Board of Directors / Departments / Get to Know Our Amigos de Animales Family

Board of Directors

Chairman: Ruby McKenzie
President: Alicia McGuigan
Vice President: Carol Cardinale-Santana
Treasurer: Cary Trantham
Secretary: Leslie Sherling

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Department and Station Heads

Registration & Check-in: Rosa Martinez, Andy Mitchell & Cary Trantham
Intake: Sean Trollip
Anesthesia: Dra. Chely & Rosie Crofutt
Computer Tracking: Andy Mitchell
Pre-op: Sandra Wolf
Shaving & Tattoo: Kim & Phil Wong
Surgery Tracking and Vet Assistance: Sherry Shirritt
Instrument Cleaning: Valorie Tintinger
Taxi: Joe Culleton
Post-op: Larry & Jennifer Pascal
Recovery: Alicia McGuigan & Carol Cardinale Santana
Kitchen: Jane Hampton

Please contact Alicia at akcleavenger@hotmail.com if you would like to learn more about one or more departments. Or you can complete this contact form.

Click here if you'd like to learn about our non-clinic volunteer opportunities.

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Get to Know Our Amigos de Animales Family

Katrina Kneebone

Hi….my name is Katrina Kneebone, I am an educator, and I am involved with the Amigos de Animales program for 5 years taking awareness of pet sterilization into elementary schools. Here I am explaining what that involves.

After my rottweiler departed for the Elysium Fields, each month I would get my “big dog fix” at the clinic, sitting quietly on the rug and resuscitating the large breeds from their anesthesia . Two years went by and then, Leslie Sherling, who had befriended me, noticed that I was speaking Spanish and helping the student volunteers. “We need you,” she said, and that is how I became the lead person for the Amigos de Animales schools outreach program.

There are 13 schools in the rural areas of Boquete and our mission is to reach out to these students, teach them about pet care, and encourage them to bring their pets to the clinic for spaying. COVID curtailed our efforts for two years, but in October of 2022 we picked up again and managed visits to five schools before the school year ended.

Through Animales, I have built up a team of really dedicated volunteers and we continue to welcome more. To give an example of how we work, in the El Frances school, which has 45 students divided into two groups, we committed to two days in one week. The volunteers on that occasion were Michael and Debra who worked with me in the upper grades, and Cynthia and Valorie working with the younger children. We have booklets to color that tell the children about pet care and on which we base our lessons. Michael and I worked on compiling these booklets so that they give information about Animales and about the clinic that the students can take home. I gave the presentation and Michael and Debra supported me by handing out materials and encouraging the students. Meanwhile , Cynthia and Valorie presented the kinder booklet to the younger children. Later we all congregated outside to sing songs (Michael has donated a Karaoke machine). This same team then followed up by giving a Christmas craft day in December and later a Christmas lunch with goody bags.
This pattern of presenting, and then the different volunteers picking up the ball and continuing with a Christmas lunch, was repeated in Palmira Arriba, Jaramillo Arriba, and Alto Quiel.

When the new school year begins in March, we hope to cover two day presentations in most of the schools in the district. Amigos de Animales has plans to facilitate the spaying of animals in these remoter areas. We may transport them to the clinic, or we may do mini clinics in their areas, and for this we continue to need volunteers. It’s okay if your Spanish is limited, we can still use you. If you have enough Spanish to help with the Kinder or upper grade presentations, that would be wonderful.

Here are the names of all of the volunteers who have helped so far in the school outreach program. I want to mention them because their generosity and hard work impressed me so much. A big thank you to all of them.
Michael and Debra Whited, Valorie Tintinger, Eileen, Christy, Cynthia Vitagliano, Nonie Ratclif, Jessica and Amelia Vega, Cindy Clayton, Helena Deakin, Said, Neidy.

Lastly, I am still on the big dog rug each month at the clinic. We have been encouraging more university students to become involved and now I help Carol with their training and supervision.
Contact me if you would like to become involved in the schools project: katrinakneebone@gmail.com

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Raquel Irais Coba Villarreal

Your position/title with Animales and how long have you worked here?: Coordinator, WhatsApp Group for Spanish-speaking volunteers. Over one year

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with Animales?: I collaborate in the recovery of dogs and cats during the sterilization clinics. I love working with the little ones. [Raquel has recently started helping us coordinate Spanish-speaking volunteers which has increased participation by Panamanians.]

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with Animales?:  When you enter the space for recovery, you give a little piece of yourself to these other species. Animals give us so many beautiful moments and their love for us is unconditional. Volunteering this way helps you to become more loving and understanding of their basic needs and a way to give back by sharing a little time and your love with them.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about yourself?:  I volunteer as an environmental activist; supporting educational activities to strengthen the environmental and social culture of children, young people and the adults in the District of Dolega.

Do you have any pets? I have three pets…2 dogs and a cat (see photos!) Keisy is my black dog who is a beautiful and loving soul, but is jealous when she has to share caresses with others. Princesa is my shaggy haired brownish dog who is noble, loving and not jealous. Mini is my elusive kitten who shows me love and keeps me company.

Favorite food: Patacones with garlic shrimp

Favorite restaurant: The Steakhouse in David

Favorite TV show: I don’t watch TV

Favorite movie: What the Wind Took Away

Favorite musician or musical group: Jose Luis Perales

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?  Niagara Falls for its immense and impressive waterfalls. They were like a dream and those memories live in my mind.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Venice, Italy

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Carol Cardinale-Santana

Your position/title with Animales and how long have you worked here?: Vice President - 14 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with Animales?: I am the head of Recovery. I started the training program years ago because I noticed people took it as a social event and did not take it seriously. Once I had a young person rubbing a dog and did not notice the dog was not breathing! I have also organized fundraising events, Chili Challenges, Casino Night, and our Annual Lotto (Ruby's idea). In the past, first prize was an all-expense paid trip to Panama.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with Animales?: It is definitely a great experience as well as rewarding.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about yourself?:  I came to Panama in 2005 and we bought a piece of property and built a home in the hills of Alto Jaramillo. The builder gave us a puppy (Bella) that needed neutering. That was my introduction to Amigos de Animales. Then Bella needed to be trained and Jennie Allen was dog training and also worked at the clinic. One thing led to another and now I have been volunteering here 14 years all because of Bella.

Do you have any pets? I have my dog, Bella and my cat Diablo Red (see photos!)

Favorite food: All food!

Favorite restaurant: Maito Restaurante in Panama City

Favorite musician or musical group:  John Legend

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Traveling is one of my favorite things to do! Prague was gorgeous with the French influence and all the Art Deco. I want to explore more of Italy.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?  Tahiti! Why not with its exotic gorgeous beaches!

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?   I currently own a coffee farm called Vista Encanto Coffee.

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Sherry Shirritt

Your position/title with Animales and how long have you worked here?:  Surgery Station Lead - 5 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with Animales?: I have the best job ever! I get to be a part of a group of volunteers that give their time and energy to the animal community! I oversee the veterinary assistance and the organization of the surgical team. It’s a bit like playing a game of Tetris…making sure each vet gets about the same number of animals per clinic and ensuring that everyone is happy and fully equipped to be successful. I schedule volunteers, set up the surgical area and run my butt off on clinic day making sure everyone has what they need to sterilize approximately 300 animals in one day! I am also the primary contact for Hall rentals and I’m part of the fundraising committee.

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with Animales?: It’s all about teamwork for the common goal of sterilizing animals in the most efficient way possible. Also, you get to make new friends and give your time unselfishly to ensure our community is not overrun by packs of dogs and starving animals in the streets. The efforts by AdA volunteers help to reduce the overpopulation of the animal community, making Boquete a better place to live.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about yourself?:  I semi-retired to Panama 5.5 years ago from Calgary, Canada. My personal goal was to experience as many different opportunities as possible, learn new things and be a valued member of a community. I found that in Boquete.

I grew up as an Army brat, never staying in one place more than a few years at a time. This experience taught me to develop relationships quickly and experience people from all walks of life….the good, the bad and the ugly. I learned to accept folks for who they were and loved being a free spirit and a mover and shaker. The most fulfilling relationships I had were with the underprivileged and the children who needed a voice. I became their advocate.

I spent my undergraduate years in Early Childhood Education and Development Facility. I spent 35 years teaching, developing and creating pre-schools across Canada. I truly love working with people. I thrive around those with positive attitudes and believe you are more successful in life the more freely you give back. I enjoy planning and organizing events, matchmaking, working for the underprivileged, be that animals or folks needing a helping hand. One of my biggest joys is fostering dogs who need special attention and helping them to get back on their feet and find a forever, loving home where they will thrive.

Do you have any pets? No permanent pets, but I foster pets; I work with Dog Camp to help with dogs that need special care.

Favorite food: Cooking is not my forte, but I make a wicked peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Favorite restaurant:  I LOVE The Fish House….in five years I’ve never had a bad meal there and I like how small and homey it is.

Favorite TV show: Who has time for TV?

Favorite Movie:  To Sir With Love

Favorite musician or musical group: You can’t beat old-time rock and roll! I love to sing along and I know all the lyrics! I like strong women like Tina Turner, Joni Mitchell, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Pink and Cher. As long as I can dance to it, I’m good!

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Aruba with its white baby-powder beaches, flamingos, crystal clear water, snorkeling, music, food, sun and casinos….what’s not to love?

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I would love to sail the Greek Islands or learn to cook in Tuscany!

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents? I’m a fantastic singer (in the shower) and can curl my tongue!

 

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Diomedes Gonzales

Your position/title with Animales and how long have you worked here?:  I am an Animal Collector mostly in the greater Dolega area - 13 years

How did you get started as a Collector?:  we had some neighborhood female dogs that needed to be spayed. I spoke with Lulu Borrell, and she told me how to contact Amigos de Animales.

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with Animales?: I help identify owners with cats and dogs that need to be sterilized and then I collect money from them (most of the time) and then help to coordinate with a driver to have them picked up and delivered to the clinic to get spayed and neutered. [Diomedes does not drive]

Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with Animales?: A lot of animals are suffering because they don’t have anyone to care for them.  The humane and important work that Amigos de Animales does helps to minimize the number of animals who are on the streets without proper care

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about yourself?:  I like to ride horses and walk through the jungle where there are little birds and animals to see. I was born and still live in the El Flor area, and I have a mother and brothers. I work at the Federal Mall.

Do you have any pets? I have two dogs and a cat.

Favorite TV show: I like to watch programs about animals on the Animal Planet channel.

Favorite musician or musical group: I enjoy romantic music by Leonardo Favio and Leo Dan. I also enjoy the music of Samy and Sandra Sandoval

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why? Cerro Punta for it’s cool weather and natural beauty.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Africa

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Leslie Sherling

Your position/title with AdA and how long have you worked here:  Secretary of Board; Recovery Supervisor - 7 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA?:  I assist as needed with the volunteers making sure to address any issues and/or concerns that may arise with their animals; I work primarily with the big dogs, helping to wake them up after surgery and supervision; I also return the cats and dogs to their owners/collectors after they have awoken.

 Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA?: It is a very necessary service that we provide.  Our town is a much better place to be when we don't have packs of dogs in the streets and starving animals that are suffering.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share and also answer questions below?  I am a gratefully retired Canadian from the beautiful province of British Columbia in the Vancouver area.  My new job is being an active volunteer for several great organizations such as AdA, Buenos Vecinos Boquete - where we pack food and deliver it to over 100 families each month; also Boquete Health and Hospice with the meals and the equipment teams; and if and when the Jazz and Blues festival gets going again....that is a real fun event to volunteer at!

 Do you have any pets?:  I have 3 beautiful rescue dogs - Sisi, Canela, and Lucy

Favorite food: I'm currently enjoying a lot of Greek Salad

 Favorite restaurant: That's a tough one!  Tres Scalini, the Fish House and Tacos Rudos

 Favorite TV shows: Master Chef

 Favorite movie:  Galaxy Quest

Favorite musician or musical group: Classic Rock such as the Eagles, Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?:  Luxor Egypt. The ancient wonders were amazing....it just felt magical.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?:  Africa

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?:  I'm a long distance runner - slow but steady! I've completed two full marathons and try to run two half marathon races each year.

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Rosa Raquel Martinez Serracin

Your position/title with AdA and how long have you worked here:  Appointment Coordinator - 1.5 years

Can you tell us a little bit more about what you do with AdA?: I am in charge of processing the requests for appointments, explaining what the procedures are to follow, helping people to register their pets, organizing the assistance of the veterinarians, and helping with check-in on the day of the clinic.

 Why would you encourage others to volunteer here with AdA?: I encourage more volunteers to join this great organization in order to help reduce the population of abandoned animals on the streets and give them a better quality of life.

So that we can get to know you better can you tell us anything about your background you would like to share and also answer questions below?   I currently work as a nurse in elderly care.  I am also a volunteer for the Panamanian Red Cross Boquete when a disaster occurs or assistance is needed to help people in the community.

 Do you have any pets?:  I have 4 rescued male dogs that are now part of my family and who I love very much.

Favorite food: Seafood and salads

 Favorite restaurant: La Posada Boqueteña

 Favorite TV shows: Pawn Stars

 Favorite movie:  Spider-Man

Favorite musician or musical group: Queen

What is one of your favorite places that you have visited and why?:  Here in Chiriquí, my favorite place is Playa la Gavilla, because it is a quiet place and I have enjoyed beautiful memories there with my family.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?: I would like to travel to Turkey.

Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share and/or hidden talents?:  I like to draw and paint, I am creative, organized and communicative.






Fundacion Amigos de los Animales (FADAB)
Global Bank Corp.
16-333-00033-4
Savings Account
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WELLS FARGO-please email Cary at Animalesdeboquete@gmail.com to get account #

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Text "give" or "donate" to this phone number. You will get a link to our donation page.
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