The TPOC board members work hard to enhance the quality of life throughout all of Canada.
Judy Sauvé, Chair and Founder
Founder of TPOC, Judy has participated in therapy dog visitation for over twenty years. Judy is a strong advocate of the benefits of pet visitation. She enjoys any opportunity to introduce TPOC to communities and new members. As a Team Leader and Evaluator, she finds it extremely gratifying to evaluate prospective therapy dogs with their handler and get them started in this wonderful activity. Judy resides in Hawkesbury with her husband, Mike, of 46 years. She shares her home with a very affectionate DLH cat, Missy, TPOC therapy cat – aka The Boss. Judy also has a wonderful Papillon, Merit. Merit carries on the tradition of Judy’s five previous therapy dogs. He loves to visit seniors and make them smile. Judy’s other dog, Laddie, a six year old Sheltland Sheepdog is now ready to participate in an evaluation. Judy works at a funeral home and still enjoys dog training activities, motorcycle touring, and recently began to learn the art of Bunka.
Dave Price, Vice Chair
Dave has been involved with TPOC for 2 years now. After completing his education as
an engineer Dave headed west to work in Calgary where one of his first priorities was to
get his dog. That started his path to working with rescues and TPOC. He currently
works as Project Manager for HP Canada.
His dogs, over the years, have been mostly rescues. It was one of these dogs that
brought Dave into TPOC. Cody (one of 2 certified dogs that Dave takes on visitations)
has such a great demeanor that Dave looked into getting him certified as a Therapy
Dog. The benefits of this program were immediately apparent to Dave and he
proceeded to become an evaluator hoping to help the new teams looking to get involved
in the program. With the wealth of knowledge he has acquired over the 30+ years of
working with dogs there is nothing he enjoys more than sharing his experience with new
teams and helping out where ever he can.
Dave is not only an active visiting member and co-lead of the Whitby / Oshawa team but
he also shares his home with foster dogs from one of the local rescue groups, helping
them find there forever homes. Volunteering time is nothing new to Dave as he has
been a Boy Scout Leader, coached baseball, and worked on United Way campaigns
Heather Laundry, Secretary
Heather is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (B.Math (H)) and Algonquin College with a certificate in Project Management. Heather works in the information technology field. She is a keen trainer having worked through the Karen Pryor Academy dog training program as well as having given private and group classes. Heather was the proud handler of Lucy (a Lab mix), who was a visiting TPOC therapy dog for a number of years before her retirement. She volunteers time to the Australian Shepherd Placement Helpline as a general help and as a foster home. She has two Australian Shepherds who dabble in a number of sports, most recently taking up skijoring.
Leslie Breitner, Director, National Treasuerer
Leslie moved to Montréal from the U.S. in July 2010 with her husband and standard poodle Sam. Sam was twice certified as a therapy dog with the Delta Society in Seattle, Washington (now Pet Partners) and was a partner team with Leslie. In addition to his work at elder care centers in Seattle, he was her constant companion at the University of Washington, where Leslie was a professor. Upon leaving, Sam was awarded an honorary dogtorate degree! Missing his work, Sam urged Leslie to have him tested in Canada, and thus they joined TPOC in 2012. Sam goes on occasional gigs to McGill and Concordia Universities as part of TPOC, but most of his work up to now has been on the Zoo Therapy team at the Douglas Hospital and Mental Health Institute in Montréal. Now for Leslie – Leslie got her doctoral degree in Business Management at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is now a faculty member at the McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management with primary responsibility for two executive masters programs. Leslie specializes in financial management of nonprofit and health care organizations. Leslie and her husband John recently became permanent residents of Canada.
Marcia Murray-Stoof, Director of Evaluators
Marcia was born and educated in England and came to Canada in 1991. She has been a Certified Professional Dog Training Instructor for over 25 years now. Marcia has had cats and dogs, as well as a myriad of other small pets, throughout her life. Over the last 25 years Marcia’s passion has been the training, showing, and breeding of dogs. Marcia runs her own business as “The Dog Nanny” providing dog training and behavioural solutions for the residents of the greater Barrie area. Marcia is also a breeder of the Dogue de Bordeaux. Marcia joined TPOC in January of 2005 as a Volunteer for the Barrie Team with Teal’C her first Dogue De Bordeaux, and continues to visit, doing the Paws To Read (R) program with Tars Tarkas. Marcia shares her home in Innisfil with her husband, her Daughter and her Dogue de Bordeauxs, including a Siamese cat, Kirah, whom keeps everyone on track. Marcia stays very busy with her business doing both Group Classes and Private Home Visits for her clients. She also participates in many Rare Breed & CKC Conformation Shows in Canada and the USA. Marcia is never happier than when working with dogs or doing something dog related.
Michelle Peddle, Director of Team Leaders
Michele is retired from the new home construction industry after 21 years experience in the GTA. She started out as a Customer Service Manager for over 1,000 homes and completed her career as a Finish Superintendent. She is married with 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
Michele has been involved with TPOC since 2010. She has visited in hospitals, nursing homes and currently at Ontario Shores Center for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby. As the Co-Team Leader for Durham Region, Team Leader for Bowmanville and District Team Leader for Ontario, Michele has assisted in the Evaluation process and training of 35 new Teams in her area.
Jasmine, Michele’s 6 year old Pooh-Pom has been Michele’s visiting partner since joining TPOC. Jasmine is a Certified Therapy Dog, and now a Child Certified Therapy dog. She started visiting at the age of 2. Jasmine has 5 levels of obedience training and 1 level in trick training. Jasmine is known as the “boss” locally, as she has helped Michele mentor all 35 new Teams.
Anne Abes, Director of Children’s Programs
Anne grew up in South Yorkshire, England under the watchful eye of a large Alsatian, thus beginning a lifelong affection for Shepherds. After graduating from the University of London and beginning a career in Information Technology, Anne took an opportunity to work in Canada and decided to make the move a permanent one. She had a successful career in technology and project management, before leaving the corporate world to raise her family.
Anne shares her home with her husband, three children and four Shiloh Shepherds. It was the outstanding temperament of her first Shiloh Kola which led Anne to initially volunteer with TPOC. Anne saw the tremendous benefits her family experienced from having these dogs in their lives; she hoped as a therapy team she and Kola would be able to share those benefits with others. Today Anne and Kola continue to visit seniors and whilst she enjoys all aspects of the therapy visits, she has a particular affinity for the children’s programs and as the Director for Children’s programs hopes to promote and support them to reach as many children as possible.
Don LeBlanc, Director
Don is retired from the Canadian Coast Guard after 36+ years as an Electronic Technologist and software trainer. He has been married for more than 34 years, has 2 daughters and 2 grandsons.
Don has been involved with Therapy Dog programs for the past 10 years and has made over 700 visits to numerous senior facilities, adult and children hospitals. As Team Leader, Don was responsible for starting and organizing the Paws To Read® program in the Halifax/Dartmouth area of Nova Scotia. Cody, an American/Field Labrador Retriever, has been Don’s shadow since he joined the Le Blanc family at 2 1/2 years of age. Prior to Cody’s retirement from therapy work at the age of 12, he was also involved in obedience trials, agility, a member of an Obedience Drill Team, tracking and therapy dog team mentoring.
Sharon McKeil, Director
Sharon possesses a diversity of administrative experience demonstrating time management, organizational skills and strong interpersonal skills. As well as earning an Early Childhood Education Diploma and Ontario Teachers Certificate, she successfully completed a course in Computer Business Applications Specialist. Sharon is the President of BARK (Bytown Association for Rescued Kanines). Each year Sharon organizes a fundraiser Walk-a-Thon in Ottawa for BARK – a no kill rescue group. This is an extremely successful event and all proceeds are used to assist in re-homing and rehabilitating rescued dogs.
Fran Carnerie, Director
Fran is a Deputy Legal Director with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. For 23 years, Fran has been seconded to the Ministry of the Environment but on February 18th, 2013 begins a one year assignment to the Civil Remedies for Illicit Activities. Fran was Called to the Ontario Bar in 1989, having completed her Bachelor of Laws at Dalhousie Law School in 1987 and Master of Laws at Osgoode Hall in 1991. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Fran was an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Memorial University of Newfoundland with a cross appointment as a Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist and has worked in Emergency, Cancer Care and for one summer as an Outpost Nurse Practitioner in Northern Labrador.
Fran is the proud owner of a TPOC-certified therapy dog named Misty, a 9 year old rescued Golden X. Since Misty’s certification, the dog/handler team has been assigned to the Palliative Care Unit at Oshawa’s Lakeridge Hospital. Fran has been blogging about her experiences with Misty and Delaney in www.MistysJourney.org.
Marg McEwen, Director of Marketing
Marg has had a lifetime of experience with both 2 and 4-legged animals! A graduate of McGill University with a B.Sc. in Agriculture and of Queen’s University with a B.Ed., she has always valued the human-animal bond. For over 35 years she has owned/trained her own Labrador Retrievers. Out of this respect for the breed, Casey’s Cause (offering advice and assistance to guardians and rescue organizations) was created in memory of an exceptional rescued Lab, who was a TPOC member and left his paw prints on the hearts of those they visited. Marg and her young Lab, Duke, continue to visit the Veterans’ Hospital in Ste Anne de Bellevue. Her next goal – to achieve an open-door policy for pet therapy in the Quebec school system – is in the early stages of acceptance and development.