Board of Directors
Maggie and her husband adopted a deaf pit bull type dog, Lola, from the Monmouth County SPCA when she was 6 months old. While anticipating encountering some challenges related to Lola’s disability, Maggie was ill-prepared for the stigma often associated with owning a pit bull type dog. That’s why when Lola started to become increasingly fear-reactive, Maggie and Mike knew they had to enlist the help of qualified professionals. While Maggie relentlessly networked and schooled herself about dog behavior to help Lola overcome her challenges, she started the Monmouth County Underdogs Meetup group so local dog owners like herself could safely socialize their dogs in a judgment-free environment. She committed to promoting and educating the public about reward based training as a way to help dog owners create positive relationships with their own pets.
Maggie briefly served on the Board of a local rescue and blogs about various topics related to dog ownership. Professionally, she is a 5th grade special education teacher and created the “PALS with PAWS” Therapy Dog program which provided academic enrichment for her school’s students for two years. Outside of school Maggie enjoys being the Social Media/Marketing Manager for a local doggie daycare facility. She earned her Ed.M. from Rutgers University in Educational Administration & Policy, and her M.A. from New York University in Educational Leadership. In her free time she enjoys playing in a dart league with her husband.
Dogs have been part of Brian’s life since age 10 when his family added their first dog, Freckles, to their lives. Early in life, Brian recognized the unique bond between dogs and people and quickly realized the special way in which dog’s enrich our lives. Brian shares is life with his wife Michelle and their two dog’s Bella and River. Bella, was rescued in 2008. She was a 14 week old American Pit Bull Terrier who was born at the shelter as one of just two puppies in her litter. Bella’s Mom had been found tied to a tree, malnourished, and pregnant. River, adopted in 2010, was a stray found on the streets of a local town at a young age. Bella’s and River’s rough starts in life would present training and socialization challenges that would prove trying at times.
Being the first dog, Bella set the stage for Brian’s desire to learn more about dog training and behavior. He expanded his knowledge base by working with positive reinforcement trainers, reading, and attending seminars. In addition, Brian has spent time in shelters as a volunteer and focusing on dogs that need extra care and handling. In 2010, Brian started to explore various ways to socialize Bella with other dogs in a safe environment and ultimately teamed up w the Monmouth County Underdogs Meetup Group in 2011. Brian enjoys the opportunity the group presents to help other dog owners and their dogs.
Professionally, Brian is a Sr. Account Manager for a business process outsourcing company, focused on printed communications, where he is responsible for managing and growing strategic customer partnerships. His responsibilities are diverse and include driving revenue, managing costs, and leveraging internal and external resources to deliver results to clients. Brian is co-owner of Simply Photography, LLC and is also part of the team that leads the Monmouth County Underdogs Meetup Group.
Secretary, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Michelle Orr Motzenbecker owns and operates Time To Go Pet Care LLC, a dog walking and pet sitting company servicing the greater Red Bank, NJ area. She is a professionally certified dog walker, graduating from the Dogtec Dog Walking Academy in 2010. As a Dog Walking Academy graduate, Michelle has been trained in the understanding of canine behavior, pack management techniques, leash handling skills, and fight prevention and protocols. In 2011, Michelle added to her knowledge of animal care and behavior by passing the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ exam and became a certified pet sitter.
Recognizing the value of ongoing professional development to remain abreast of current research and practices, Michelle has earned 19 additional CPDT credits and is certified in canine and feline first aid and CPR. Michelle spent time as a volunteer dog walker at both the Monmouth County SPCA and the Tinton Falls Associated Humane Society. Michelle, a lifelong resident of Monmouth County, and her husband Brian share their home with Fred the cat, and River and Bella, both American Pit Bull Terriers.
Director of Fundraising & Events, Grants Coordinator
Susan comes from a family who always helped neighborhood animals; whether it was taking in stray dogs that followed her home from school, or caring for friendly stray neighborhood cats. Growing up helping with the family pets made fostering and later adopting the next logical step. After years of fostering, Sue and her boyfriend Cris rescued a white bully mix with a heart of gold. Lily comes as a new addition to their four-legged boys, Peanut and Scruffy.
While an average animal enthusiast would stop at rescue, after achieving her Masters in Biomedical Science from UMDNJ, Sue is pursuing a career as a veterinarian and will be applying to several veterinary schools this fall. In the meantime, Sue co-founded a local rescue that successfully placed over 70 dogs that were pulled from high kill shelters. She spends most weekends at adoption events with local rescues and is a member of the Monmouth County Animal Response Team, all while working as a Veterinary Assistant at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital. On her days off, Susan can be found on long walks with her dogs or helping to feed the penguins at Jenkinson’s Aquarium where she is a volunteer.
Director of Technology
Cris grew up wanting a dog, and he made that dream come true in 2005 when he brought home his long-haired Chihuahua Peanut. One dog turned into two with the addition of Scruffy, a Yorkie who quickly became Peanut’s best friend. Chris’s latest addition to his family is Lily, a rescued Terrier mix from South Carolina.
Cris has been an integral part of several local rescue groups beginning as a foster for Castle of Dreams in 2009. Cris and his girlfriend Susan have successfully fostered over twenty dogs, placing each into loving homes. Cris served as a board member for a short period of time with another local rescue and currently volunteers at adoption events with Husky House Rescue. Cris strives to be hands on in helping local dogs in need of homes find their perfect fit. By day, Cris is a systems engineer for a financial firm in New York City. He is also the co-owner of “Simply Photography” and enjoys spending his free time volunteering with Brian to take pictures for local rescues and non-profit organizations. In addition to photography, Cris loves to cook and can often be found in the kitchen with three sets of eyes just waiting for him to drop something!