DJ Is a 4 1/2 year-old golden retriever. He Is named after Derek Jeter, his people are die hard Yankees fans. DJ loves to go on walks, sleep on the couch, and play fetch. He’s a big teddy bear and will melt anyone’s heart.
Baker Is a 6 month-old St. Bernard mix. His people adopted him from Big Dog Ranch Rescue and he has been the perfect addition to the family. Baker Is named after an Island in the Bahamas. He is full of life and energy and just wants to play with his big brother DJ 24/7.
Lauree Simmons, President and Founder of Big Dog Ranch Rescue
Lauree Simmons saw pain, suffering and needless death and dedicated her life to change all that. While visiting a kill shelter she learned that 14 dogs had one day left to live. Not content to see the innocent lives lost, she packed them all into her car and her life’s mission was born. From working as a volunteer at the Florida Weimaraner Rescue to founding Big Dog Ranch Rescue, there is no bigger advocate for dogs, and their right to live a happy, full life, than Lauree Simmons.
Christopher Kraus, Chief Executive Officer
Christopher Kraus joined the Big Dog Ranch Rescue team after twenty-five years as a senior leader of nonprofit organizations with extensive experience in healthcare and social services philanthropy. He demonstrates leadership in all aspects of fundraising and operations. Christopher has a consistent record of accomplishment in business and program development, strategic planning and marketing, capital campaigns and internal staff development. Christopher works closely with the board of directors and our founder/president to develop and implement proactive plans to make sure the dogs continue to have happy and full lives. He is also a proud dog dad to his family rescue dogs, Arya and Sansa.
Robin Friedman, Director of Philanthropy
Robin Friedman worked in the corporate world for over thirty years before joining the team at Big Dog Ranch Rescue. Looking to contribute to a greater cause, Robin works tirelessly to save as many dogs as possible, with a focus on the individual and corporate funding needed for daily operations
and ranch development.
Debbie Hilton, Adoptions Coordinator
Deb hails originally from the Hudson Valley in New York and graduated from Bryant University in Rhode Island with a degree in finance. Deb has always been drawn to animals and grew up with dogs, cats, parrots, and horses. She migrated from New England to Wellington in 2005 when she followed her equestrian pursuits and immersed herself in the sport of dressage. Deb joined Big Dog Ranch in 2012 and enjoys helping our dogs find their furever homes. It is an honor to be a part of such an organization and to be an advocate for our dogs and puppies who desperately need our help. It’s truly a tale of who rescued who. Deb’s favorite saying is “Save A Dog – Keep Yours”.
Lacey Freeman, Volunteer Coordinator
Lacey Freeman comes to Big Dog Ranch Rescue with over 18 years of animal sheltering experience. Over the years she has worked in animal care, behavior, foster, medical, and volunteer management. She is highly organized and has always had a strong passion for animals. Her home as never been without the love of a pet, and currently has a wonderful terrier mix and a few kitty friends. All this experience makes her a great mentor to the volunteers here at BDRR.
Board of Directors
Dorothy Bradshaw, Board of Directors
Jill Chaifetz,, Board of Directors
Jill Barclay Chaifetz is a CPA and worked for years in public accounting, later managing global currencies for a large international commodity firm. A dog lover her entire life, she is committed to supporting
Big Dog Ranch as it brings an entrepreneurial approach to rescue and redefines, by example,
what rescue can and should be.
Danny Glassman, Board of Directors
Danny Glassman, tax attorney for Gunster, serves on the Big Dog Ranch Rescue Board of Directors.
He is actively involved with events for Big Dog Ranch Rescue and values giving dogs the love they deserve. He regularly takes our dogs out for special trips to show our animals love and kindness.
Charles Hanna, Board of Directors
Charles Hanna is a Senior Client Advisor with a national wealth management firm as well as serving
on the Board of Directors at Big Dog Ranch Rescue. He is passionate about saving dogs and helping
as many dogs as possible find their Forever Home. Charles currently lives in Palm Beach County
with his wife, two children, and his four rescue dogs—Izzy, Lola, Meena, and Cody.
Ashley Hensarling, Board of Directors
Ashley Hensarling has been a dog lover her whole life and now serves on the Big Dog Ranch Rescue Board of Directors. She has been a part of the Big Dog Ranch family since 2010 and has discovered her passion for saving dogs. Ashley has been on extreme rescue missions, assisted with various fundraisers, and has fostered countless dogs. Ashley regularly speaks to schools and different businesses to educate others about dog rescue and the mission of Big Dog Ranch Rescue.
Brian Koziol, Board of Directors
Brian Koziol serves on the Big Dog Ranch Rescue Board of Directors. Brian is not only a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army, serving for 34 years, but he is also the owner and President of a contracting and program management consulting company. Brian’s passion is rescuing, rehabilitating, and training dogs, which he has done for the past 11 years. Currently, Brian has five dogs of his own and volunteers
at the Ranch every weekend; he even fosters special needs dogs from Big Dog Ranch, too.
Melanie Lehmann, Board of Directors
Melanie Lehmann serves on the Big Dog Ranch Rescue Board of Directors. She is the parent to four rescues and is a very active foster parent for other rescues. She has improved our fundraising efforts, volunteering program, and adoption events. With her help, Big Dog Ranch Rescue has been able
to make a statewide impact.
Tonya Love-Cheatham, Board of Directors
Tonya Love-Cheatham has worked in real estate for 11 years and now serves on the Board of Directors
at Big Dog Ranch Rescue. Tonya has a long history helping the ranch save more lives and has served
on numerous fundraising committees for Big Dog Ranch Rescue since its foundation. Tonya and her husband are proud parents to two dogs, ages 17 and 14. Tonya wants abused and neglected dogs
to find peace and know continuous love.
Marti Spittell Ziegelbauer, Board of Directors
Marti has been passionate about rescuing animals all her life; from serving on Humane Society Boards, to adopting 7 dogs, 4 cats, and counting…(Most recently, Pearl, a Schnauzer Mix from Big Dog Ranch Rescue). Having relocated to Palm Beach County last year, Marti immediately began volunteering at BDRR. Marti a former Television News Anchor, and TV Talent Coach and Consultant is currently retired, focused on Volunteering and Philanthropy. As a Distance Cyclist with Team DPF and Pedals for Parkinson’s (National Cycling Team) Marti is ready to go the distance for the doggies.
Earl Stewart, Board of Directors
As the owner of the successful Earl Stewart Toyota dealership, Earl is famous for his Red Phone,
which demonstrates his leadership in customer satisfaction, and of course his “no dealer fleas” advertising campaign featuring Big Dog Ranch Rescue. Earl is a dog advocate, an avid fisherman,
as well as a published author, “Confessions of a Recovering Car Dealer.”
Rob Thomson, Board of Directors
Rob is the owner of Waterfront Properties and Club Communities (WFPCC), one of the leading luxury real estate companies In Northern Palm Beach and Martin Counties. He is credited with creating
a marketing machine that few can match. Rob brings his attention to client satisfaction and love
of dogs to his board appointment.
Patti Travis, Board of Directors
Patti is a Senior Managing Director at First Republic Bank in Palm Beach. Patti works directly with her clients, focusing on both sides of the their balance sheets to provide direct access to all of the bank’s services. In addition to serving on the Big Dog Rescue Ranch Board, Travis is a board member of the Palm Beach County Tax Institute. Patti is a devout animal lover and has two rescue Chihuahuas,
Macho and Bella.
Peggy Wheeler, Board of Directors
Peggy’s professional background includes being a model, a travel talk show host and newspaper editor. Peggy currently owns The Travel Business Inc, a travel agency, and The Travel Business LLC,
a real estate holding company. Peggy is a Town Council Member for the Town of Juno Beach
and has chaired galas for the American Heart Association and Big Dog Ranch Rescue.
Dorothy Bradshaw, Board of Directors
Dorothy Bradshaw has been active in the community for more than 30 years and has served on many boards in Palm Beach County. Dorothy and her husband, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, are dog lovers and currently have two rescues from BDRR. Dorothy recently retired from the South Florida Water Management District as Director of Administrative Services. Dorothy has started a new career as a Realtor with Illustrated Properties. Dorothy is actively involved with Big Dog Ranch fundraising events.