Jo-Anne Dixon DVM
Executive Director/ Medical Director
Dr. Jo-Anne Dixon is a 1997 graduate of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation she began her work in private practice at the Sun Valley Animal Center, here in the Wood River Valley, where she practiced for nine years. While in practice she began volunteering at the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley, providing medical care for the homeless animals there. In 2006 she became the Shelter’s first Medical Director and then in 2007 added Executive Director to her title.
Jo-Anne has been an active volunteer for the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association, volunteering as a trail veterinarian for the Iditarod as well as the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse Yukon Territories in Canada. She is a member of both the Idaho and Washington Veterinary Medical Associations and a licensed veterinarian in good standing in both states. She has been a member of the Idaho Board of Veterinary Medicine task force since 2008, helping shelters across the state to practice humane veterinary care.
Jo-Anne is proud to live in a community that cares enough about the welfare of its animals to have a locally funded non-profit no-kill animal shelter. Seeing the exciting advances in sheltering practices as well as shelter medicine, she is committed to having the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley continue to be a leader in animal sheltering and animal welfare as well as a model shelter for the state.
Jo-Anne feels that the most rewarding part of her about her job is knowing that she is making a real difference not only by giving a voice to the homeless animals in our community but also in how the Shelter’s work touches and strengthens our community. She lives in Hailey with her husband James, their six-year-old twins, Per and Signe, their two sled dogs, JJ and Humpy, her horse, Eli, and Flapjack the cat.
Operations Manager/Veterinary Technician
Nadia Novik first became interested in the world of animal welfare after she adopted her first dog, Montana, from a shelter in Pennsylvania. After becoming a Certified Veterinary Technician, a vet tech job opened up at the Animal Shelter, and Nadia jumped at the chance to be more involved with homeless animals in our community.
In 2007, Nadia moved back to New York to work at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Shelter Medicine Program. She gained more experience at the SPCA of Tompkins County, before she returned to Idaho and resumed her role as Veterinary Technician, in addition to taking on the Operations Manager position.
Since 2009, Nadia has been working to improve the quality of life for the dogs and cats in the Shelter, implementing behavior modification programs, marketing adoptable animals, managing staff and volunteers, and creating new events and programs like the Furry 6K. One of her main professional goals is to reduce the length of time that animals spend at the Shelter, waiting to be adopted and living with a chronic level of stress. For her, the most rewarding part of her job is watching a challenging dog respond to positive reinforcement training, become increasingly adoptable, and end up fitting perfectly with a family in a forever home.
Nadia has been getting back into three-day eventing with her horse, Kilkee and enjoys running with her dogs, Stella and Squirrel. She also spends time caring for her two chickens, Anastasia and Drizella, and meeting every need of her cat named Bunny.
After 17 years of experience with animals at the Sun Valley Animal Center, Robin Potts became the Shelter Manager at the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley in 2006. Robin has discovered through her years of working with animals that she is happiest in a position working both with pets and the people who care so much for them. As Shelter Manager, Robin’s primary responsibilities include overseeing day to day operations and coordinating community events and education both at the Shelter and out and about in the Valley.
Educating the public of all ages about animal welfare is an ongoing quest for Robin, and she is willing to frequently don the shelter mascot costume and become “Bernard” in order to achieve that goal, simultaneously entertaining and educating groups of school children. She ensures that there are regular educational opportunities and community outreach initiatives, as well as facilitating field trips to and events for the Shelter, and managing the incredibly popular Adam’s Gulch Hikin’ Buddies program.
Robin describes her position as Shelter Manager as “a roller coaster ride.” The sad moments, such as witnessing people surrendering their pets, are balanced by the peaks, like witnessing the relentless support of volunteers and the community, as well as being a part of so many successful adoptions.
Robin moved to Sun Valley with her husband, Terry, in 1985 from Cook City, Montana (population 75!). She lives mid-valley with Terry, their two children, Adam and Josie, their cat Humphrey and their dog Ida, both recently adopted from the Animal Shelter.
Director of Development & Communications/Finance Manager
Brooke Bonner has been involved with the Animal Shelter of Wood River Valley since 2007 when she was a member and secretary of the board of directors. She began her current position as Director of Development and Communications in January of 2011. In this position, Brooke nurtures relationships with the Animal Shelter’s supporters and encourages an understanding of the value and breadth of services the Shelter provides to the community.
Combined with her great love for animals and concern for their well-being, Brooke’s extensive experience with nonprofit organizations makes her invaluable in her position at the Animal Shelter. She was a member of the board of directors for The Hunger Coalition for 8 years, including 6 as president, and is the finance chair for the Little Black Dress Club of Wood River. Previously employed as the client services coordinator for the Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault for six years, she is still a volunteer sexual assault response team member. A self-proclaimed “wearer of many hats,” Bonner also is director and co-owner of Green Antelope Gallery in Bellevue.
A long-time local and Wood River High School alumna, Brooke graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology in 1997. She currently lives in Bellevue with her husband, Kyle, and their three dogs (Sunka, Sneaker & Emerson) and four cats (Tommy Two-Toes, Elsa, Victoria Butterball, & Hula), all adopted either from the Shelter or as strays who were welcomed into the family.
OFFICE & SHELTER STAFF
Marketing & Development Assistant
A native of Massachusetts, Bekka now calls the Valley "Home" and is excited to join the ASWRV team as the Marketing and Development Assistant. Before moving here, Bekka worked as an office assistant/dog care technician at Glen Highland Farm - a border collie rescue in central New York. Here she discovered her passion for connecting and building relationships between people and animals. Working as the Marketing and Development Assistant, she hopes to cultivate a stronger bond between the Wood River Valley community and their adopted pets.
Bekka lives in Hailey with her adopted Heeler mix Cali. Here they enjoy running, hiking, yoga, and soaking up the Sun Valley sunshine!
Volunteer and Events Coordinator
A recent import from Nevada, Brittany brings a blast of enthusiasm, knowledge, and fresh ideas to the Animal Shelter from her previous job as Adoption Manager at the Nevada Humane Society. Brittany started at our Shelter as an Adoption Counselor in September 2011, and reorganized many of our adoption follow up procedures, instituted new, efficient filing methods, and contributed many marketing ideas for getting more of our residents adopted faster.
After working in the corporate and retail worlds, Brittany realized that she didn’t want to work somewhere just to get paid; she needed to find rewarding work that left her feeling satisfied at the end of the day, and that is when she started looking for work in animal welfare. Through her work here and at the Nevada Humane Society, she has discovered a passion for animal welfare, and is excited to be moving on in her new role as the Volunteer & Events Coordinator for the Animal Shelter.
Brittany lives in Ketchum with her husband, Nate, their two adopted dogs, Sunny and Bentley, and an adopted cat, Odin. Outside of work, she has been exploring many of the Valley’s popular hiking spots with her dogs and enjoying finding out about the many local, organic food options.
Dog Trainer, Temperament Evaluator and Adoption Counselor
Hillary Hayward, a PetSmart accredited dog trainer is the canine temperament evaluator, adoption counselor, and dog trainer at the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley. She grew up in the Wood River Valley and joined the Shelter team when she returned to the area in 2008.
When dogs arrive at the Shelter, Hillary is the primary temperament evaluator, determining what, if any, skills the dogs need to work on to be more adoptable, and what type of home might be the best fit for each animal. She then works to design and implement individual training plans for each dog, utilizing positive reinforcement training. She conducts training classes for the public, works one on one with most of the Shelter dogs, and is helpful in counseling potential adopters about finding new family members and training them to be a perfect fit.
Hillary’s interest in dog training began when she got her pug, Abbey, in 2006 while living in California. She took Abbey to a class as a puppy and found that she had a natural interest and knack for dog training. The pet training classes offered through the Shelter are one of Hillary’s favorite parts of her job, because she can see improvement in the animals and more confidence in the owners even after one session.
Hillary lives in Bellevue with her husband Chad, her pug, Abbey, her Animal Shelter heeler mix, Darlin’ and their newest addition, Mac, a 6 year old Boston Terrier from the Idaho Falls shelter.
Adoption Counselor, Dog Trainer, Maintenance/Safety Manager
Fascinated by other cultures and regions, Sabine Muskari spent a large part of her adult life exploring the world. But she felt she had finally landed where she belonged when she started working at the Animal Shelter in 2001. Sabine was raised in Austria, graduating from business school in Villach, Austria in 1979. She spent the next 15 years traveling, taking on a variety of jobs, including nanny, waitress, and jewelry salesperson. Today, Sabine is a dog trainer, adoption counselor, and maintenance & safety manager at the Shelter.
While Sabine loves each of her positions for the variety they bring to her work, her favorite is working with the animals. A well-trained animal is a more adoptable animal, and the most satisfying part of her job is seeing the animals “blossom” as she works with them. Throughout her time at the Shelter, she has been committed to furthering her knowledge of reward–based dog training and canine behavior, through hands-on work with Shelter dogs, books and videos, as well as through training courses with Best Friends Animal Society, American Humane Society, Animal Alliances, and the HSUS, among others.
Sabine lives in Hailey with her dog, Bugsy, whom she adopted from the Shelter eight years ago and with whom she loves to explore hiking trails all over the Wood River Valley. She also loves to garden, and the rest of the staff benefits from her generosity with her veggie garden’s bounty.
Rachel Sanker is the newest member of our office staff, helping with adoptions, marketing animals, and staffing the phone and front desk at the Shelter. Rachel was born in the Wood River Valley, but spent about 10 years in Boston. While living in Massachusetts, Rachel volunteered with the MSPCA, working with the animals and their spay/neuter clinics, deepening her lifelong interest in animal welfare. After graduating from Suffolk University in 2010, she moved back here and soon started volunteering for the Animal Shelter as a cat Pet Pal in November of 2011. Rachel was hired as an animal care provider in July of 2012, moved to being an adoption counselor in December of 2012, and soon thereafter started training to be a veterinary assistant as well, helping with the Shelter’s No Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic.
In addition to liking a work environment full of dogs and cats, Rachel particularly enjoys increasing her knowledge of both veterinary work and animal welfare, and sharing what she has learned about animals and their care by educating others. She loves how rewarding it can be to find an animal their forever home, and coordinates our adoption follow-up program, in order to ensure that adoptions continue to work for both the pet and the family. Rachel is most passionate about improving the lives of cats in the Shelter, and is continuously researching and implementing feline enrichment and stress reduction programs.
Rachel lives in Ketchum, and loves yoga, hiking, and spending time with her 17 year old cat, Buddha. Rachel has owned Buddha since he was about 3 weeks old, when she had to provide him round the clock bottle feeding; he has grown into a very handsome Siamese/Himalayan mix.
BARKIN' BASEMENT THRIFT STORE MANAGEMENT
Andrea moved back into the valley from, Phoenix Arizona after the birth of her first child. She knew she wanted to raise her family in our great community where they could flourish. After 8 months off work with her baby, she realized she needed to get back into the working world. She started working at the Barkin Basemet in 2007, was assistant manager in 2008, and manager since 2009.
Andrea has always had a passion and love for animals but could not work with them directly or would have to own a farm. She feels the Barkin Basement is the perfect fit for her. She loves knowing her knowledge of sales and ability to manage a fast-paced environment are going to help the animals!
She has enhanced the Barkin Basements community involvement and tries to give back to the wonderful valley that has given so much to our cause.
Andrea lives in Woodside with her husband Eric, son Lochlain, and daughter Freya Parker. They share their home with many furry friends including cat Izzy, and dog Dixie - both recently adopted form the Shelter. She enjoys camping, fishing, hiking, and spending time with the family.