Board of Directors

The TPOC board members work hard to enhance the quality of life throughout all of Canada.

Judy Sauve, Founder and Chair

Founder of TPOC, Judy has participated in therapy dog visitation for almost thirty years. Judy is a strong advocate of the benefits of pet visitation.  She enjoys any opportunity to introduce TPOC to communities and new members.  Active as a Team Leader and Evaluator, she finds it extremely gratifying to evaluate prospective therapy dogs with their handlers and get them started in this wonderful activity.  Over the years, Judy has applied her time to many TPOC roles – Chair, Director of Membership, Director of Evaluators, Director of Team Leaders.  Judy resides with her husband, Mike, of  52 years.  She shares her home with a very affectionate DLH cat, Missy, a TPOC therapy cat – aka The Boss.  Judy enjoyed visiting with five of her dogs.  Her Sheltie, Maggie, is the founding dog of TPOC’s visitation programs.  Judy operated a successful weekend dog training camp for sixteen years.  She taught basic obedience and puppy manners for over 18 years.  Judy also works at a funeral home and is currently training a new member of the family to be a therapy dog.  Mr. T (aka Tpoc), a beautiful cream Ganaraskan, has mastered the art of snuggling.  He will definitely bring a lot of smiles to those he eventually visits.

Juli Balinsky, Vice/Past Chair
(416) 524-9701  vicechair@tpoc.ca

Juli has been a TPOC member of the Barrie Team since 2011 when she found herself looking for more  enrichment in her life.  Her Great Pyreness Lacy, had an amazing temperament and wonderful manners, and that combination prompted Juli to share the bond that they had with others.  Juli has held several roles within Therapeutic Paws of Canada, most recently Chair and now Vice/Past Chair.  She brings over 25 years of administrative, sales and marketing experience as well as strong organizational and interpersonal skills to her role along with her passion for rescue and responsible pet ownership.  She attended York University working towards a Bachelor of Administrative Studies.  She shares her home with her husband of 25 years, Alan, her daughter Ashley and her dog Lavender who, hopefully, will one day be a therapy dog for TPOC.

Kristen Reveler, Secretary

Kristen has been a TPOC member of the Bowmanville/Courtice Team since 2014 after finding herself looking to volunteer time to the community.  Kristen and her yellow lab, Badger, a Certified Therapy dog and a Child Certified Therapy dog, visited a local nursing home and ran the PAWS to Read® program at the Courtice Public Library weekly.

After losing Badger at the age of thirteen in October 2016, Kristen felt it was important to remain involved with Therapeutic Paws of Canada.  She had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand the positive impact the visits made.  Since October, Kristen has assisted her Team Lead in an administrative capacity.

Kristen has always loved animals and loves volunteering with TPOC.  In addition to working full time as an Administrative Assistant, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, travelling and enjoying the great outdoors.

Michele Peddle, Director of Team Leaders

The Director of Team Leaders since 2013, Michele has been a TPOC member in good standing since 2010.  She is also very active as the Team Leader and Evaluator for Bowmanville, Courtice and Newcastle.  Michele and Jasmine visit numerous facilities in their community, and enjoy seeing the benefits of Pet Therapy first hand.

Michele lives with her husband John of 23 years, and shares her home with Jasmine, her 10 year old Child Certified Therapy Dog, and Sophia, a 9 year old Miniature Poodle that she rescued as a pup.

Michele and Jasmine were recently involved  in a Pet Therapy Documentary called, “A CONNECTION”, and can’t wait for it to be submitted to the Film Festivals so that it can be viewed publicly.  Michele headed up the first TPOC Art Contest in Bowmanville, and was thrilled to see the local school’s enthusiasm. Michele is a firm believer in the power of pet therapy and has witnessed many miracles while sharing the love of her dog Jasmine to those that need it the most.

Nicole Selby, Director of Children’s Programs

Nicole has been involved with Pet Therapy since 2001, working with TPOC since 2012.  Nicole is active as a Visiting Member, Teamleader, an Evaluator, and Director of Children’s Programs giving her firsthand knowledge in all areas of TPOC.  Nicole also works as a full time as a Paramedic for the region of Haldimand County.  Nicole has been involved in educational development and delivery for her fellow paramedics as well as the Pet Therapy community.  Subjects have involved best practices, policies and procedures, new programming, as well as legalities and liabilities.   Nicole has been active as the Director of Children’s Programs since 2016, taking pride in growing the children’s programs and bringing better resources to use within them.  Growing up on a hobby farm and training her horses, dogs, and other animals gave Nicole a variety of experiences raising, training, and rehabilitating many different two and four legged friends.  Nicole shares her life with her husband, two children, two dogs, a cat, a guinea pig, and a horse.  Nicole has been fortunate enough to have had three certified therapy dogs over the years including two child certified dogs.  Nicole’s passion is working with children and the special needs groups, having many years’ experience with both.  Nicole currently visits with “Lucky”, a coonhound rescue in the adult programs, and is training a 4th prospect who will hopefully be able to join TPOC’s ranks one day.

Irene Valmas, Director of Commuications and 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.

Lise Laurin, Director of Membership

Lise is a retired employee of Bell Canada.

Lise resides in Quebec, near Hawkesbury, and shares her home with her husband Richard to whom she has been married over 50 years, their wonderful little dog, Max, who is now 10 years old and a very sweet cat named Moustache who is almost 15 years old.

Lise has always had animals and is an avid animal lover.  She joined TPOC in Nov 2011 and really enjoys volunteering with this organization!

Dian McTaggart, Director at Large

Dian has been a member of TPOC since 2003.  She established the Ottawa team and continues to manage the team today.  Dian has two Retrievers – Cody, a Golden Retriever and Benjamin, a Black Labrador Retriever.  Cody recently passed the evaluation and will begin visits shortly.  Dian is a strong believer in the benefits of pet therapy visits and has introduced visits at Algonquin College, and Carleton/Ottawa Universities.  These programs have been very successful.  She looks forward to bringing her skill set to the role of Director at Large.

In addition to working full-time, Dian is a certified TTouch practitioner, a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy and is a Clicker Training Partner.  Dian participates in agility, Rally Obedience and has begun classes in scenting.

Ashley Balinsky, Director of Marketing

Ashley is currently working at Starbucks as a Shift Supervisor.  Ashley also worked part time at her local Pet Valu where she was exposed to a very wide variety of pets, in particular dogs and where she gained a great deal of dog knowledge.  She never hesitates to recommend Therapeutic Paws of Canada when she can to someone looking to volunteer with their dog or cat.  Ashley started volunteering with TPOC in an official capacity in 2016 when she became the organization’s Certificate Coordinator.  She has since held the role of Director of Membership and most recently, the role of Director of Marketing.  Ashley is looking forward to the day she can have her 22 month old Great Pyrenees puppy certified as a therapy dog.  While her puppy is old enough now to take the evaluation, the breed doesn’t mature until 3 or 4 years of age so there’s still some work to be done.

Miriam Bernath, Director of Evaluators

directoreval@tpoc.ca

Miriam has been a dog “parent” since she was a child and has been active in dog sports for the past twenty years.  In that time, Miriam has taken multiple dogs to obedience titles, (CGN, CD, RE).   In addition, she has taken courses in other dog sports such as agility, scent discrimination, tracking, dock diving and tricks.

As an apprentice dog trainer at Dog Training That Works, Miriam has taught classes on basic obedience, agility, and CGN preparation. Miriam has been a member of TPOC for the past seven years, and an Evaluator in the greater Toronto area for the past five, evaluating both dogs and cats.
Currently, Miriam lives with two Belgian Malinois and three cats.