United Animal Friends Board of Directors

UAF owes an enormous debt of gratitude to its highly committed board of directors. These individuals, who give so generously of their time and money, also share their invaluable resources, skills and talents with UAF.


Joellyn Nusbaum

Joellyn is a dedicated animal rescuer who has volunteered full time with United Animal Friends since 2005 and has served on the Board of Directors since 2008. She is a hands-on person and works in all aspects of the organization including marketing and fundraising, evaluating intake animals, matching foster parents and foster dogs, facilitating adoptions, mentoring volunteers and coordinating social media. At present, Joellyn shares her home with her seven dogs and very supportive husband Roger.


Stephanie Pound Whetten

After being an airline pilot for 28 years, Stephanie was able to retire and pursue her passion of dogs and rescue.  She served on the board of directors at the Central Arizona Humane Society in Payson prior to moving to Prescott, where she volunteers with United Animal Friends, Luv Mutts Therapy Dogs, and Good Samaritan Hospice.  Stephanie and her husband share their home with their registered therapy Dachshunds, two Great Pyrenees, several goats, and the many dogs and puppies they foster.

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Mary Naismith

Mary volunteered with the Atlanta Humane Society taking puppies to nursing homes prior to moving to Prescott.  She began volunteering for United Animal Friends as a handler at adoption events, and since then she has gotten involved in other aspects of UAF - fostering, washing dogs, working at the rummage sale, writing grants, etc.  Mary has had a varied career as an attorney, non-profit executive director, and technical writer.  She and her husband, John, have two beloved fur babies - Sidney (Lab/Chow mix), a stray who came to their door one night, and Zara (Bearded Collie/Scottish Deerhound mix), their UAF foster that they adopted.

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Suzy Ball

Suzy joined United Animal Friends in 2011 when she was looking for a kitten.  She found her kitten hanging on the cage with her mother and siblings behind her; however, she needed a foster so Suzy started fostering that day.  Suzy is now UAF's Cat Coordinator and fosters very ill and hospice animals.  She is passionate about assisting all animals and finding homes for them or helping them when they are ill and just need plain old TLC. 

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Mike Branigan

Mike is the Owner-Operator of Run-A-Muk, Arizona's premier dog and cat pet resort located in Prescott.  After graduating USC, he spent most of his adult life working in the hospitality business and serving on multiple non-profit committees including Children's Hospital of Orange County, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and MDA, raising $1 million.  Today, working with the incredible volunteers of UAF, his goal is to make a difference in the lives of animals who need a second chance.

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Mary Cannon

Mary is a retired lawyer who joined United Animal Friends in 2017 after moving to Prescott from San Diego.  While living in San Diego, she fostered dogs for Aussie Rescue of San Diego.  She became a certified Tellington TTouch Practitioner, CA-1, in 2011 after three years of training.  In addition to fostering dogs for UAF, Mary will also assist in writing grants.  Mary and her husband, Paul, have four dogs, Rusty, Cheyenne, Honey and Dora and two cats, Moe and Murray.

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Jeanne Fletcher

Jeanne has been involved in animal rescue for over 20 years as an independent rescuer and volunteer with A Forever Home Rescue Foundation, HART of Fairfax County, Hedgesville Hounds, All Pets Rescue, Capital Area Rescue Resource Transport, Yavapai Humane Society and United Animal Friends. She also volunteers with Prescott Hungry Kids Program and Animal Disaster Services. Jeanne says, “I am proud of the strides UAF has made in the Prescott community with respect to animal welfare education and rescue since its inception."

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Debbie Oberle

Debbie first started in rescue by fostering in Michigan in 1989.  Since then she has been in many roles, including volunteer President of the Humane Society of Livingston County and the Director of the Livingston County Animal Control and Shelter, both in Michigan.  After a corporate career in sales, marketing and management, she and her husband semi-retired and moved to Prescott in 2015.  Their home had always been full of dogs and cats - foster pets awaiting adoption and, of course, those fosters that became permanent family members.  They currently have one dog and two cats.

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 Kitty Shankwitz

Kitty was born and raised in Phoenix, growing up with animals. Her mother began cat rescue in the early 70's, where Kitty saw firsthand the passion, heartbreak and joy in the rescue world.  She began a career with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (Highway Patrol) when she was 17 and retired in 2016.  Her husband retired from the same agency and they moved to Prescott.  Wanting to help in the animal world, she began volunteering for NOAH Thrift Store, becoming a board member and president.  Kitty joined the United Animal Friends Board of Directors in 2019.  She is the proud mother of one son and grandmother of three granddaughters, who already have great love and compassion for animals.


Board Member Position Description 
Board members have the following governance responsibilities:
Duty of Care – take reasonable care when making decisions
Duty of Loyalty – act in the best interest of the organization
Duty of Obedience – act in the accordance with the organization’s mission

1. Annually review the organization’s mission and vision.
2. Oversee and monitor operation of the organization.
3. Create, document, and review policies and procedures.
4. Ensure effective planning.
    a. Review results compared with the organization’s annual and long-range goals.
5. Ensure adequate financial resources.
    a. Approve an annual budget.
6. Protect assets and provide proper financial oversight.
7. Ensure legal and ethical integrity.
    a. Complete and abide by conflicts of interest and disclosure policies.
8. Support the organization in terms of time, talents and finances.
9. Build a competent board by:
    a. Actively participate in board meetings, committees, retreats/training, events and fundraisers.
    b. Establish annual goals and objectives for the board.
    c. Participate in the review of board performance and assist in determining steps to improve.
    d. Propose prospective directors to members so vacancies can be filled as needed.
    e. Provide candid and constructive criticism advice and comments.
10. Enhance the organization’s public standing.
11. Review and approve all major contracts and grant proposals.

 If you are interested in applying for a board position, please send an inquiry by clicking here.