Lindsey Ortiz, President of the Board of Directors
Lindsey Ortiz has been a long time animal lover with previous volunteer work and employment in local no-kill shelters and rescues. Lindsey and her husband Landon adopted their first pittie in 2009 and became forever advocates for the breed. Lindsey began serving as Event Chair for Love-A-Bull in 2010 and joined the Board in 2014. Lindsey uses her background in non-profit fundraising to organize and plan Love-A-Bull events throughout the year with amazing volunteers by her side. Lindsey prides herself on comradery with the team of volunteers that dedicate their time and talents to help raise funding for the organization. Lindsey is now a proud mother of a future pittie loving little girl named Kenzie and will instill her passion of animals as she grows up to be a future Love-A-Bull volunteer. Kenzie has 4 four-legged babies including Julie a pittie, Vinnie a 100lb pittie mix, Kobe her dachshund mutt and her best friend, a blind chihuahua named Georgie. Lindsey will forever be a proud pittie mom, advocate, and educator for the breed.
Brandy Lord, Vice President of the Board of Directors
Brandy Lord has been an avid pit bull lover since her teenage years. After moving to Texas, she and her husband sought out a reputable organization to help with selecting a playmate for their female pittie, Karma. In September 2012 the couple adopted Felix from Love-A-Bull and her relationship with the organization began. Soon after adopting Felix, as part of her dog training certification, Brandy began mentoring under Jess Wilson as part of Love-A-Bull’s training team which provides obedience training to the organization’s fosters, Love-A-Bull members and the greater-Austin communities. Over the next year she continued to become more heavily involved in the organization as a trainer and foster, becoming Love-A-Bull’s Training Team Committee Chair. In March 2014, Brandy was ecstatic to be offered the opportunity to sit as part of Love-A-Bull’s Board of Directors. Her “get it done” attitude has proven to be a valued trait to the organization as Love-A-Bull continues to press forward with its mission of changing the negative stereotypes surrounding pit bulls and pit bull type dogs. Brandy looks forward to a day when discrimination based on breed is outlawed everywhere.
Amber Mitchell, Secretary of the Board of Directors
Amber Mitchell discovered Love-A-Bull at one of the organization’s adoption events in 2012. She had recently seen the disproportionate amount of pit bull type dogs waiting for adoption at one of Austin’s local animal shelters and knew she wanted to be involved with an organization that was advocating for and reestablishing the positive image of the pit bull. Amber joined Love-A-Bull as a foster mom to Adopt-A-Bull Boots and soon became what many rescuers lovingly refer to as a “foster failure”. Although she couldn’t resist adopting Boots, Amber knew she didn’t want her involvement to stop at being an adopter and in July of 2014 she became Love-A-Bull’s Volunteer Coordinator. She enjoys helping volunteers find their special niche in the organization and she is continually impressed with the time and passion of Love-A-Bull’s volunteer community. In early 2015 Amber Mitchell joined the Board of Directors and has become a valued part of the leadership team for the organization.
Kat Peterson, Treasurer of the Board of Directors
Kat Peterson is an animal welfare advocate and cherishes the important role all pets play in our lives. She is an avid cat-lover and parent to three adorable kittens. Kat was first introduced to Love-A-Bull and the Pit Bull “breed” by her sister and the many pit bulls that she has owned and fostered over the years. In 2009, Kat joined Love-A-Bull as the organization’s accountant, working to protect the financial health and offer guidance to all involved on the fiduciary responsibilities required in running a non-profit. In April of 2016, Kat decided to increase her dedication to Love-A-Bull and join the Board of Directors in order to help ensure pit bull type dogs get the respect they deserve.
Crystal Dunn, Board Member
Crystal Dunn loves dogs, no doubt about it. From her love of puppy breath and corn chip-scented paws, to her weakness for c-wags and cold noses: she’ll happily tell you that her favorite people are mostly canine. Crystal started training dogs professionally in 2006. She fell in love with the many Pit Bulls in her training classes. Their giant smiles, quirky natures, loyal hearts, and versatile abilities made her an instant fan. She worked with Houston rescues and shelters to rehabilitate abused Pits and Pit Mixes, and learned how sad and unjust the plight of these underdogs had truly become. She adopted her dog, Mo, a Ridgeback/Pit Bull Mix, straight off the Houston streets in 2007. She quickly learned Mo was a truly gifted therapy dog and marveled at his ability to help strangers. Her love for animal assisted therapy was born from her adventures with Mo. Upon moving to Austin in 2010, she inevitably crossed paths with Love-A-Bull. After volunteering as a trainer, she joined forces with them to help start the Pit Crew Therapy Dog program. She’s been working with Pit Crew as their trainer and manager ever since, as well as serving on the training team. In 2016 she joined the Love-A-Bull board and looks forward to expanding the Pit Crew and working further to educate the public on the many things there are to love about the Pit Bull.
Previous Board Members
Lydia Zaidman and Meghan Wells , Love-A-Bull Co-Founders
In 2005, Meghan Wells took over leadership of the Austin American Pit Bull Terrier Meetup group, a small group of pit bull advocates who took monthly “fun walks” around downtown. Later, Meghan joined forces with Lydia Zaidman, another one of the active meetup members, to transform the meetup group into a vehicle to change minds and fight negative stereotypes surrounding pit bull type dogs. Together, they founded Love-A-Bull. In 2008, with a huge dream and a lot of hard work, Lydia and Meghan turned Love-A-Bull into a 501(c)3 not for profit organization. Meghan along with her pittie, May and Lydia along with her pitties, Mocha and Lucy, worked tirelessly to help educate the public on the truths about pit bull type dogs and to advocate for just how amazing these dogs can be. Since its inception, Meghan and Lydia have helped to shape Love-A-Bull into what it has become today: a thriving education, advocacy and rescue organization whose primary mission is to promote responsible guardianship and improve the image and lives of pit bull type dogs. While serving the organization, Lydia helped found Love-A-Bull’s Pit Crew Therapy Dog Program of which her and Mocha served in, until Mocha’s passing. Though Lydia no longer sits on the Board of Directors, she still participates in the Pit Crew with her pittie, Zoe in order to support our mission of helping pit bull type dogs. While serving Love-A-Bull, Meghan spearheaded multiple education and outreach efforts, including conference workshops, community resource fairs, interviews and research projects, and partnerships to spread awareness of Love-A-Bull’s mission and goals. She led countless free spay/neuter clinics and helped co-found Love-A-Bull’s free training program offered to the Austin community. Both Lydia and Meghan served tirelessly on the Board of Directors before rolling off in 2014. Our organization would not be in the amazing position it is, without their dedication and hard work. A huge thank you goes out to these amazing women and all they have accomplished for our organization, our communities and for pit bull type dogs everywhere!!
Megan Ransom, Board Member
Megan Ransom has been working against negative stereotypes associated with pit bull type dogs since she and her husband, Josh adopted their first pit bull mix in 2008. They welcomed Howie into their Indiana home after months of fostering him and facing the discrimination pit bull guardians face everyday. Megan has since been a dedicated and responsible guardian, training Howie to be an ambassador for his breed. Megan has been part of the Love-A-Bull team since relocating to Austin in 2010. She and Josh added a second pittie to their pack in 2012, Pete, who landed a spot in their home after being fostered through the Love-A-Bull Rescue Program. Pete was pulled from the Austin Animal Center where he came in as a city stray, neglected and heartworm positive. Pete passed his CGC in 2013 and has been Part of Love-A-Bull’s Pit Crew Therapy Dog Program for over a year. Pete and Megan enjoy visiting local nursing homes, schools, and attending community outreach events with their fellow Pit Crew members–changing minds and spreading the love that pit bull type dogs have to give! Pete, Howie & their canine sister Hope welcome new foster dogs into their home and make them feel at ease by allowing them to fit right into the pack! Megan works closely with the adopt-a-bulls in our rescue program and has presented on behalf of Love-A-Bull at conferences such as American Pets Alive. Megan rolled off the Board of Directors in November of 2015.
Leala Ward, Board Member
Leala Ward became an advocate for pit bulls in 2006 when she adopted her handsome boy Leo. Now living with a houseful of wonderful pit bulls, Leala has been confronted with many of the pit bulls stereotypes and myths. As a result, Leala was overwhelmed with the need to educate. With that inspiration, Leala instantly became an active volunteer at Love-A-Bull. She has participated in Love-A-Bull’s Free Training Program and is an active participant in many public events where Love-A-Bull organized grassroots education and outreach to the community. Leala is a spay/neuter fanatic and works tirelessly to help with pit bull overpopulation. Impressed with her dedication, Love-A-Bull asked her to join the organization as a Board Member in early 2009 and she co-founded our rescue program in 2010. Both of Leala’s boys are Canine Good Citizens. She is currently working on that task with her girl, Chloe. Leala rolled off the Board of Directors in April of 2016.