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We encourage all of our volunteers, board members, officers and staff to develop the following skills in order to help Pets Return Home exceed its mission, vision and goals.
Strategic thinker, Relationship builder, Collaborative decision-maker, Effective communicator, & Inspiring motivator
High integrity, Adaptable/Agile, Perseverant/Patient, Interpersonal sensitivity, & Passionate about the mission
Financial acumen, Deep animal-welfare-community knowledge, Understanding & valuing diversity, & Canine Behavior & Care
Mark & Roxie
About Mark Happe
Mark is co-founder of Pets Return Home.
As a young boy in summer camp, Mark developed his deep compassion for dogs when he found an abandoned litter of 12 puppies. With the help of camp counselors, he nursed the pups to health so they ultimately found good homes.
In 1980, Mark began his journey as a search and rescue expert. While he was leading trail hikes, a hiker lost her dog. For two weeks, Mark camped out, searched, and finally located the extremely hungry pet. He returned the dog to the owner and vividly remembers her joyful tears.
In the mid 80’s, Mark heard through a connection about the horrible abuse that occurs in dog fighting. Reluctant fighting dogs are often killed by their owners if they are not “competitive” in the “sport.” Mark developed an alternative solution. Any dog unwilling or unable to fight would be taken under Mark’s care. For eight years, while working full time and attending college, Mark attended to, trained and re-homed more than 20 abused, “unadoptable” pit bull dogs.
In the late 90’s, Mark traveled to India and saw the horrific slaughter of more than 100 stray dogs by “animal control professionals”. Mark reaffirmed his commitment to rescuing dogs.
Director of Search and Rescue
In the last 25 years, Mark has tracked dogs in extreme temperatures and for months at a time. He has reunited more than 200 dogs with their families. He has recruited a group of animal search and rescue members, known as the Animal Search and Rescue Team (ASART). This team incorporates the same methods to find lost animals as the military, police and search and rescue teams use. Mark is creator and primary instructor of training programs that are replicated across the country to reunite lost dogs with their families.
Lead Behavioral Modification Professional
The Board and Train program is a simple, yet effective way to eliminate the unnecessary euthanasia of canines due to lack of knowledge.
In his spare time, Mark takes goats, horses and dogs on cross species hikes and camping trips in the desert and canyon areas outside his ranch.
“Enabling animals and humans to survive in harmony; not for profit, but for mutual compassion for all living things.” ~Mark Happe
Director of Medical Care and Physical Therapy
Kelly applies her education, training and experience to provide rescue canines with appropriate medical and rehabilitative treatment. She is currently pursuing a certificate in canine rehabilitation through the University of Tennessee Canine Rehabilitation Certificate Program. Medical care for our convalescence patients is supervised by licensed veterinarians. Kelly’s mission is to make Pets Return Home the premier convalescence and rehabilitation facility for canines, with exclusive focus on those with the greatest need. Excellent care paired with efficiency guide our efforts, allowing for long term relationships with established rescue organizations.
Tucker – Board and Train Ambassador
Hi, I’m Tucker. I’m a Sharpei and Labrador mix (Sharbador). I’m so lucky. I was once on the list for euthanasia at the local animal control facility because I needed eye surgery for an ingrown eyelash. Fortunately, I was able to hook up with Pets Return Home. I’m sort of an expert here and I meet each new dog to see if they are overtly dog-on-dog aggressive. If the dog is, I just turn my back on him and walk away. I make sure there’s no fighting and the behavior specialists here note how the other dog reacts.
Turbo – Play Activity Director
Hi, I’m Turbo. I’m a Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog adopted from the local shelter. My job at Pets Return Home is to engage new dogs in play when they arrive. I’m pretty submissive and I can usually get even the grumpiest guests to play when I lie on my back.
Roxie – Sergeant at Arms; Puppy Management
Roxie here. I’m a Blue Pit Bull. I’ve had six litters in my three years at the scary puppy mill. I’m the primary alpha canine at the facility, and they tell me I offer outstanding correction skills in the Puppy IQ program. I really enjoy playing with all the dogs at Pets Return Home. I just won’t tolerate dog-on-dog aggressiveness.
The primary purposes of the board of directors are to ensure Pets Return Home is on track to meeting our goals and craft policies in support of our goals. We have two distinct operating teams at Pets Return Home: the board of directors, which determines our policies and plans, and our leaders. staff and volunteers, which carry out the plans and implements policies.
Served the semiconductor equipment industry for over 30 years in engineering and management. For 19 years he was a partner of a successful manufacturers’ representative organization importing technology from Asia. Using an engineering driven sales model, Michael brought products from market introduction to market leader.
Mark Happe has 30+ years’ experience solving business problems in the telecommunications, information technology, real estate, finance, and adventure tourism industries. His past roles include general manager, international business development manager, product manager and sales engineer. In these positions, he has shown an exceptional aptitude to rapidly grasp complex subjects and identify, translate and deliver the critical concepts to diverse audiences. By implementing instructional design methods, Mark creates learning programs that improve group performance and operational efficiency. Mark is known for building consensus, promoting positive change and implementing best practices to reach optimal and sustainable solutions. Mark is co-founder of Pets Return Home, and along with co-founder Kelly Hughes is currently responsible for its operations. He has been a human & pet search and rescue (SAR) expert since 1986 and a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) since 1982. Mark holds advanced degrees in Electrical Engineering, Physics and Business Development.
Kelly has an undergraduate degree in business and a Doctorate in physical therapy. She has worked in non-profit management, event planning, and currently works as a physical therapist (for humans) at a local hospital.
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