Denise grew up on a farm in Iowa with animals in tow including raccoons, rabbits, 4-H calves, dogs and cats. A chance encounter with an injured Chow Chow several years ago grew into a love affair with the breed. The dog, Ching, was rehabbed and adopted by Denise. During the process of helping Ching through physical therapy, she became fascinated with the breed and began to rescue Chow Chows. “The long overdue formation of a 501(c)3 in Houston will enable Houston Chow Chow Connection to bring our group’s passion of Chow Chow education and rescue to life.”
Krissey has been a resident of Texas for over 30 years. She has owned Chow Chows all of her life. Being very fond of the breed, she decided in 2009 after she lost her baby girl Sophie to cancer that she would get more involved with rescuing the breed. Through Dianne Watson, Krissey met several wonderful people who not only were extremely passionate about rescue of all breeds but that also loved the Chow Chow as much as she does. Krissey currently owns 4, Lady, Kasey, Elsa & Bo who were all rescued. With the help of family and friends, she felt it was time to create an organization to support the Houston and surrounding areas in uniting chow chows in need with new forever homes.
Kelly Hood - Secretary
Kelly is from Lincoln, NE and grew up with a love of animals. She arrived in Texas in 2000. Shortly after, she received a blessing named Bear Bear. He was Kelly’s constant companion for 14 years. He crossed over the rainbow bridge in March 2014. He is the reason she came to love the Chow Chow breed. 2 Months later another blessing arrived, a little Shepard Chow mix. Kelly recently became a lifesaving foster for HCCC and decided to volunteer her time to our organization. Kelly is a special Foster Mom, She takes in Seniors and Chows that don’t have too much time left.
Jill Mason - Marketing Coordinator
Growing up in Maryland, Retrievers, Spaniels and Setters were the common dogs but Jill only had eyes for the Chow Chow. After adopting her first chow mix Cheska from a shelter, she was impressed by his transformation - as he learned to relax and trust - he blossomed, winning the hearts of the people he met. Jill decided to only adopt from shelters and rescues focusing on older chows ages 5-8. After settling in Houston and adopting 2 chows from HCCC – getting involved was the next logical step. Jill feels that she has become a better person by sharing her journey through life with all of her Chow companions: Cheska, Darla, Shane, Roca, Charlie and Macy. She is excited about helping rescue chows become Ambassadors of the Breed.
Yana Carter - Event / Fundraising Coordinator
Yana grew up in Kazakhstan where chows were not a common breed at all. However, one of her neighbors had two, so Yana had always been fascinated with the breed. After moving to Houston in 2016 and getting married, Yana and her husband decided to expand their new family by adopting a dog. HCCC was hosting an event at the Petrol Station bar, and Yana and her husband happened to be there for lunch. They met Denise at that event, met a couple of HCCC alumni pups, and about a month later adopted their first dog, Mishka. Yana had always been passionate about animals of all breeds, but chows now hold a very special place in her heart because of Mishka.
Janet Vrasic - Business Development
Janet grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, and rescued her first dog, a chow mix puppy in 1997. Cinnamon became the first and original Spice Girl. Pepper, a husky mix and only non-chow, was rescued from West Virginia, then Ginger (New York), Nutmeg (Alabama via New York), and Mocha (Illinois). In 2016, she moved to Houston, where Yoshi and Pumpkin joined the family, Both were adopted from HCCC. Excited to utilize her business strategy and operational expertise, Janet joined the board in 2017 to assist the group with sustainable growth and operational best practices.