Leadership

 Lindsey Ortiz, President, 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. She and her husband Landon adopted their first pittie in 2009 and became forever advocates for the breed, later adopting another.

Lindsey served as Event Chair for LOVE-A-BULL starting in 2010 and joined the Board in 2014. She uses her background in non-profit fundraising to organize and plan LOVE-A-BULL org’s events throughout the year, raising tens of thousands of dollars to help pit bull type dogs. A community warrior, she prides herself on volunteer comradery and networking with people who can truly influence and change negative perceptions about pit bull-type dogs.

Lindsey is a proud mother of a pittie-loving girl and future LOVE-A-BULL volunteer named Kenzie. Her four-legged babies include Julie the pittie, Vinnie the 100lb pittie mix, Kobe the dachshund mutt and best good boy.

Lindsey will forever be a proud pittie mom, advocate, and educator for the breed.

Crystal Dunn, Vice President, Board of Directors

Crystal’s favorite people are mostly canine. She started training dogs professionally in 2006, where she came to know and adore pit bull-type dogs through her clients. Their quirky nature, loyal hearts, and versatile abilities led her to adopt her first pit mix, a five-year-old dog named Mo, in 2007. Mo served as a therapy dog, training assistant, and Crystal’s constant companion until his death in 2015.

Over the years, Crystal has worked in Houston and Austin to rehabilitate all types of dogs. While running her own business, Leaps N’ Hounds, she also helped overhaul a high-kill shelter, moving them to a no-kill model, start the Pit Crew therapy dog program, and serve on Love-A-Bull’s board of directors.

Today Crystal writes full time and consults for non-profits and animal-related businesses on design, safety, and best practices. Her articles have been published in an array of magazines and she contributes content for various popular dog blogs and regular columns. She also hosts the podcast Far Fetched, all about debunking dog myths. For LOVE-A-BULL she works mostly on the training and therapy programs but also helps manage the website and do whatever else is needed. Crystal lives in Austin with her husband, daughter and pit bull named Winnie Pigglepie Jones.

Kailyn LaVoie, Secretary, Board of Directors

Kailyn is a life-long animal lover and in 2014 committed to living a lifestyle truly in line with animal welfare. Her passion has always been dogs – especially those that face the biggest challenges. She believes in correcting the skewed image of pit bull-type dogs through increasing personal interactions with the wide-mouthed wiggle butts, remedying the myths (both positive and negative) around the history and traits of these dogs, and helping people to think critically about the current information available around dogs, which is frequently inaccurate or misleading.
Upon seeing that her values were shared with LOVE-A-BULL org, Kailyn joined the event team in 2016 and became the secretary of the board in 2019. She believes deeply in rescue and as a result has been providing love and housing to her free-loading mutt, Boone, since 2012, and Science, her pit bull-type pup, since 2014. Her dream is for compassion and respect to be extended to all animals. Her action plan is to start that message through the rescue of our beautiful and deserving furry friends.

Sara Stein, Member, Board of Directors

Sara has been in love with rescuing animals since her youngest days of finding strays with her mom. In 2008, Sara entered Veterinary Technology school with the goal of working in rescue, receiving her degree and passing both state and national exams. She has worked in private practice and The Austin Humane Society, leading her to foster seniors and medical case dogs with Austin Animal Center, Austin Pets Alive and Love-A-Bull. She also currently volunteers with the Dogs 101 Program Travis County Correctional Center.
Sara first heard of Love-A-Bull in 2013 and is very excited to be on the board and speak on behalf of this misunderstood and incredible group of dogs. She has never known a breed that is more cuddly or silly than a pittie. It takes a village to educate, advocate, and save lives and she is happy to be a part of that village.

Roxy Medley, Member, Board of Directors

Roxy will tell you she’d be “the dog lady” in a heartbeat. She has had dogs her entire life but brought home her first American Staffordshire, Archie, in 2017. From their loyal nature to feistiness, to big smiles and squishy faces – this was a breed she would quickly fall in love with and want to advocate for.

She has always been passionate about volunteering and when searching for new opportunities to serve the community in 2019, she found Love-A-Bull. She helped with events, but after just a few months, she realized she found the perfect place to make a difference and joined the Board of Directors. Her outgoing personality and commitment fit the role of Volunteer Coordinator perfectly.

Roxy enjoys puppy play dates at the dog park with Archie and her other fur baby, Chanel. As owner of Medley Wellness, Roxy believes that dogs truly do positively impact your physical and mental health. Archie aspires to become part of the Pit Crew to share his love with others through therapeutic interaction. Together they will be ambassadors for pit bull breeds, educate and inspire others to get involved with Love-A-Bull!

Amber Krosel, Treasurer, Board of Directors

Amber has been a dog lover forever but pittie-obsessed since 2015, when she began volunteering with Love-A-Bull and also adopted her brindle pit mix, Remy, from Austin Pets Alive! She serves as Love-A-Bull’s Events Coordinator and joined the Board as Treasurer in April 2020.
Amber’s background includes past volunteer events leadership positions with Austin Pets Alive!, in addition to professional marketing, research and communications experience. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting from a renowned program at the University of Illinois Springfield, and previously was a journalist for 10 years.
On a personal level, Amber enjoys meeting new people, supporting local businesses, and tasting yummy foods and beers! She’s excited to help bring to life popular Love-A-Bull events such as our Pints for Pits brewery fundraisers, National Pitbull Awareness Day, and more!

Previous Leadership


Lydia Zaidman and Meghan Wells , Co-Founders LOVE-A-BULL

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-BULLinto 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 Pit Crew Therapy Dog Program of which she and Mocha served in, until Mocha’s passing. 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 our mission and goals. She led countless free spay/neuter clinics and helped co-found the low-cost training program still offered to the Austin community to this day. Both Lydia and Meghan served tirelessly on the Board of Directors before ending their tenure in 2014. They remain active as volunteers, relentless supporters, adopters and fosters for the organization.

LOVE-A-BULL would not be the amazing organization that it is without their dedication and hard work. A huge thank you goes out to these amazing women and all they have accomplished for pit bull-type dogs everywhere!

Kat Peterson, Treasurer of the Board of Directors

IMG_8363Kat 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. Kat’s tenure on the board ended in 2020, but she remains an active volunteer.

 

Brandy Lord, Board Member

Brandy Lord has been an avid pit bull lover since her teenage years. She began her relationship with LOVE-A-BULL in 2012 after adopting Mr. Felix as a playmate for her female pittie, Karma. Brandy continued to become more heavily involved in the organization as a trainer and foster. In 2014, Brandy was ecstatic to be offered the opportunity to sit as part the 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 bull-type dogs. In 2015, Brandy adopted her second pit bull from LOVE-A-BULL, Mama Jade, completing her pack of 3. She looks forward to a day when all dogs are seen as individuals and when discrimination based on breed is outlawed everywhere. Brandy stepped down from the board in 2018 and remains a volunteer.

Amber Mitchell, Board Member

bio_amberAmber 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 Volunteer Coordinator. She enjoys helping volunteers find their special niche in the organization and she is continually impressed with the time and passion of our 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. Amber stepped down from her position on the board in December of 2017 and remains a volunteer.

Megan Ransom, Board Member

bio_meganMegan 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 the 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 stepped down from the board in November of 2015 after seven years of service.

Leala Ward, Board Member

bio_lealaLeala 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 the Low-Cost 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.  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.  Leala’s board tenure ended in April of 2016.