The TPOC board members work hard to enhance the quality of life throughout all of Canada.
Judy Sauvé, Chair and Founder, Interm Director of Team Leaders
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.
Marg McEwen, Vice Chair
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.
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.
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.
Peggy James, National Treasurer
A retired secondary school level school math teacher, Peggy now enjoys spending time with her Labrador Retriever, Chivas. Peggy and Chivas are active in the sport of Tracking and other dog activities. Peggy enjoys the outdoors with golf, skiing and spending summers at the cottage.
Barb Kelly, Director of Children’s Programs
Barb Kelly is a native of Kingston, Ontario and has attended St. Lawrence College. She has worked with both children and dogs for many years in the community. Barb lives with her husband Mike and their three Golden Retrievers in Amherstview, Ontario. She has recently retired her dog Brent from TPOC after visiting for over six years with both seniors and children. Barb is the evaluator for the Kingston team as well as the Director of Children’s Programs where she oversees the Child Certified Teams who are visiting and working with children in both hospitals as well as schools and libraries.
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.
Leslie Breitner, Director
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.
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.