Our Founders

Committed to the Cause


Ann King

 Ann is a certified dog trainer, and has her own training and pet care business.  She has worked extensively with many local shelters and is currently the trainer for 2 local shelters. Ann loves volunteering with the dogs whether it is at the shelter or with her own dogs doing therapy work.  She has five rescue dogs, as well as three pet rats, and her sofa is home to countless other critters who need a soft way station on the road of life. 

Doug Tappan

Doug was a founding member of Best Bullies, after putting in many faithful hours as a volunteer at the Yonkers shelter, training and providing crucial exercise and stimulation for the larger dogs.  He is a husband, a busy father, and an airplane pilot—and we are forever grateful for Doug’s time and expertise in getting Best Bullies off the ground.

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Jo Ann Beard

Jo Ann is a writer and animal advocate who teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. Her dog, Beatrice, is a Best Bullies rescue.

Our Board Members

Ritsa Galitsis


Ritsa has been a trainer for over 15 years, continuously working with rescues and shelters. She is currently Training Director for the adult training program at Rikers, and also has her own training business, Happy Hounds. She lives with her "unicorn dog" Indi.

Laura Owen

Community Coordinator

Laura was born and raised in Queens and has been a teacher for 26 years. Her early love of animals was inspired by her mother wo was a dog groomer and breeder of poodles. She has been volunteering at Mount Vernon Animal Shelter for many years and we are privileged to have her on our team.


Monique Pujol Taylor

Monique grew up in NYC where her parents owned a succesful French restaurant. After moving to Westchester, Monique started volunteering at the Mount Vernon Animal Shelter where she can be found most days. Monique often has at least one of two Best Bullies dogs at her home at any given time.

Dr. Adrianna Calise

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Foster Co-ordinator

Keri Sershon

Keri spends her volunteer time at Mount Vernon Animal Shelter from where she has fostered many dogs for Best Bullies.