Individual commitment to a group effort—that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

- Vince Lombardi


JoanneJoanne Yates, President

PhD, MA in Rhetoric and Composition, Reading and Language Acquisition, Spanish

My inspiration comes from my dogs who have all been rescues. First Max, a tripod everyone admired for his courage and spirit; then Polly a sweet golden who touched people to their core. Sandy followed, a big loving boy who opened his heart to everyone, and now Rudy who loves children, reading and lots of treats. They have taught me how to live with purpose, and now my purpose is to help our animals as much as they help us.

GledaGlenda Ayres, Vice President

Business and Accounting

I became involved in volunteering to honor the memory of my parents. Both lived in a care home at the end of their lives, and I would visit them throughout the week, many times bringing my sweet Leo. I can tell you, the joy this little dog brought to not only my parents, but to the other residents touched me deeply. I now share Leo and his little brother, Koda with all ages at different facilities and events.

LoriLori Bowling, Treasurer

AA from San Francisco City College

I've been volunteering for various organizations for 18 years. 16 of those years were at Marine World which I really enjoyed because I love animals.

michelle luaMichelle Lua

Management and Teaching

I've had dogs all my life. After retiring from the Federal Government (with 30 years of management and teaching experience), I decided to devote more of my life to the things about which I'm passionate. So, naturally, I find myself spending more time with dogs. I have a retired racing greyhound, Whitney, who just loves to listen to children read to her. She doesn't mind the attention, either. I work in a classroom and at the RP library and spend one day a week at the 4Paws office.

RobinRobin Marshall

Handler/Canine Evaluator

Robin has served on the board and is our Handler/Canine Evaluator. For many years, he has been a puppy cuddler and puppy raiser for Bergin University for Canine Studies and has a keen sense of the relationship shared by handlers and their dogs. He takes Kasey to the Healdsburg Library and SSU events.

RobinSharon Marshall

ROP Mentor

Sharon, too, is a puppy cuddler and puppy raiser for Bergin University for Canine Studies. She has been with 4Paws since its beginning and has been integral in developing the ROP programs and our relationship with Sonoma State University. Kasey and she are regulars at SSU Stress-less Days, Super Kids Camp and the Healdsburg Library.

CrisCris Cohen

Trainer and Animal Lover

I grew up with all types of critters— dogs, cats, snakes, hamsters, fish, etc. But animals were absent during my teens and twenties. Then 12 years ago, dogs came back into our life, thanks to my partner, Jen. Since then, I have earned many certificates in dog behavior and training, continue to offer a foster home to many, many dogs, and have been volunteering with Jonny since 2008. I try my best not to forget to laugh, to always tell a bad joke, and never accept even a dime for helping owners train their critters. I believe if you can’t share what you have learned, then what good is it?

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paw print


girl reading to readers of the pack dog in library


Our goal as a 501(c)(3) non-profit is to have a center in Sonoma for our teams and community members, regardless of age, ability or cultural heritage. There will be open space to exercise our pets; opportunities to learn more about the animal/human bond and what that deep kinship can teach us; and eventually we will offer supplemental care for our aging pets and people through wellness and hospice programs.

Even if you don't have a dog, we welcome your interest in 4Paws. Perhaps you can lend a helping hand at an event, our canine/handler evaluations, social gatherings or fundraisers, and community programs.

Perhaps you have special skills or talents to help us reach out to more service groups, or to find the special place in Sonoma for our 4Paws Center.

If you would like to make the lives of pets and people a little better, please consider a donation of your time so that 4Paws can reach its goal. Join us by downloading the Volunteer Application and sending it to 4Paws, 5800 Commerce Blvd, Rohnert Park, CA 94928