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
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.
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.
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.
Lise Laurin, Director of Membership
Lise is a retired employee of Bell Canada. Her career spanned over 30 ½ years with the last 20 years of as an Executive Assistant for Assistant Vice-Presidents and General Managers.
Lise resides in Quebec, near Hawkesbury, and shares her home with her husband Richard to whom she has been married over 45 years, their wonderful little dog, Max, who just turned 6 years old, 2 lovely cats, Rominet and Moustache who are now 14 & 10 respectively. She also has a dove who is one happy bird or else thinks life is one big joke as she laughs all the time and a lovely little canary who sings his little heart out day in and day out. What a beautiful sound!
Lise also helps her husband’s French speaking customers who need help with translation or interpretation with the office in the States.
Lise has always had animals and is an avid animal lover. She joined TPOC in Nov 2011 and really enjoys volunteering with this organization!
Irene Valmas, Director of Communications & Public Relations
Irene graduated from York University with a BA (Honors) in Kinesiology and Health Sciences. Irene is Founder of Core Kinetics Fitness, Wellness and Exercise Rehabilitation in Toronto. She is a Fitness/Lifestyle Consultant, Pilates and Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer as well as a Nutrition Consultant. Irene has developed health and fitness programs with Sick Kids Hospital and has participated as guest speaker as part of the alternative health unit for the Toronto District School Board. She has experience composing educational packages and handouts, as well as, business and program proposals. Irene will share her experience in management of social media with TPOC.
Lucas Ng, National Treasurer
Lucas is a graduate from the University of Toronto with a double major in Neuroscience and Biochemistry. He currently works at the Ontario Brain Institute as a Program Officer, where he works closely with universities and companies in the neuroscience space. Previously, he was a Teaching Assistant for introductory life sciences courses and was also a volunteer at an organic synthesis lab. However, despite his passion for science, his love for dogs is unmatched (specifically for Doberman Pinschers).
With his acquired business experience and enthusiasm for helping animals, Lucas will use his experience that he has gained from working in the not-for-profit sector to help the TPOC in managing its financial reporting and donations in addition to ensuring that the organization is in compliance with governmental tax regulations.
Mark Grant, Director
A retired business executive Mark has been involved with dogs since 1976 owing and showing Saint Bernards in Canada and the USA. Mark has extensive experience managing All Breed Championship Dog Shows and Trials, is the President of the Saint Fanciers of Canada and Past President of the Halifax Kennel Club. Mark and his Saint Bernard Hercules joined TPOC in May of 2008. Today Mark and his TPOC Certified Dog Coal (another Saint Bernard) visit nursing homes, long term care facilities, high schools and participate in the TPOC Paws To Read (R) Program hosted by the Halifax Regional Library.
As the Team Leader and Evaluator for the TPOC Halifax Team Mark is actively involved promoting benefits of Pet Therapy Programs and evaluating new prospective therapy dogs and their handlers in the Halifax area.
Mark and wife live in Bedford, Nova Scotia.
Juli Balinsky, Secretary
Juli has been a TPOC member since 2012 when she found herself looking for more enrichment in her life. She joined TPOC first as a visiting volunteer with her Great Pyrenees Lacy whose calm nature and gentle personality made her a natural for pet therapy. Looking for more ways in which she could give back, Juli then took on the role of Newsletter Editor, Evaluator and most recently as Secretary and member of the TPOC
Board of Directors. Juli attended York University working towards a Bachelor of Administrative Studies. A Sales and Marketing Professional with a major electronics firm for over 25 years, she has vast administrative, sales and marketing experience combined with strong organizational and interpersonal skills that she brings to our organization.