Who We Are
Helping BC pets since 2011.
We are unstoppable optimists working to ensure that no pet gets left behind.
Paws for Hope envisions communities that embrace all pets as family, ensuring they are loved, free from harm. To that end, our mission is to shift the culture of companion animal welfare in British Columbia by creating new models of practice and remediating the underlying causes of harm through cross sector collaboration, education, and advocacy.
This includes direct program delivery, grant funding, advocacy, and professional development. By filling the gaps with our own direct animal assistance and educational programs while simultaneously strengthening and empowering BC’s existing animal welfare sector, we’re moving closer and closer to realizing our vision of a province that provides the utmost care and protection for its companion animals.
“Our forward-thinking, pioneering approach means we are continually focused on system-wide impacts to make our sector—and the province as a whole—better informed and more humane.”
Thank you for your support
Paws for Hope also thanks The River Foundation, the Burnaby Community Foundation, and the Randall Foundation for their support.
We are also very grateful to the Government of Canada’s Emergency Community Support Fund distributed through the Community Foundations of Canada, Port Coquitlam Community Foundation, Coquitlam Foundation, Port Moody Foundation, United Way of Greater Victoria (and/or Victoria Foundation), The Maple Ridge Community Foundation, and the Vancouver Foundation.
Paws for Hope is a small team passionate about animals and their ongoing care and protection. We’re even more passionate about finding a way to make animal welfare more sustainable in B.C. so we’re not stuck heads-down in emergency response mode unable to plan and build for the long term, especially important in a region that receives no government funding and sometimes limited corporate support for these animals.
Board of Directors
An animal lover and rescuer from a young age, Cynthia is keen to put her experience to work as a Director at Paws for Hope with a focus on fundraising and organizational efficiency. Cynthia grew up with cats as a child, became a horse lover and dedicated equestrian growing up, and then added dogs to her life in her twenties. Largely an extrovert, but with the core of an introvert, Cynthia is happiest in the company of animals. As Chief Operating Officer of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Cynthia leads the Development, Community Events, Communications, Distribution and Community Agency teams. Her career includes experience in operations and client services, people leadership and team building, business development and key account management, and P&L responsibility with companies such as Morneau Shepell, TELUS, Accenture Business Services for Utilities/BC Hydro, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Mackenzie Financial Corporation.
Lexy is a Chartered Professional Accountant(CPA), who works at a national accounting firm in Surrey. Lexy was born and raised in Fort St. John B.C. and has always had a love and admiration for animals. She is currently a dog mom to two Westies, Brea and Keka! Lexy decided to get involved in Paws for Hope after learning about the great work the organization does to keep pets with their families. Lexy’s dog Keka, is actually shared with a family who immigrated to Canada from Mexico, and couldn’t keep their pet due to living arrangements. Keka now gets the benefits of two families who love her dearly! Lexy is a Chartered Professional Accountant(CPA), who works at a national accounting firm in Surrey. As the treasurer, Lexy works to ensure fiscal responsibility of the generous donations that come in to to the organization.
Tessah began her journey in animal welfare advocacy when she starting volunteering at the Victoria SPCA with her older sister, when she was only six years old. She went on to volunteer at Witty’s Lagoon Nature House with her Dad when she was a teenager, educating the public on the diverse plants and animals living in the park’s rich habitat. In 2016 Tessah was rescued by her sweet adopted dog Molly, who has inspired her continued volunteer efforts. Tessah is the Executive Director of the Face of Today Foundation, a charity that provides resources and educational opportunities to high-risk youth in downtown Vancouver. Prior to her career in the non-profit sector she worked in marketing with a specialization in intercultural communication.
Dr. Shawn Llewellyn is a practicing veterinarian and managing partner at Scottsdale Veterinary Hospital in Surrey, BC. He graduated with honours in Animal Sciences from Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island. Shawn has been a Board member with Paws for Hope since its founding year, serving as Board President for five of those years. He has been integral in the development and implementation of our veterinary related programs and services, and is our primary veterinarian and Clinic Director. Shawn is a past member of the Animal Welfare Committee’s for both the Society of British Columbia Veterinarians (SBCV) and the College of Veterinarians of B.C. (CVBC). He is a current member of the CVBC’s Investigation Committee. Shawn has received the Governor General’s Academic Award, the Christopher Award in Animal Welfare, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association’s Humane Award for his involvement and work on animal welfare matters over the past 15 years. Shawn lives in North Vancouver with his partner and cats, Kyla and Casey.
Karen has worked in corrections for approximately 25 years. She has a diverse background in corrections having worked in community corrections, mental health services, regional interventions management and in penitentiary. Karen has always remained focused on service delivery, and working to promote safe and successful communities. She has joined Paws of Hope in order to continue to contribute to communities in another way that matters to her, the quality care and support to pets and their families.
Katelynn is an employment lawyer and workplace investigator at Forte Law Corporation in Surrey where she advises clients on all aspects of employment law and workplace human rights. Katelynn is passionate about using her knowledge and legal skills to empower not only her clients, but others in the community. Her volunteer experience includes providing advice and support to individuals who have experienced sexual harassment at work. Katelynn was born and raised in the Fraser Valley and has been an animal lover her whole life. Having experienced the joy and happiness that animals can bring, she joined Paws for Hope to give back to the community and help provide support to pets and their families.
Our Staff Team
No Pet Left Behind Coordinator
Human Support Coordinator