Our Team

Supporting communities and their animals.

Joanne Caldwell

Living on the Traditional Territory of Tk’emlups Peoples (Kamloops)

Joanne has been involved in animal welfare and disaster animal management for over 25 years. She has organized in-field animal health clinics and is the primary contact for communities needing help. Before joining Spirit’s Mission, Joanne worked with various volunteer positions with the BC SPCA, and worked in community sustainability in Guatemala. Joanne has a background in HR, organizational development, and in executive positions with various levels of government and the private sector. Her post graduate studies included becoming a Certified Executive Coach. She is an Emergency Operations Coordinator, a Post Traumatic Stress Facilitator, and has delivered countless workshops, including teaching coaching skills for UBC’s faculty and staff.

Vicki McDonald

Living on the Traditional Territory of Snuneymuxw of the Coast Salish Peoples (Gabriola)

Growing up in Creston, BC, Vicki has shared her entire life with animals. Her first “official” introduction to animal rescue was her involvement with the Creston Pet Adoption & Welfare Society (PAWS) beginning in 1996. She fostered more than 100 dogs while working with PAWS and was president of the organization from 2001 – 2013 when she moved to Gabriola Island. It was through a PAWS rescue of 56 dogs chained to trees on the Kootenay Pass that she met Spirit’s Mission’s founder, Gail Moerkerken. As well as being a member of the board and treasurer for Spirit’s Mission, Vicki has participated with the Spirit’s Mission team in several spay/neuter and animal wellness clinics in underserved communities. She has experience in disaster animal rescue, and is a certified dog obedience trainer/instructor.

Linda Tyler

Living on the Traditional Territory of Qualicum Peoples (Qualicum Beach)

Linda has been volunteering with Spirit’s Mission Rescue Society since the day it was first founded by her dear friend in 2013. She is keenly interested in anything dog related and became a member of the Professional Animal Care and Training Association of BC in order to soak up as much knowledge as she could. She has volunteered at a remote First Nations animal wellness clinic in the past and recently completed training in working effectively with indigenous peoples. Linda and her husband have always had a soft spot for senior and special needs dogs having welcomed several into their family over the years. She enjoys spending time with her 2 rescue dogs, being outdoors in nature, and volunteering with a number of organizations including her local SPCA.

Dr. Stephen Curtis

Living on the Traditional Lands of the St’at’imc Nation (Seton Portage and Shalalth).

Steve grew up in Toronto where he worked in a veterinary hospital throughout high-school. He graduated from the University of Guelph in Ontario with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1982.
After graduating, he moved to Vancouver and owned a busy small animal practice for 15 years. After selling the practice he travelled extensively
visiting animal sanctuaries and rescue centres in Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar and several African nations.
Dr. Curtis was a volunteer at The Palm Springs Animal Shelter for three winters walking dogs (mostly bully breeds and chihuahuas!) and assisting in weekly spay and neuter clinics in charge of anesthesia and animal recovery.
Steve currently lives in Seton Portage, a small community located between Anderson and Seton Lakes, where he continues to help First Nations and non-indigenous people with their animal needs.

Katie Ernst

Dog Care Coordinator
Living on the Traditional Territory of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Peoples (East Vancouver)

Katie will be providing placement services from dogs brought down from the North and coordinating our Northern Rescue Network. She will also be providing food donations to Northern rescues, and under-served/isolated communities, for us.

Shelby Langelaan

Social Media/Communications Coordinator
Living on the Traditional Territory of Syilx Peoples (Kelowna)

Shelby will be providing her expertise to keep our website up to date and provide all media/announcements we have.

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