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.

Michele Peddle, Vice Chair

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.

Kristan Law, Secretary

Kristan has been a TPOC member since 2017.  Hailey, a white German Shepherd was her first volunteer dog but had to retire a year and a half later.  Now little Abby, her Australian shepherd mix is her newest volunteer therapy dog for TPOC.

Kristan has always known kindness from people and volunteering with TPOC is her way of paying it forward.  She believes that volunteering with her pet is the best volunteering she could ever want to do.

Kristan spends her weekdays supporting businesses and various commercial companies at a financial institution but looks forward to visiting with Abby in the evenings and on weekends.

Diane Myers, Treasurer

Diane has been a member of TPOC and the Team Leader for Guelph since 2016. Diane and Mac, a Black Labrador Retriever, visits in many facilities in Guelph, enjoys PAWS Rooms and as a child certified team, loves being involved in the Paws to Read® program.

Diane retired from the role of Executive Director for a charitable organization and currently works part time for the KWSP Humane Society as a Community Educator.

Diane has always been an animal lover growing up with horses, chickens, duck, dogs, cats and whatever other animal decided to come live with them.  It is wonderful to see that this love of animals has been passed along to her children, most of whom have a pet of their own.  Diane lives just outside of Guelph with her husband, John, of 30 years plus 3 dogs and 2 cats.

Diane enjoys being a part of TPOC and meeting all the wonderful people and their pets who bring smiles to so many people throughout Canada.

Juli Balinsky, Director of Evaluators
(416) 524-9701 ·

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 Vice Chair and now Treasurer.  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.

Joy Bermel, Director of Team Leaders
Joy has been a member of TPOC since 2018.  Together with her Golden Doodle Ellie, they visit care homes, their local hospital and enjoy reading with children in elementary schools.  Ellie came into Joy’s life as a rehome at 8 months old.  Joy knew there was something very special about this girl.  Her love of people and children caused Joy to reach out to the newly formed team in Cranbrook, BC.  She is now a Co-Team Leader.  Joy has a passion for TPOC and its mission.  An animal lover she has had dog companions all of her life.  Joy lives in rural Cranbrook with her husband of 38 years.  She has two adult daughters living on the BC coast.  As a retired  nurse, she has much love and compassion for people and very much enjoys visiting with Ellie.
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.

Amanda Di Luch, Director of Communication

Amanda has been an active visiting member with Therapeutic Paws of Canada since 2015.  Last year, Amanda became the Team Leader for the Vaughan team, and has been recently added to the Board of Directors as the Director of Communications.  Amanda has always been an animal lover, but has a profound curiosity and love for dogs specifically.  She enjoys reading books about the brain, behaviour, and psychology of dogs.  On the weekends, she also volunteers at Dog Tales Rescue Centre as a dog walker/handler.

Amanda has a Bachelor of Science with Honours from Queens University, and participated in medical research with world renowned professors throughout her studies.  She has worked in medical clinics as a clinical fellow alongside various types of physicians, and worked with veterans in the long-term care centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.  Amanda is also the founder and CEO of Findlay Aquatics Swim School, a private swimming school in King City, Ontario.  She currently works as a tutor and homeschool teacher and hopes to continue her studies in public health.

Amanda and her dog Bella, a gentle and loving Shi Tzu/Bichon mix, visit at a long-term care centre in Maple, Ontario.  Amanda loves to see the joy that Bella brings to the residents’ faces every visit, and has immense pride for the bond she has created between Bella and the residents.  Amanda is a strong believer in the therapeutic power of animal interaction and believes all pets, if capable, should participate in pet therapy!

Mike Leclair, Director at Large
Mike has been a member of TPOC since 2017. He is proud to represent team Cranbrook as one of three team leaders. He has a very strong passion to make TPOC the best it can be, and believes that having a strong passion and dedication for doing therapy work with our dog’s, makes the organization strong in all aspects.

Mike’s Golden Retriever Sadie was instrumental in his wanting to explore the world of therapy dogs. With her extremely calm temperament, she led him to Therapeutic Paws of Canada

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!

Darlene Hassall, Director of Marketing

Darlene has been a member of TPOC since 2010. Until recently Darlene and her sidekick Mac were an integral part of the Seniors Visitation Program, Paws To Read, and working with V/WAP to provide support and comfort to the victims , in the Orangeville/Shelburne area.

Since losing Mac Darlene has become involved as Director of Marketing so that she may continue to be involved with an organization that she believes plays an important part in all our lives.

Darlene brings an extensive business background, and education, with a degree in Graphic Design to her role.

She is looking forward to working with all the members.