Board of Directors

Advisory Council

Edie Sanders (President)
Sr. Director PMO, Data and Technology, Fortna

Michelle Toledo-Cañias (Vice President)
Coordinator, Resource for Increasing Safety and Connection

Allison Ritter (Treasurer)
CEO, Ritter Consulting LLC

Katie Kearney (Secretary)
Director, Solar Development, SolAmerica Energy

Carol Neal-Rossi 
President, Issues Consulting

Seslee Smith
Partner, Morris, Manning & Martin LLP

Josh Pitre
President, JP Signature Homes

Safiyyah O’Quinn
Product Marketing Manager, Sage Software

Kristen Nyhan
Social Media Manager, Delta Air Lines

Brittany Adams Pope
Faculty, University of Georgia

Jamie Bullock
Community Member

Arman Deganian
Partner, Litner + Deganian

Robin Peters
Senior Account Director, AVP Client Partnership, Ansira

Hailly Butler
Clinical Research Nurse Supervisor, Emory University

David Bressman, DVM
Associate Veterinarian, Crabapple Animal Hospital

Joey Brooks
Animal Cruelty Investigator, Gwinnett County

Christy Showalter
Director of Training, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Emily Christie
Founder, Ahimsa House

Christine Cox, Esq.

Paul Ebbs
Field Supervisor, Fulton County Animal Services

Maya Gupta, Ph.D.
Senior Director of Applied Research, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Annamarie Keck
Community Member

Hon. Shawn Ellen LaGrua
Superior Court Judge, Fulton County

Melinda Merck, DVM
Owner, Forensics Consulting, LLC

Merrie Rennard, LMSW
Ph.D. Fellow, Veterinary Social Work, University of Tennessee

Kelly Trogdon, DVM
Owner, Faithful Friend Mobile Veterinary Clinic

Stephen Walker
Owner, S. R. Walker Designs

Survivor Testimonies

A primary concern of Ahimsa House is to protect the anonymity of the victims we help. Because of the potential danger, we cannot show you the abused animals we take in every day. We cannot even tell you many of their stories for fear the abuser will track them down. This is one story we are able to share with you without fear of endangering anyone. Names have been changed to further protect anonymity.

Click here to learn more about the work of Ahimsa House

Michelle’s Story

I have been asked to share the story of my mom. However, I don’t know how to tell her story without also telling my own story. My parents were divorced when I was eight years old. My brother, our Chihuahua, Buttons, and I went back and forth between my parents houses for several years. My mom had a 10th grade education and found it hard to support herself and two children while working at fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. She eventually ended up marrying the person that would become our worst nightmare. We moved into a small trailer in Omega, GA with him and […]

Frances’ Story

It was just another normal night for “Frances;” she had finished reading her book and taken a shower before lying down in her bed to sleep. Her boyfriend was out with his friends drinking and she didn’t expect him to return home until early the next morning. Frances knew that he had always had a bad attitude and temper, and he had shoved her in the past. She is legally blind from glaucoma, but when she saw a light on near the front of the house, she knew something was wrong. When she got up to check, her boyfriend grabbed her by the neck and  […]

Diego’s Story

In the fall of 2013 we received a call from a woman who was escaping her abuser. She had an 18 week old puppy, Diego, that she did not want to leave behind both out of love for him and fear of what her abuser would do to him. After receiving her call we immediately placed him into a boarding facility that we had worked with previously. After 3 days he became completely unresponsive and was rushed to the emergency vet. His owner was told that the outlook was not good for him. She was heartbroken. […]

Toby’s Story

He viciously beat Mary and her three cats—again. Mary packed a bag, got into her car alone, and drove to a shelter for battered women. One big problem: pets weren’t allowed. After she left, her batterer picked up Toby, the tabby, and threw him from the balcony to the ground three stories below. That’s where he was when a neighbor found him. As gently as possible, she cradled his small body, taking him to her apartment and then gathered the other cats.

Meanwhile, Mary, who couldn’t bear to […]