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· Meet Our Team ·

Leslie Hutson



Leslie worked in the TV news industry for 12 years before changing her career path to the non-profit world. She worked for Special Olympics Texas for 17 years in a number of different¬†positions, but spent the majority of her time as the Director of Competition & Games. After¬†leaving SOTX, Leslie went to work for Stay ‚ÄėN Play Pet Ranch in Dripping Springs. She has always¬†had a love for animals, but it was at SNP that she began to understand animal behavior and the¬†workings of the pet industry. While working for Stay ‚ÄėN Play, she began volunteering for PAWS¬†and eventually got involved in the weekly surgery days working in the recovery room. She¬†became a member of the PAWS Board of Directors and eventually transitioned to a full-time¬†employee as Director of Operations in 2022.

Born and raised in Texas, she is married to her best friend and the love of her life! They currently have 2 chihuahuas, 1 yorkie and a recent adoption from PAWS that thanks to a DNA test claims her to be 52% Chihuahua, 28% Schnauzer, 14% Daschund, etc. She is an avid photographer, kayaker and loves everything Jeep!

Dogs or cats? Dogs! 24/7

Andrew Smith



As the Head of Medical, I ensure that the medical and surgery programs operate efficiently and the shelter animals are cared for. I've been with PAWS since 2011 and have enjoyed learning so much. I'm an only child and spent my childhood in Texas and Missouri.

When not working, I spend time with my three dogs and enjoy bowhunting.  

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d start a chick-fil-a franchise. And, you know, keep working here! 

Dogs or cats? Dogs

Jenny Jenkins



My passion and main role is to help place and rescue kittens, puppies, mamas with babies into foster homes.  I help get other medical cases like heartworm treatments dogs and others placed into foster homes so they can heal.  I work with other rescue partners to place at risk animals into our foster programs. 

I have been married to my highschool sweetheart for 23 years and have 2 daughters.  I love to travel, working out/running and spending time with our 6 furry family members and my kiddos. I have also helped raise and care for Big Cats, such as lions and tigers, in a rescue setting.  

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d start a organization/company for Mental Health support for both families and individuals. Making it easier to access and having an animal option for mental health support as well. And, you know, keep working here!

Dogs or cats? This is a hard one as I love both so much. I think over the years I lean more toward cats as I just understand them so much better. I love that we just live in their world and must meet their demands.  

Michelle Bender


I'm a Texas girl, born and raised, and I've been in the Austin area for 20 years. I started at PAWS in 2008 and it has become my entire life.  I met my partner, Andrew Smith, here at PAWS and we've been together since 2012. I love everything about this organization and have gained so much wisdom from my experience here. 

I have three dogs, a fish, a flock of chickens, and a host of feral cats that I care for… plus the random foster pet here and there. I also have an orchid collection that I am in the process of rebuilding after the freeze of 2021.¬†

If I won the lottery, I would most likely become the Howard Hughes of animal rescue. The helpful hermit with an island full of rescue animals.

Dogs or cats? I love both so much but dogs are my heart and soul. 

Briana Gonzales



I grew up in a college town by the river, so I love anything to do with nature and the water! I am always up for a new adventure! When I am home, I like to take care of my plants, play video games, and listen to music! I collect vinyl records, and enjoy listening to most genres of music!

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d start an interior design company that helps furnish/decorate the homes of low income families in need! And, you know, keep working here!

Cats or dogs? I love dogs more than anything else on this earth!

Bridget Hummerstone


There isn't much to know about me that doesn't involve dogs or PAWS these days. I have three dogs of my own and they are all from rescues other than PAWS (LAWS, HSNBA and Acres of Love), so there's the fact about me that doesn't relate to my current job. I
always have a PAWS foster dog though.

My hobbies have taken a bit of a back seat over the past couple of years, but I used to love hiking in the many state parks and I was a major kickboxing enthusiast. Now I mostly think about dogs. Ask my husband.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I‚Äôd start a “Get these dog the Heck out of Texas” dog¬†rescue transport company. And, you know, keep working here!

Dogs or cats? Dogs, but I like cats who behave like dogs too.

Charlie Cain


My husband, four year old daughter, and I currently live in Wimberley with our four dogs, cat, and potbelly pig. We recently relocated from the Dallas area after being there for seven years. 

I have always been passionate about animals and much of my life has been dedicated to them, including professionally since graduating from college. I was a zookeeper for four years before organically finding my way into the animal welfare field, where I have been for the last seven years. I was even featured on Animal Planet once!
I quickly found my calling specifically within the behavior niche of animal sheltering, as I feel all my years working in zoos with animals I couldn't touch, handle, or be “hands on” with, set me up to successfully work with domesticated animals who experience behavioral challenges that render them unable to be handled as well. I earned my professional dog training certification (CPDT-KA) in April of 2021, and look forward to continuing to devote my knowledge and skills to helping shelter dogs in need!
Away from work, I enjoy music and concerts, as well as traveling throughout Texas to explore all the beauty the state has to offer, especially rock-bottomed rivers and their clear waters! 

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d start a boarding facility specially tailored to accept, accommodate, and facilitate the care of behaviorally challenged dogs, that way their owners could enjoy vacation or time away as needed, knowing their special needs pup(s) is in good hands. And, you know, keep working here!

Dogs or cats? Dogs over cats, kittens over puppies!

Kaity McGovern



As volunteer Coordinator, I wrangle volunteers and have fun doing it! I like to collect a lot of things, mostly nerdy/pop culture stuff; classic Pokemon cards, anime figures, etc. My husband and I have 2 giant dogs and 1 cat that we love and spend all our time with. We enjoy video games, going out to the lake and doting on our sweet furry family. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d start a Reptile Rescue, where I could rescue wildlife and reptiles people couldn’t care for anymore. Hopefully help educate people on how awesome reptiles are! And, you know, keep working here!


Dogs or cats?! MOOSE!

Lauren Surman


Hays county has been my home for the past 10 years. I have three dogs and one cat, they are my world! PAWS is such an amazing organization and I am grateful to be a part of a team who cares so deeply about animals. Being able to help these pets sometimes feels like a dream and I am lucky to be living in it.  I'm an avid foster pet parent. So much so that I have had 11 foster pets at my house at once! 
If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd start a company to raise bees and monarchs. 
Dogs or cats? Dogs all the way!

Kyle Hartis


After 8 years in the Marine Corps I finally decided to return to my childhood dream of animal care. My background is in wildlife rehabilitation, which I started while finishing my degree in Pennsylvania, then again once I came to Texas. It’s been wonderful to finally care for animals that I’m able to give affection to! 

I met my wife (who is also a Marine) while stationed in Okinawa, Japan. We are raising our two dogs (Roxxy 10 year old Boxer, Zeno 3 year old Corgi) and our Foster Fail kitten from PAWS (Bocchi). When not tending to animals and random wildlife, we enjoy finding great food and a peaceful place to enjoy it!

If I won the lottery, I’d like to build a tiny home community and use it as a sanctuary for disabled and elderly animals. 

Dogs or Cats?

Both are awesome! Even better when they get along!

Helen Doyle



Kristina Sabatini


My main responsibility is making sure potential/current adopters have a great adoption experience while getting them all the correct and up to date information on the animal. Three days of the week I’m volunteering with ASC. Austin Sunshine Camps is a nonprofit organization that provides the magic of overnight camp without the barrier of cost for kids 8-15. It’s a super cool camp right across from Zilker Park and I intern under the Volunteer Coordinator. Great opportunity to make friends, learn new skills, and network!!

My dad is on the PAWS board and works for IBM, my mom transports for PAWS and has her own nonprofit called The Linus Connection! My brother is currently in school to become a lineman and we have four big and adorable rescues. I love watching sports with my dad and going downtown with friends.

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d start a sports photography company. And, you know, keep working here! 

Dogs or cats?!Dogs all the way!!

Sara Maneval


Maya Hacker


Audrey Pierce


I am the fourth of six kids, and the oldest girl. My two younger sisters and I all share a passion for animals. So much in fact we ‚Äúaccidentally‚ÄĚ ended up with a small farm before long! When not caring for my feline friends you‚Äôre likely to find me with cows, ducks, dogs and horses!¬†An interesting thing about me? I can‚Äôt cartwheel.¬†

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I‚Äôd start an ‚ÄúAs Seen on TV‚ÄĚ store for animal related products¬†company. And, you know, keep working here!¬†

Dogs or cats? Horses! Don’t tell the Cats!

Beauregard “Beau” St. Pierre


Jaylyn Robinson


I am from Dallas and I attend Texas State University!

If I won the lottery tomorrow, I wouldn’t tell anyone and just disappear…
I love cats and dogs!

Anastacia Salazar


I was born in Austin Texas and raised in Kyle for 19 years as the youngest of my family. I enjoy music, movies, concerts, body art and chit chatting with my fur baby Omar. If I won the lottery, I would buy land in the countryside, build my dream home and have endless dance parties with my future rescues.

Dogs or Cats?

My heart belongs to my barking babies.

Kassandra Rodriguez


I am a first generation college student pursuing a degree in Exercise and Sports Science with a concentration in Pre-Rehabilitation with the desire of being an Athletic Trainer. I am also a mommy to a beautiful baby girl and a fur mommy to two beautiful dogs. I absolutely love working at PAWS and creating a close bond with our fur babies here. Everytime we have an adoption I cry a bit inside because our babies are finally going to their forever home. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you do? If I won the lottery tomorrow I would want to donate a good majority of the money to pilocytic astrocytoma research to honor my niece. Finally, do you like

Dogs or Cats? I absolutely love both but if I really had to choose it would be dogs

Jackie Knight


Amber McKane


I moved to Texas from New York when I was 13! I am a wildlife biology major at Texas State. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would travel and adopt more animals! I love dogs and cats but I am a cat person at heart!

Alejandro Hernandez


I am from Fort Worth, TX. I am in the the kyle area because I am studying Construction Science and Management at Texas State University and I also have a minor in business administration. I am a Kennel Tech here at PAWS and the pups here always make my day!

If I won the lottery tomorrow, would definitely donate money to the shelter, my fraternity (Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity Inc.) And also spend a lot of money on my family. Definitely would get me a ranch with some horses and livestock.

I am definitely more of a dog person, cats just do not match my energy. Dogs are all about the loving and my dog really makes me happy whenever I come home after a long day.

Sierra Posey



Dr. Amanda Bruce, DVM


Dr. Amanda Bruce has blessed PAWS by adding her proficiency and professionalism to our surgery clinic. She has helped advance our efforts to save lives to an exponential degree and we are so very grateful. 

Jacie Handberry


Hannah Valle


I am currently studying Psychology at Texas State University with a minor in Human Development and Family Sciences. I grew up in Grand Prairie and moved to Midlothian, TX. I am the oldest sibling of 3 and love spending time with my family. I have grown up with animals my whole life and spending time with pups is my favorite activity. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would donate money to different rescue groups and use some to travel around the world to explore different countries.
Cats or Dogs? I prefer dogs but I love all fur babies 

Lauren Adame


Laci Holloway