Our team is comprised of some of the most talented people in North America who are also arguably the most passionate about greyhounds and their sighthound cousins. Working remotely, we are spread out from Arizona to Ontario to Florida, but with the technology available today, that rarely slows us down. And we’re always looking for new talents, so if you are interested in seeing your name added to this list, feel free to send us a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) or message us on Facebook and tell us why you are so passionate about helping the hounds.
Dr. Guillermo Couto, Founder, Executive Director & Advisor
Dr. Couto, internal medicine and oncology board-certified veterinarian recently retired from the Oncology/Hematology Service at the Veterinary Medical Center at The Ohio State University (OSU), has worked with Greyhounds and other sighthounds for over two decades, since adopting Clyde, his first hound, from the Wheeling racetrack. In 2004, Dr. Couto launched the OSU Greyhound Health and Wellness Program (OSUGHWP), creating an outreach and teaching effort that incorporated basic elements of shelter medicine.
Since then, Dr. Couto has been actively involved and dedicated to improving the health of sighthounds through education, and clinical research. To date, he has published more than 35 peer-reviewed articles on sighthound health. After his retirement from OSU, Dr. Couto helped establish the GHI to carry on the support and services provided by the OSUGHWP and to continue to improve sighthound health and education.
Tina Kelly, President
Tina has been involved with greyhounds as a supporter in one form or another since 2002. She adopted her first two greyhounds in 2003. In 2010, she wanted to place more focus and awareness on the Greyhound Health & Wellness and the Greyhound Community as a whole, so she co-founded Greyhound Trust & Alliance with her best friend and has sat as President since the launch. In past years she has been a board member, vice president, fundraising coordinator, assisted in planning events and raising funds (Auctions). She has also owned and operated Happy Houndz Home, Greyhound Sitting Service for the last seven-plus years. She has been owned by nine greyhounds and currently has four—Ducati, Royce, Measure, and Jazz.
Katrina Stumpf, Vice President
Trina adopted her first greyhound in 2005 and has adopted eight more since that time. She resides in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four greyhounds (Cody, Lizzie, BoBo, and Bruce) and a hound mix (Roxi). She has served on the Board of Directors for James River Greyhounds since 2007 and is currently the Vice President and Adoption Coordinator. Additionally, she has her Master’s degree in Microbiology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Katrina has worked in the medical research field for 19+ years with eight years prior experience as a veterinary assistant.
Kristin Free, Secretary
Kristin adopted her first greyhound in 2015 and has been a passionate advocate ever since. She spreads information about the breed by taking her greyhound, who is a therapy dog, to different locations to provide comfort to those who need it. Kristin became interested in the Greyhound Health Initiative after a serious health crisis, where she learned just how much education and research is still needed about greyhound health. Additionally, Kristin has her Master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Pittsburgh and currently works as an analyst for a large healthcare system.
Mandy Albert (manager), Courtney Kindler (manager), Molly Piela (technician), and Chelsea Smith (technician), Blood Bank Staff, RVT
Mandy, Courtney, Molly, and Chelsea have over 30 years of cumulative experience as veterinary technicians and they put that knowledge to good use running the daily operations of our blood bank; from drawing blood to shipping orders and from negotiating with vendors to making sure our donor dogs are spoiled rotten every minute they’re in our care. They are the heart and soul of The Greyhound Health Initiative’s Blood Bank.
Jo Blake, Great Britain Representative
Having lived, volunteered and/or worked with greyhounds virtually all of her adult life, Jo comes from a background in dog welfare charities working in operations, volunteer management, supporter relations and marketing. With a keen interest in canine rehabilitation therapies of all kinds, Jo spends much of her spare time practicing holistic therapies and currently lives with Sergio, a retired racing greyhound.
Debbie McIntyre, Canada Representative
Debbie has always been a dog lover and avid supporter for rescue and adoption organizations. Debbie adopted her first retired racer, Sully, in 2018 and instantly fell in love with sighthounds. For her day job, Debbie is a public health nurse working as an infection control specialist.
Michelle Padilla, Website Manager
Michelle adopted her first greyhound from Greyhound Adoption of Greater Cincinnati in 2005 and fell head over heels in love with this breed. She and her second greyhound, Scarlett, were a therapy team in Indianapolis and brought many smiles and joy to the residents of a local Alzheimer’s home. Currently, Michelle and her husband live in western New York with their third greyhound, Gemma, and their Doberman. Michelle has managed museum websites since 1998, and volunteers with Greyhound Adoption of Greater Cincinnati, Prison Greyhounds in Indianapolis, as well as a local nature center where she educates visitors about animals.
Freya Shoffner, Legal Counsel
A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and Suffolk University, attorney Shoffner has been providing legal services to businesses and non-profit organizations for over 20 years.
Laura Simmermon, Manager, Membership Development and Programs
After adopting her first retired racing greyhound in 1998, Laura became a passionate advocate for the breed and has since adopted 13 more retired racers and one galgo. In 2005, Laura founded the Greyhound Supporters (National Capital Region) as both a local greyhound support group and a fundraising body in support of front-line greyhound organizations (US-based adoption groups, galgo rescue groups, etc.). As part of its support to the local greyhound community, the Greyhound Supporters has hosted 11 International Greyhound Planet Day events, learning events, workshops, as well other learning and community events. In 2008, the Greyhound Supporters added its adoption and fostering program which has helped over 200 hounds into their loving forever homes. In 2014, the Greyhound Supporters partnered with the Flying Irish Greyhounds (FIG) to transport 10 greyhounds from Ireland to Canada for inclusion in its adoption program. In 2016, Laura became part of a team that established Finding Irish Greyhounds Loving Homes Together (FLIGHT). FLIGHT facilitates the transportation of retired Irish racing greyhounds between its partners in Ireland and approved greyhound adoption agencies in North America. Since 2017, the Greyhound Supporters has welcomed eight Irish greyhounds into its adoption and fostering program through FLIGHT.
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