KPA! Leadership

KPA Leadership

Kerrville Pets Alive! is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving the lives of homeless pets in Kerr County, Texas. Kerrville Pets Alive! Works to keep pets in homes and out shelters by assisting Kerr County Animal Services with funding and volunteers and providing animal welfare resources to the Kerr County community.

Since the formation of KPA!, there has been a substantial decrease in the number of pets euthanized in Kerr County.

Our KPA! Board Members serve without compensation. We are a nonprofit that is 100% volunteer-run, and every dollar donated helps save animals’ lives right in our community. 

KPA! Board of Directors

Karen G.

Karen Guerriero


Karen, her husband Layng and three children, 23, 20 and 18, moved to Kerrville from Houston 10 years ago. She has been an animal lover her entire life and involved herself in animal welfare activities in Houston following her 8-year career with the United States Attorney's Office as their Public Information Officer. After settling in Kerrville, Karen began to volunteer at Kerr County Animal Services. She also served various KISD PTO organizations, as a Director for Kerr County United Way and Chairman of the Kerrville 2050 River Corridor and Parks and Open Spaces Committee. In 2019, Karen joined forces with other animal advocates to form Kerrville Pets Alive!. Since then, she has been working with others to make Kerr County a better place for people and their pets.

Karen's four-legged family includes 2 dogs, Rusty and Prince and 2 cats, Big Kitty and Tesha. They are all rescues, and both cats are KCAS alumni.

Brenda Hughes

Brenda Hughes

Vice President
Brenda Hughes is a local 30-year business owner who is a founding member and current Vice-President of KPA! Brenda and her husband, Buzzie, own a restaurant in Kerrville and have raised four children who continue to reside and work their professional careers in Kerr County with their 15 grandchildren. Brenda is serving her second term as Place 4 councilmember on Kerrville’s City Council.

Wendy Grona

Wendy Grona

Coming soon.

Bre Larsen

Breanna (Bre) Larsen


Breanna (Bre) Larsen is a native Houstonian who found her way to the Texas Hill Country after college. She’s lived and worked in Kerrville and surrounding areas for the past six years in medical device sales, marketing and public relations. She is a member of Leadership Kerr County Class #35, previously served on the Leadership Kerr County Steering Committee and is a recipient of an 40 Under 40 Award presented by the Kerr EDC.

She enjoys giving her time at the local animal shelter as well as serving as a Hunt School Mentor to her favorite fourth grader. She is a four-year board member of Hill Country Charity Ball and acting First Vice President. She is a third-year, founding board member of Kerrville Pets Alive and is our current secretary.

In her spare time, Bre loves reading, dancing, hiking through Texas State parks, taking naps with her dog, Belly, exploring the eateries and wineries of the Hill Country and spending time with her friends and family.

Melissa Downs

Melissa Downs

Melissa Kohls Downs is a Natchitoches, Louisiana native, but has a long family history in the Texas Hill Country. Her families were integral parts of establishing Sisterdale and Comfort in the 1840s and 1850s. She graduated with a B.A. in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University and went on to earn her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2008. She found a passion working with adult and geriatric patients in medical settings and practiced in Boston, San Antonio, Little Rock, and New Orleans before settling in Kerrville, Texas in 2019. She retired from Speech Pathology in May 2021 due to compassion fatigue and shifted her focus to snuggling dogs and cats full time.

She began as a volunteer, mainly with dog socialization, at the Hill Country SPCA (HCSPCA) in Fredericksburg in 2019. She and her husband, Andrew, started fostering for the HCSPCA after a hoarding situation landed “The 23” at the shelter. She now fosters mostly medically-complex pets until they are well enough to go up for adoption. In January 2020, she was asked to serve on the Board of Directors and later became the Vice President in 2021 and President/Interim Executive Director in 2022. Melissa enjoys storytelling of all the furry souls through her various grant writing experiences.

Melissa is an avid runner with 1 marathon and a dozen half marathons under her belt. She enjoys traveling with her husband and hopes to one day see the beauty of Banff, Canada. She and Andrew are servants to their 11 four-legged rescue children: Hazel, Violet, Lucy, Tilly, Drax, Spider-Man, Jaybird, Slytherin, Tripp, Luke, and Oreo.

Gayle Haney

Gayle Haney

Gayle has a wealth of animal experience and has been an advocate for the humane treatment of wildlife and domestic animals for decades.

Her professional experience includes 36 years in law as a legal secretary, legal assistant, and paralegal in criminal and family law.

Gayle has a Masters in Counseling and she worked 10 years with severely emotionally disturbed children and adults. She has also worked for 6 years with Intellectually Developmentally Disabled children and adults and served as a CPS investigator for 7 years.

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson

Worked as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for 31 years. Served in Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq, in charge of Anesthesia Services for the 912th MASH unit (last MASH to serve!) Own and operate Karen Johnson Imaging - digital media services. Have had dogs since I was 5 years old, and presently have a rescue Newfoundland, a Malinois (Ag Barn) and a Lab/Pit puppy (street dog from San Antonio). Married to another dog lover, John, who also served with me during the Gulf War as an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon. Had one son, who passed away from cancer, helping us make the decision to move from cold Missouri to Texas to retire to play golf and heal. ( Then, I met Karen G..... LOL) We live on 40 acres and love every minute on the ranch, and feel very lucky to live in Texas and volunteer for Kerrville Pets Alive!

Tara L.

Tara Legenza

Tara recently moved back to Texas after spending 20 years in Omaha, Nebraska and has not skipped a beat with her community involvement at Kerrville Pets Alive! as the Events and Volunteer Coordinator. Tara has always been surrounded by rescue animals and currently has four dogs, Nala (who is part of our Pup Squad), Tex, Sammy, and Henry as well as Fred the cat. She is also a wife and a mother of two, Addison 16, and Caleb 12, and is a local real estate agent. Finding homes for humans and shelter animals is her mantra!

Kaitlyn Rosenbaum

Kaitlyn Rosenbaum

I grew up in Houston, Tx and then went to school at A&M College Station where I completed my bachelor's, masters, and DVM degrees over the course of ten years. I volunteer my time as part of Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team and am the local advisor for Pet Peace of Mind. When I do get some free time, I like to go hiking. I also enjoy meteorology, astronomy, music, crafting, and all things Disney.

Shelly Sandy

Shelly Sandy

After a career working as a Financial Analyst for non-profit Universities Space Research Association and later as a DoD Cost Analyst, Shelly Sandy retired to Kerrville and quickly became involved in animal rescue efforts in Kerr County. Shelly is a founding KPA board member and serves as KPA’s Cat Rescue Coordinator; she also previously served as KPA's Treasurer from 2020-2022. When not working on cat placements and other KPA efforts, Shelly enjoys quilting, traveling, up-cycling vintage treasurers and spending time with her own kitty crew. Shelly and husband Jim hope that their efforts can make a positive, lasting impact on animal welfare in Kerr County.

Leslie Lopez

Leslie was born and raised in San Antonio but has lived in the Texas Hill Country since 1997. Graduated from Schreiner University in 2005 with a degree in Accounting and Information Systems. Leslie joined Davidson Freedle CPA in 2007. This is where her work with local non-profits began. She has volunteered with Relay For Life and served on the Board of Directors for Magdalene House and Hill Country Charity Ball Association. Leslie loves reading, traveling, dancing and spending time with friends, family and pets Sophie and Nala.

Contact us

Mailing Address
317 Sidney Baker S., Suite 400
PMB 345
Kerrville, Texas, 78028

Office Address
414 Clay Street
Kerrville, Texas 78028