Meet the Founders and Board of Directors

Founders, established 2015:

Pictured left to right: Carleen Everett-Bauer, Debra Westerhof, Christina DeConinck, Sara BennettDSCN2990


Board of Directors:


  • Carleen Everett-Bauer volunteered at Harbor Humane Society (HHS) from 2000-2009 and was employed by them in humane education 2007-2009. She co-founded BestPals Animal Rescue Center (BARC) in 2009 and served as Board President through November 2014. Carleen was employed at PETCO from 2012-2015. Education and humane, no-kill solutions to animal welfare issues have remained a primary focus in her life.


  • Sara Bennett owns a consulting business and provides services in continuing medical education.  She works within varies therapeutic areas but most recently has been part of a national collaboration at the forefront on educating about the opioid abuse epidemic in this country.  She works with over 50 groups that included national organizations, state medical societies, and physician run programs at small or rural hospitals. She has been the event manager for a non-profit producing fundraising events and has volunteered with various others including BARC in 2014. Sara fostered and socialized kittens from our first colony through our A S.P.OT. in Haven Caregiver program.


  • Christina DeConinck has volunteered at HHS since January 2011 and served on the Board of Directors of BARC from January 2013 through June 2014. She has experience with cat socialization and grant writing.


  • Debra Westerhof has volunteered at HHS since 2008 and fosters bottle-fed kittens. She has served on the HHS Board of Directors since October 2013 and is currently serving as Treasurer. She volunteered and served as Board Treasurer at BARC from September 2012 through November 2014.

Veterinarian Oversight

  • Dr. Wendy Swift graduated in 1996 from Michigan State University with a degree in Animal Behavior and Neurobiology and again in May of 2000 with her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine. She started working at Ottawa Animal Hospital shortly after graduation. She enjoys internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, exotic animal medicine with an emphasis on small mammals, animal behavior including aggression, multi-animal family interaction, noise phobias, and inappropriate behaviors (inappropriate elimination issues, barking, digging, etc), purebred cat/dog predispositions, and sporting dog medicine/kinesiology.

Dr. Swift


Past Board Members:

  • Tracey Arb transports animals, twice a week, for C-SNIP.  She also volunteers at HHS as the bank route coordinator.  She schedules volunteers to pick up donation banks located at local businesses.