Meet the team

Melissa Bacon Angel-Paws Inc

Melissa Bacon

Hi, my name is Melissa. I have been with Angel-Paws since 2014.  I started out as a foster carer because I wanted a puppy but wasn't sure if I could handle the responsibility of another dog.  I fostered for four years and was a dog coordinated for two years. Now I take on more of an admin role.  In particular, I update the Savour Life website with the dogs and puppies we have available for adoption, while also scheduling posts on the Facebook page and group.

I love seeing the number of dogs and puppies that get adopted and watching the sick, scared and timid dogs that come into care go to their forever homes as different animals that are happy, healthy and confident.  I had one foster dog who suffered from food aggression and minor behaviour problems.  He was in care with me for nine months before he was ready to lead a life as a much happier and settled dog. 
My love for animals comes from my family and my lifelong experience of owning a pet of some sort.  Although I have a lot to do with dogs in my role at Angel-Paws, my favourite animals are actually birds.  I'm not sure why, but I have always had a love for them, so much so that I owned four at one stage.  Ultimately, I would love to own a Macaw. I also enjoy watching sport, going fishing and Italian food.



Zoe Bradwell

Hi everyone! My name is Zoe and I am very proud to be a canine coordinator and canine foster carer for Angel-Paws.  I feel very honoured to have been doing this role since 2015.

I was inspired to by my sister who was a foster carer. I ended up adopting one of her foster babies and decided that he needed a friend, so I became a foster carer too!

The most rewarding part of being involved with Angel-Paws is seeing the transformation of the sick and abused animals. Ultimately when they find loving homes, it becomes clear that all our efforts have made all the difference to each animal's life.

My favourite success story is my foster dog Lola.  She came into care with almost no fur and completely covered in mange.  A very sick animal, or a "hard case" like Lola's means they need a lot of extra care, medication, time to heal and above all love. I still to this day keep in touch with her adopted family. When I have spare time I spend it doing rehabilitation exercises with my very timid "foster fail".

Zoe angel-paws inc


Sheryl Bredin

Hi, my name is Sheryl and I am a cat and kitten coordinator for Angel-Paws.  I have been active in this role since 2015. I was inspired to become a volunteer when I rescued 2 kittens that had been dumped on the side of the road on North Shore Boulevard.

For me the most rewarding part of being a volunteer for Angel-Paws, is seeing animals that are so vulnerable and sometimes broken, find their forever homes.  It truly warms the heart! I don't have any one single success story, because every animal that is saved and adopted out to a loving forever home is a success in my eyes.  When I am not helping out with Angel-Paws, I love to cook.



Julie Brice

Hi there, my name is Julie. I joined Angel-Paws in 2015 and am part of our first response and fundraising team. 

My love for animals began in childhood with my first ever pet; an English Springer Spaniel named Star.  I believe that if the animals of Townsville could talk, they would tell us to vaccinate, desex and microchip.   Actually, that's us, the animals would ask us to play with the squeaky toy.

The most rewarding part of my role is knowing that we are saving lives and enriching them - and the beauty of an empty inbox of course! My rescue cat (Dude aka Destructocat) has certainly enriched my life with his crazy antics.

I have lived in Townsville most of my life and believe there is no better place to live except perhaps in the middle of summer!  In my free time, I enjoy reading, playing scrabble, playing cards and having food and wine with friends.



Clayton Cook

Hey everyone, my name is Clayton. Growing up in Townsville, I had never heard of Angel-Paws.  That was until we were at the South Townsville dog beach a few years ago with our rescue Staffy Jedda and ran into Lexi (a 3 year old Dane X Bull Arab), a foster animal with a brand new Angel-Paws carer.  We ended up adopting her that weekend at the adoption day and I learnt all about Angel-Paws from the fantastic volunteers. 

Having grown up with pets (including horses, and a flying fox), rescuing a Staffy a few years prior and starting up a successful RSPCA Christmas Foodbank Appeal, I was inspired to become a part of the organisation and I have now been with Angel-Paws since 2016.  I am currently the President/Chairperson.

I love spending moments with volunteers who give up their own valuable time to help the animals of our region.  The feeling of helping dogs and cats avoid euthanasia and find new caring forever homes is fantastic. 
My wife and I experienced this personally with a Bull-Arab from Ayr that was due to be euthanized that same day.  The Burdekin Pet Rescue Inc. coordinated with Angel-Paws and we emergency fostered him on the spot.  He was adopted three days later by a caring couple with Bull-Arab experience.  It was a wonderful outcome for the dog as he was so close to death and such a beautiful pet. 

Unfortunately, there are so many pets that aren't rescued across the region, and are killed as a result.  There are a lot of un-educated people who don't know how to train their pets, or simply don't bother.  It's the same when it comes to de-sexing their animals, which of course is a massive problem.
Aside from my work with Angel-Paws, I own my own recruitment, training and human resources business.  I also have a young baby and have a bit to do with other boards including the Townsville Triathlon Festival, Sunrise Rotary, and the Townsville Fire Selection Committee.  So, in the little spare time I do get, I enjoy 4WDing, boating, motorbikes and walking the dogs.  I also enjoy a beer, some chips and a night on the couch with a book or movie.



Penny Clarkson

Hello fellow AP volunteers! My name is Penny and I am one of Angel-Paws' Cat Coordinators. I first started volunteering in December 2018. After being vegetarian and then vegan for many years I wanted to become more actively involved with saving animals. It is so rewarding to see previously mistreated or unwanted pets find loving and caring new homes.

When I am not busy with either volunteering or working at my job in aged care, I enjoy the simple things in life. Spending quality time with my husband and pets, reading books and gardening. I hold a science degree with honours in Archaeology and my favourite animals are sloths. They are adorable and they obviously have the best lifestyle, who wouldn't love lounging around all day?



Jen Grant

Hi. My name is Jen, and I'm the Secretary of Angel-Paws. I have been volunteering with Angel-Paws since 2015. 

I was inspired to become a volunteer when I lived in Mackay and volunteered with the Mackay Animal Rescue Society.  When I moved to Townsville, I was keen to continue helping animals that needed a second chance, so when I saw a post on the Angel-Paws Facebook page back in 2015 asking for donations for a bake sale, I put my baking skills to work and have been involved with the organisation ever since. 

My personal Angel-Paws success story resulted in foster fails!  I have fostered several cats over the years, but the last two have become foster fails. Skittles (now called Polly) lived with me for over a year when I realised she had grown on me too much to give her up, so I adopted her. Then, my housemate fell in love with foster Sai, so she adopted him. Polly and Sai play together and generally cause havoc every day, but they make the house feel like a home. 

When I'm not helping with Angel-Paws, I like going to the movies, and I'm trying to teach myself to become a runner, so I've started running along the Strand and doing Park-Run on Saturdays. I am also a member of the Townsville Brass Band, so I also spend my time at rehearsals and concerts. 



Louise Holder

Hello everyone, my name is Louise. I began volunteering with Angel-Paws in 2014.  Originally, I started out as the donation coordinator before moving onto senior cat coordinator.  At the end of 2018 I took on the job of Operations Manager.  Now I manage the operations of the vet clinic, animal welfare, foster carers, adoption days and fundraising.  As you can imagine, I live and breathe Angel-Paws full-time. 

Animals have always been a passion of mine.  Even as a child growing up on a dairy farm in Mangatangi, New Zealand, I had a soft spot for the sick and orphaned animals.  Now that my amazing children are all grown up, I have more free time on my hands to help those animals in need. 

For me, knowing that the animals we help are going to be spoiled and loved forever is very satisfying.  This couldn't be truer than in the case of Alaska, an amazing white Russian cat we rescued in 2018.  She came to us with a litter of eight white kittens, the biggest litter we'd had at Angel-Paws.  We successfully rehomed her and all her kittens to their loving forever homes. 

There was also Zeek, a little grey kitten who had cerebellar hypoplasia, which is a balance problem, who ended up being rehomed on a houseboat.  Although I have had a lot to do with the cats at Angel-Paws, my favourite animal would have to be a zebra because it is a zealous, fast, lean machine much like myself!



Jodie Holt

My name is Jodie and I am a canine coordinator.  I have been a Townsville local since I was 5 and began volunteering with Angel-Paws since 2017. 
My love for animals developed when I was a child.  I had pets of all kinds, ranging from those with no legs, to ones with eight.  In fact, my first pet was a baby kangaroo. However, dogs are my favourite because of the unconditional love and their ability to forgive.  My inspiration to become a volunteer was to help animals because they can't speak for themselves.  I often see the relief in their faces when they come into care because in many cases, these animals are safe for the first time in their lives. 

Witnessing that special connection when a dog finds the right family is the most rewarding part of my role.  This was never truer than the time I had a foster dog in care for five months.  Sadly, this dog's owner had passed so he was not only grieving but struggling with the challenges of a new environment.  Despite several meets no one made the connection with him.  One day a lady came along, put him in her arms and said, 'I love him' and he instantly loved her back.  I had never seen a connection like it and, to this day I often use what I learnt from this experience to help other dogs.  

My passion for animals is so endless that if I won the lotto, I would help Angel-Paws expand the work that we do.  In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family and our animals camping, fishing and motor bike riding.  I also enjoy beach vacations, tacos, rum chocolate and I have 10 tattoos, all of which you may be able to spot when you meet me.



Wendy Hussey

Hello fellow animal lovers, my name is Wendy.  I am Angel-Paws' treasurer. Meaning I coordinate all things finance as I'm sure you are all aware that there are a lot of bills and financial costs involved in running this great organisation.  I am also a foster carer. I have been doing both since 2014.

I was inspired to become a volunteer when I decided to foster for Angel-Paws after I'd lost my beautiful boy Rocco (dog). 

Being involved with Angel-Paws is so rewarding. I support Angel-Paws' cause and I especially love helping to find homes for the poor unwanted animals of our city and surrounding communities.

My personal favourite Angel-Paws' success story is Zac, one of many dogs rescued from a hoarder situation. He now knows love and lives in comfort. This foster fail pooch will stay with me for the rest of his life.



Larissa Huxley

Hi there, my name is Larissa. The story behind my inspiration to become a volunteer at Angel-Paws is both sad and wonderful.  I found a dog (Bruiser) who had been shot in the head six times and survived. Thankfully Angel-Paws took him on when no one else would. Because of Bruiser I have now been with Angel-Paws since 2014. In March 2019 I left my long-term job to become the General Manager of Angel-Paws. My role oversees putting the committee's long term goals into action as well as creating the avenues that ensure Angel-Paws and its volunteers are the vehicle the drive the solutions for the animal overpopulation by promoting responsible pet ownership.

Although there are many rewarding aspects to my role, it is stories like Bruiser's where animals come in scared and scarred but change into loving confident pets who can be rehomed that I find most fulfilling.  Working with the volunteers and being able to see them grow and develop skills as a result of their role within Angel-Paws is also something that I enjoy.

Born in Townsville, my love for animals stems back as far as I can remember.  I was always the one in school that would try to save the hornet that the other kids were trying to kill. As a child, I was horse mad. However, I soon discovered that a dog could sleep next to you whereas a horse couldn't. Thus, these days, dogs are my favourite animals due to their loving, loyal, forgiving and protective nature.  In my spare time (of which I don't have much), I like to play scrabble and get into my garden. I also try to spend as much time with my best friend as I can, enjoying food & wine and partaking in the occasional sing along.



Helen Lynn

Hello fellow animal lovers, I'm Helen. I am one of the Angel-Paws "First Responders", which means that I am one of the people who manage the emails and messages when you initially contact Angel-Paws. I also foster animals on occasion. 

I started volunteering for Angel-Paws after Townsville's RSPCA's shelter closed in 2018. I wanted to help in those dark times but I wasn't sure if fostering was right for me at the time, so I decided to use some of my other skills and started making cat beds from donated pillows and doonas.

It is very rewarding to attend Angel-Paws meetings and to plan how we can help to fulfil the requests made from individuals of the public or regional pounds who rely heavily on our organisation.  And then there's always the added joy of a furry cat or dog attending as well.
Everyone's success story with Angel-Paws is different, here is mine. My first foster cat Tommy "Two Socks". I drove all the way to Innisfail to pick him up. He was stressed and he was desperate for affection, but sometimes the two emotions collided.  In the first week or so, I ended up with quite a few scratches, sideswipes and bites, just because he didn't want me to leave.  After a while he came around and he was such a character! He even got a bit of a following on Facebook.  After about a month the perfect people came into his life. He is now called Monty (short for Lord Montague) and his humans love him so much.

The older I get the more and more conscious I become of the injustices so many animals face on a daily basis. Four months ago I took my goal to make a difference even further and stopped consuming almost all animal products (It's a work in progress). It's a subject close to my heart and I give as much time as I can to the cause and I love it. I'm in awe of all the volunteers, and the different skills and experiences that we all bring to Angel-Paws.



Bek Martin

Bek Martin

Hi There! My name is Bek and I am a photographer and foster carer for Angel-Paws. I take a lot of the happy snaps you see on Facebook of the dogs available for adoption. I have been volunteering with Angel-Paws since February 2019. 

I began my fostering journey at RSPCA Townsville and also worked there as an animal attendant. I have always loved opening my heart and home to stray or abandoned animals. When the RSPCA closed down, I contacted Angel-Paws so I could continue caring for the homeless animals of Townsville. 

My favourite success story with Angel-Paws it that of JJ the one-eyed, wide-smiled, shepherd cross. JJ was likely displaced during the February floods and came to me scrawny and sickly with a ruptured eye, broken teeth, punctures on his face, and a broken leg. Watching him transform into a happy, healthy confident dog was incredibly rewarding - and I still get to see him regularly with his wonderful new family. 
When I'm not working as a Vet Nurse I like to go to the beach or to the river with my adventurous pooches; Henry, Harold and Miller. 



Emily Rafter

Hello everyone, my name is Emily, My main duty within the Angel Paws organisation is to collate and print out animal profiles for our display wall at Angel-Paws HQ and other locations.  I am also responsible for keeping our animal's profiles on the "PetRescue" platform updated to allow our animals to gain more exposure and increase their chances of finding a furever family. As an admin of the Main Facebook Page I also help out with posts for our cats and dogs available for adoption as well as answering and forwarding facebook messages.

I started volunteering for Angel-Paws in 2015, when I was originally studying Veterinary Science.  I have had a few roles throughout my years of volunteering which included Puppy & Kitten Foster carer, Vet Coordinator, Dog Coordinator and Senior Dog Coordinator.  I have since cut back to concentrate on my studies and new career direction, however I am still involved with Angel-Paws Inc as much as possible.

My love for animals inspired me to become a volunteer with Angel-Paws Inc.  It is such a great feeling to be a part of a forever growing organisation that saves animals every day.  It also incredibly rewarding seeing the transformation the animals undertake. 

There are so many success stories in Angel-Paws Inc history. Personally, I especially love seeing how much confidence our timid pound rescues have once they are settled and given some TLC in their foster carer's homes. Some of our pound rescues have never played with toys or laid on a comfy bed before. As a foster carer I loved showing these timid creatures how good life can be! I love volunteering with Angel-Paws Inc knowing that I make a difference in these animals' lives.

Emily Rafter Angel-Paws Inc


Raechelle Rauwer Angel-Paws Inc

Raechelle Rauwerda

Hi everyone! my name is Raechelle, but you can call me Rae. I am a secondary school teacher by day and the Angel-Paws Volunteer Coordinator in my spare time.  I have been a volunteer with Angel-Paws since May 2017 and was privileged to be asked to take on the role of Volunteer Coordinator in October 2018.

I started volunteering as an effort to give myself more purpose, but quickly learned that the animals needed my help more than I needed theirs.  I stepped up my commitment as the demand and number of animals in need grew.  I find my involvement very rewarding in many ways, but the one that stands out the most is the knowledge that I am making a difference every day. 

The animals have taught me so much about resilience, loyalty, love and compassion. I feel blessed and honoured that I am able to share what each animal has taught me with everyone I meet.

Each volunteer at Angel-Paws has a special success story to tell, here is mine: My dog Diamond came into foster care with the RSPCA as a cruelty case in August 2017. Diamond was being used as the main breeding female, hunting and possibly to bait other dogs into fighting.  When she was liberated, Diamond was only 22 kilos. She spent the next 6 months being treated for eye & ear infections along with severe wounds to her face, neck, tail and hind legs.  And to top it all off she was riddled with heartworm, parasites and sores from constantly sleeping on a concrete floor.

Diamond is now 38 kilos and gets the affection and care she so desperately needed and wanted.  My husband and I adopted Diamond in 2018 and with continued training she continues to flourish in her happy loving environment. I was heartbroken to learn that stories like Diamond's are not uncommon. That is why each day I continue my work with passion and determination to help our furry companions who don't have a voice by becoming part of the solution.



Tia Thomson

Hi everyone, my name is Tia and I am the senior dog coordinator of the Angel-Paws' team. I have been doing this role since 2016. I was inspired to become a volunteer with Angel-Paws mainly through my love of all animals, but particularly my love for dogs.

My role offers many rewards on a daily basis.  But seeing the animals getting a second chance at life probably is the main reward. As always there are so many success stories with Angel-Paws, too many to write down.  But for me it's a personal one of Arlo the naked pup with severe mange and Tutt the cleft palate puppy.
In my spare time I like to binge watch Netflix and spend time with my family.  And in case you hadn't guessed- dogs are my favourite animals.

Tia Thomson Angel-Paws Inc


Kellie Williams Angel-Paws Inc

Kellie Williams

Hello everyone, my name is Kellie. I'm Angel-Paws' Graphic Designer and I also keeping our website updated. Back in April 2015 I decided to start volunteering. I wanted to connect with other likeminded people and also expand my catalogue of work.

I have a passion for nature and our environment because I believe we need to preserve it and the animals in it. (Time to clean it up everyone!)

Seeing Angel-Paws Inc evolve and grow over the past years is what I love most about volunteering.

 

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