Crystal DeGroot Executive Director, Board Member
Crystal DeGroot joined the Wags team during our Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts. She managed our field operation in Woodsboro, Texas and has been part of the team every since. Before joining Wags, Crystal was an U.S. Army Diesel Mechanic for 8 years and worked alongside the ASPCA in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina rescuing animals from the flood waters. She was also a Veterinary Technician, worked in the oil field as a Commercial Diver and recently held the role of Lead Vet Technician and Community Spay/Neuter Clinic Manager.
Susie Yuill Board Member, Wags Marketing Team
Susie's love of animals started from a very young age having cared for her family's many bird dogs. She is a cat lover and an experience equestrian as well. Animals have been and always will be a big part of her life. Before she became a board member for Wags, she adopted two Wags dogs, Buster and Max. The first time she visited the Wags facility and learned more about the Wags mission, she was instantly drawn to the work that Wags does and wanted to be a part of it. She feels Wags is unique because it isn't just a rescue but also provides education and resources to the surrounding communities. She is energized each and every day about the work she gets to do for Wags from her two dogs, Buster and Max. Without Wags they wouldn't be here.
Kristen West Board Member
Kristen West owned and operated a dog walking and pet sitting service in Australia before moving to Austin. She founded Gusto Dogs in 2011. Prior to her life as a business owner and dog-enthusiast (OK she’s always been a little dog-obsessed!), Kristen earned her bachelors degree in journalism from Ohio University and worked in creative positions at Ohio Wildlife Center and Australian Diabetes Council. She lives in Steiner Ranch with her husband Dave, her daughters Alani and Kaia, son Ewan, and her pug Jack Russell terrier mix, Neo, who has been her greatest teacher.
Toya Stone Board Member
Toya first stepped foot into rescue in 2011 when she was handed a shoe box containing three orphaned kittens. Since then she has worked throughout the Crossroads Region of Texas, saving animals, building community awareness and raising funds for dogs who have suffered abuse and abandonment. Through the course of these years she has also partnered with and served other local nonprofit organizations. Stone is a sub-permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator with Gulf Coast Wildlife Rescue, specializing in birds and manages all Wags Operations in Victoria, TX.
Dara Berry DVM Veterinary Partner and Owner of Austin Veterinary Housecalls
Dr. Berry is a native Texan who has been practicing veterinary medicine in Austin since graduating from Texas A&M veterinary school in 1995. She has extensive experience in emergency medicine, internal medicine, geriatric care, wellness care, dentistry and surgery. She started her mobile house call practice in 2010 in order to help reach the dogs and cats who often wouldn't otherwise get healthcare, and to be able to spend more time with her patients and clients. Dr. Berry believes it takes longer than a traditional 20 minute appointment to listen, examine, diagnose, discuss, treat and bond with a patient. House call visits generally last an hour or more, which gives her time to know and love your pet, and to know you better, so that she can help guide you in making medical decisions. Dr. Berry is the proud mother of a Pit-bull type dog from Wags named Mayweather (the best dog ever) and two wonderful cats named Lolly and Marshmellow, and two human boys.
Stephanie Conrad Marketing Team Member, Event Coordinator, Photographer and Social Media Manager
Stephanie Conrad joined the Wags team as a foster after Hurricane Harvey. Stephanie continues to foster in addition to coordinating all of the Wags events, taking beautiful photographs of our adoptable animals and making sure that everyone knows the goings on at Wags. Stephanie is also the owner and operator of Pet Art Studio, Dogs of ATX and an avid advocate for rescue.
Dr. Amanda Bruce Veterinary Partner & Spay/Neuter Surgeon
Dr. Bruce is the Medical Director for Animal Balance where she travels the world providing spay/neuter services to those who need it the most. In 2009, after several years of working in mobile and MASH clinics throughout Northern Minnesota, Amanda opened the first brick and mortar spay/neuter clinic in the state of Minnesota. Amanda has trained with Humane Alliance, Emancipet and took her entire staff through Sophia Yin’s Low-Stress Handling course. She is passionate about delivering veterinary care, particularly spay/neuter, to under-served communities and was the surgeon for all of the Wags Bastrop Community Spay/Neuter Days. She greatly enjoys teaching surgery to students and veterinarians not familiar with high-volume spay/neuter techniques. Amanda is fortunate to have a husband and young girls that support her adventures. As a family, they can usually be found in or near the water, be it the beach, pool, favorite waterpark or stand-up paddle boarding on Lady Bird Lake.
Jennifer Carroll Founder
Jennifer Carroll spent 15 years in high tech, managing program teams in Finance, IT and Supply Chain before retiring in 2012 to start Wags. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from St. Edward’s University and enjoyed travel in Switzerland, Asia, India and across the United States during her previous career. She has always loved animals, especially dogs, and is thrilled to be focusing her energy now on making the world just a little kinder for the homeless dogs in our community.