prosecutions at both the Provincial and Supreme Court levels.

Rhianydd has always had a keen interest in animals. As a youth, she volunteered at a veterinary clinic, and her family frequently had an assortment of domestic pets and wild “rescue” animals. Over the years, Rhianydd’s menagerie consisted of two fox terriers, a stray cat (turned family pet), eight gerbils, multiple field mice, three cotton-tailed rabbits, two tarantulas, a baby robin, and her pet crow, Molly. Rhianydd firmly believes in the importance of animal rights and welfare, and is looking forward to working on projects which enhance the lives of animals throughout BC. Rhianydd currently lives in Vancouver with her partner and their dog, Tessa.