Who We Are

our mission

Our mission is to eliminate the preventable euthanasia of companion animals by offering High-Quality Low-Cost spay/neuter and wellness services, by supporting rescue, and promoting responsible pet ownership.


70,000 cats & dogs

Over 70,000 cats and dogs are born
EVERY DAY
in the United States.

10,000 people

About 10,000 people are born
EVERY DAY
in the United States.



At this rate there will NEVER be enough homes for them. Please, be part of the solution, spay/neuter all your pets and encourage your friends and relatives to do the same. H.O.P.E. is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization and depends entirely on donations from the public and from corporate sponsors and grants. EIN #26-2466638

Founder/ Former E.D. from 2010-2015
Madeleine Laird, HOPE for Animals founder and board member, was a Fort Wayne resident 1998-2015. Prior to founding HOPE for Animals, Madeleine was an active volunteer at Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control and served as President of Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control Commission. Madeleine’s dream was to help make the city of Fort Wayne a pet friendly place that provides low cost health care, spay/neuter and vaccination programs for pet parents, as well as a safe haven for homeless and abused pets. With the opening of the clinic, which provides low cost spay/neuter, part of her dream has come true. Now she hopes to decrease euthanasia in Northeast Indiana by educating the public on the importance of spay and neuter. Madeleine is married to Rob Laird and they share their home with their much loved morkie, Gracie.
Founder Emilie Beard, founder and former Vice-President of HOPE (2010-2016), has been an advocate for homeless animals since the 1950’s. She has volunteered at the FWACC shelter for several years and realized the need for a low cost spay/neuter clinic and low cost vaccinations for many citizens of Fort Wayne during her time as an adoption counselor at the shelter. Her particular interest is in the feline population which is overwhelmingly in need of help in our area. She is currently the director of EB Rehoming for feline adoptions. And coordinates adoptions through the Petco habitat in the Fort Wayne store.
Vice President/Founder

Melissa McKown, founder and Board President for HOPE for Animals is employed by Parkview Health System as Director of Business Development for Parkview Total Health. She received her MBA in Business Management/ Entrepreneurship in 1999, from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California. Melissa has a thirteen year old daughter, Taylor, and is married to Brent McKown. The family adopted a boxer named Zoey in 2010, and their Pit Bull, Kane (named after Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks) in 2012. In 2015, they adopted their second Pit Bull from Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition, Wrigley.  The dogs and family share the house with a cat named Alex.Together, the family is making it their mission to save animals in Northeast Indiana.

Our Founders


Our Executive Committee / Board Members

Board President
Mike DeFreeuw, Board President, has been an active volunteer throughout Fort Wayne since moving here in 1980. He brings a solid background in marketing and communications to the H.O.P.E. board of directors as he has been the Director of Marketing and Communications at Northeastern REMC since 1987.
Two of Mikes’ biggest passions are children and animals. For over 10 years Mike served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, being a voice for abused and neglected children in the court system. He has also been a very active volunteer for the Allen County SPCA, where he served the maximum allowed number of elected terms to their board of directors. During that time he was elected President of the Board twice, led the marketing and events committee and helped establish two of their largest fundraisers to date – The Northern Indiana Pet Expo and Catwalk. Mike also volunteers on the marketing/events committee for the Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry and is on the advisory board for the Great Lakes Westie Rescue. And until recently, Mike served as Chairman of the Board for the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce.
Mike and his wife Patti currently share their hearts and home with two Scotties – Brody and Maddie.
Vice President/Founder

Melissa McKown, founder and former Board President from 2010-2016 for HOPE for Animals, is employed by Parkview Health System as Director of Business Development for Parkview Total Health. She received her MBA in Business Management/ Entrepreneurship in 1999, from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

Melissa has a thirteen year old daughter, Taylor, and is married to Brent McKown. The family adopted a boxer named Zoey in 2010, and their Pit Bull, Kane (named after Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks) in 2012. In 2015, they adopted their second Pit Bull from Fort Wayne Pit Bull Coalition, Wrigley.  The dogs and family share the house with a cat named Alex.

Together, the family is making it their mission to save animals in Northeast Indiana.

Treasurer
Lisa joined H.O.P.E.’s board in Fall 2011 and is employed as a Certified Public Accountant at Baden Gage & Schroeder LLC, specializing in audits of non-profit entities, manufacturing & employee retirement plans.  She is a life-long animal lover and has had a wide variety of pets over the years. Lisa lives with her husband, Jon, step-son, Logan, daughter Layla,  and her family’s much loved cat, Jack Frost. She learned of H.O.P.E through a co-worker and is honored to be able to help reduce unnecessary euthanasia in her community and promote pet adoption.
Secretary

SONY DSC

Patt Kite is a retired Allen County Police Officer having served for 31 years. She has been an investigator for the Allen County Coroner’s office for 10 years, still serving the community. She became involved with Emilie Beard’s rescue efforts in 2009, when they met at an adoption event, and in 2010, joined the H.O.P.E. for Animals Board of Directors. She took a break from H.O.P.E. and has returned to the Board with enthusiasm and committment to help our community reduce the population of unwanted cats and dogs and prevent unneccessary euthanasia of companion animals. Patt has been an animal lover her entire life, and has served on several animal rescue and welfare boards. She lives with her husband and her “cat kids” Harley, Eva, Hilton, Hyatt, Hampton, Emilie, Pretty Boy Floyd, Baby Face Nelson, and Brady. Never a dull moment at the Kite household!

Board Members



Ken Scheibenberger served Fort Wayne and Allen County for 20 years as an Allen Superior Court Judge. His career on the bench began in 1991 when he was appointed by Governor Evan Bayh. While serving his community, Scheibenberger helped found the drug court, as well as a program targeting high-risk probationers.

He became involved with H.O.P.E. for Animals when he joined the Board of Directors in 2011. Ken felt the need to help H.O.P.E.’s mission when he realized how many animals were being euthanized unnecessarily.

Lindsay board pictureLindsay is a practicing attorney in Fort Wayne, Indiana and the surrounding areas. She practices law at Franklin Law and focuses in the area of family law.

She served as President of the Animal Law Society while in law school in Boston, where she helped campaign to ultimately end Greyhound racing in Massachusetts. She has rescue animals of her own and is dedicated to promoting animal welfare and fighting for animal rights. Lindsay joined the H.O.P.E. board in 2011.

Lindsay enjoys spending time with her husband, new baby, her 2 cats and dog.

Terah Brogan

Terah is in her 29th year as a teacher for Fort Wayne Community Schools. She has taught math, language arts, and physical education. She has also been a coach for volleyball, track, basketball and cheerleading, and held numerous leadership roles within education.

Besides education, Terah is alo very involved in animal welfare. She has volunteered and fostered animals with the Allen County SPCA for over 15 years, and has volunteered at events for H.O.P.E. ever the last year as well.

Terah has lived in Fort Wayne her entire life, and is a graduate of Snider High School. She received her Bachelors Degree from Indiana University Bloomington, and her Masters through IPFW. While she does not have any human children, she does share her home with 3 dogs and 4 cats — all of them were rescue animals.

 
 
 

our staff members

Allison Miller, M.S., B.S., A.S., Director: amiller@hfafw.org
Tanya Gallo, A.S., Clinic Operations Manager: tgallo@hfafw.org
Tyna Reiter, B.S., A.S. Community Outreach Coordinator: mreiter@hfafw.org
Dr. Carol Fretz, DVM, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Kendra JiannuzziDVM,  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Nicci Mendoza, RVT, Office Administrator
Janie Vorndran, RVT Registered Veterinary Technician – Surgery
Melissa Hasch, RVT Registered Veterinary Technician – Surgery
Brittney Clark, RVT Registered Veterinary Technician – Surgery
Christen Polomchak, RVT Registered Veterinary Technician – Surgery
Barbara Wanley, RVT Registered Veterinary Technician – Wellness
Emily Gage, Veterinary Assistant
Becky Holden, Transport Driver & Veterinary Assistant
Leslie Larimore, Transport Drive & Wellness Assistant
Jenn Cherry, Community Cat Coordinator: hopecommunitycats@hfafw.org
Jan Goings, P/T Surgery Receptionist
Caitlin Lothamer, F/T Surgery Receptionist (and Veterinary Assistant)
Cindy Brown, B.S., A.S., F/T Wellness Receptionist
Jason Redwanski, Maintenance
April 30, 2016 H.O.P.E for Animals lost a valued team member, Madison Clark. Her smile, her huge heart, and contagious positive attitude will never be forgotten. R.I.P. Madison