Shalimar Blanchard


Shalimar is from Vancouver, BC, Canada, with an extensive background in dance, having trained at the prestigious College of the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England.  In 1998 she founded Howe Sound Dance Academy in Squamish, BC. The school quickly grew to 200+ students a year, offering 8 different styles of dance, employing 5 other teachers and maintaining 2 studio locations.  She regularly organized and prepared students for international dance exams, national and international competitions, year-end shows as well as smaller community events.  Shalimar created and interacted closely with the Parent Board raising funds and ensuring that funds raised were used in the most beneficial way for students and their families to offset costs to them.  In 2019, in order to pursue a dream of moving to Mexico, Shalimar passed her business on to one of her long-term teachers.  

Having moved to Puerto Vallarta in 2020, she was keen to give back to her new community and wanted to find a way to incorporate the many cats and dogs of Vallarta into the mix.  Volunteering at mobile spay and neuter clinics for PEACEAnimals was the perfect opportunity, not only because pets are involved but its mission is one that Shalimar completely believes in.  Volunteering has also enabled visiting lesser-known communities, getting to know the people of those communities, and learning the language.  Always a quick study, she has been able to apply her knowledge of multi-tasking and organizing with maintaining a main focal point gained from operating her business for over 20 years.  Shalimar has always considered pets family.  She currently enjoys 1 beautiful doodle, Dudley, 1 Mexican cat rescue, Damita, and 1 incredible husband, Alain.


Ken Dahl


Ken originates from the San Francisco Bay area, most recently from San Jose, California. In 1986, Ken earned degrees in both Finance and Economics from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Ken enjoyed 19 years working in corporate finance positions in “Silicon Valley,” most recently as Director, Financial Planning and analysis for @Road, a leader in Mobile Resource Management Solutions. Ken has extensive experience in Corporate Financing, Mergers, Acquisitions and Corporate Restructuring efforts.

Ken provides assistance in the areas of education, healthcare and daycare for underprivileged children. He serves as Treasurer for the Robert and Patricia Dahl Family Foundation. Ken is currently General Director of Riviera Ventures S.A. de C.V., a residential developer located in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he has been a full-time resident since 2007.


Cairo Gregor


Cairo lives outside San Francisco in Marin County with her husband Michael and three children. Adding to her household are three rescue dogs, two Australian mixes and a beloved chihuahua, Pepe, whom she rescued from the SPCA-PV sanctuary.  Cairo's mother Gretchen DeWitt, co-founded the SPCA-PV and founded PEACEAnimals.  Cairo shares her mother's passion for animals and has been involved with animal rescue for 15 years, serving as president of the SPCA-PV's sister organization based in California.  In California, Cairo is owner and designer of fine jewelry, CAIRO Jewelry.  Her passions include travel, running, time with family and making a difference in the lives of animals.  


Roie Griego


Roberta “Roie” Griego originates from Boston but currently splits her time between Texas and Puerto Vallarta. Roie has dedicated the better part of her life helping animals. In 1996, she and her husband began their more than twenty years of hard work helping animals in Mexico, with special emphasis on spay/neuter clinics. Roie served as co-chair of Amigos de los Animales and was part of the Grupo Ecológico of Mexico. She is a passionate animal person, and although she has a long resumé, one of her proudest accomplishments is having founded Friends of Homeless Animals, Inc. (FOHA). Headquartered in Rhode Island, FOHA is a non-profit 501(c)(3), which covers animal rescue efforts in both the U.S. and Mexico. FOHA rescues approximately 1,200-1,500 dogs each year from high kill shelters all across America. Roie has served this organization as its president since 2007 and considers it her “greatest honor to work hard to help these special animals.”


Amie Kafer


Amie Kafer is a psychiatrist working at a public hospital for court-ordered, mentally ill patients in Phoenix, Arizona. Her mother and stepfather, Norma Kafer & James Gordon, are fellow board members of PEACEAnimals.

Amie travels to Bucerias about five times a year and has volunteered at the PEACEAnimals spay/neuter clinics. Originally from Tucson, Amie travelled frequently to Mexico as a child since Tucson is about 45 minutes from the border. These visits instilled her love of Mexico and its culture. Says Amy, “I have watched telenovelas since 2000 to keep and improve my Spanish skills, although I now mostly listen to music in Español. My house is painted with such bright colors that visitors suggest wearing sunglasses inside.

Amie has a menagerie of cats and dogs— Maisy is a Lab mix rescue from a local PetSmart and Tilly is her 13-year-old cat from the pound. Then there’s Gordo, a cat who was found in her mom’s neighborhood, and her inbred weird cat, Brenda, who moved into Amie’s backyard as a kitten. Attempts were made to keep Brenda outside, but her caterwauling at night bothered a neighbor.


Norma F. Kafer and James H. Gordon


Norma is a long-time resident of Arizona, graduating from Arizona State in 1966. She holds a Masters (1971) and PhD (1976) from University of Arizona. She enjoyed a fifteen-year career as a psychologist with the Arizona prison system. Now retired, Norma’s interests are gardening and animal rescue. She has one daughter, Amie, a psychiatrist who also sits on the PEACEAnimals Board.

James is a long-time resident of Arizona, although not as long as Norma. He’s a 1962 graduate of Vanderbilt University, and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. Presently, he is president of GPW and Associates, an actuarial and management consulting firm. James has two sons.


Lisa Mahoney



Lisa Mahoney spent her early teenage years on a ranch in Texas surrounded by animals, wild and tame.  As a passionate animal advocate, her goals include educating young people regarding the importance of protecting wildlife and caring for pets, with an emphasis on spay/neuter.  Lisa´s main focus are the communities of Punta de Mita, Higuera Blanca and Sayulita.   Says Lisa, " I want to save lives four paws at a time!"  Lisa and her husband, Mike Mahoney, spend their time between Corona del Mar, California and Punta de Mita, Mexico.


JoAnne Powell


I grew up in Seattle and my family always had adopted dogs and cats. I went to the University of Washington and received a degree in Interior Design. I had a thirty-eight year career in the San Francisco Bay Area and led large commercial interior design projects including offices, show rooms, hotels, hospitals and medical office buildings. 
My husband Ed and I live in Crystal Bay, NV and now we have a home in Conchas Chinas, PV which we love and hope to come for the winter months every year. I have been coming to PV since the late 1970's, and with Ed since we got married in the early 90's.
Since I retired in 2016, I have been able to explore and spend time with other activities I never had time for when I worked. My charitable donations each year are very animal oriented and environment focused- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Marin Mammal Center, Wildcare, Pets Lifeline and the Humane Society and last year PEACEAnimals.


Steve Stowell


Originally a farm boy from western Michigan, Steve Stowell learned to appreciate and handle a variety of critters but had a special fondness for Tennessee Walking Horses and cats in the hayloft. He designed and built the Chicago home where he lived for decades before moving to Santa Fe with his partner, Ed, in 2018.

In his Chicago hood, Steve trapped, neutered and released feral cats, some of which stayed and became yard kitties—no rats in his alley!

In the early 80’s he had the very good fortune to travel to PV and has visited at least once a year ever since. Steve rescued all of his US indoor cats from Isla Cuale, where he has fed, rescued, neutered and adopted-out many felines with the help of wonderful vets and friends. He has also assisted in sponsoring spay/neuter clinics.

Educated at UM (Ann Arbor), University of Madrid and in Bogota, Colombia, Steve is fluent in Spanish and formerly taught ESL, math and Spanish. For the next 35 years, he directed the implementation of legal and board systems for a Fortune 50 company based in Chicago and London. Recently retired, Steve and Ed reside part-time in Amapas (Puerto Vallarta) with their one remaining canine pal, Ping. In Santa Fe, they are active in opera and the arts community and also enjoy gardening. They no longer trap felines as bobcats would probably not cooperate—and they do help to limit the packrat population!


John Whitten

Clinic Coordinator

A 20+ year resident of La Cruz, pictured with his wife Cynthia del Pino, John has 27 years of experience as an educator and education administrator.  John has volunteered at clinics over the years. His primary goal as Clinic Coordinator is to ensure the clinics run smoothly, are well-advertised and that the vets have the supplies and materials needed.  Weekly John attends the clinics, takes pictures and writes a summary in English and Spanish for the PEACEAnimals newsletter.   WhatsApp +52 322 111 9419



Clare Leach


Clare has two passions in life—helping people and animals. She became a marriage and family therapist after finishing her graduate work at the University of Virginia. Clare owned a private practice in Aspen, Colorado for many years, focusing on addiction, adult children of alcoholics, as well as working with families and couples. She continues to counsel patients two days weekly via Skype. She has also worked in animal rescue for many years, with an emphasis on spay/neuter, including raising funds for the launch of a mobile spay/neuter program for the SPCA-PV.  Clare and her husband, Bill, now spend seven months a year at their home in Puerto Vallarta, soon to make it full time. When she and Bill started coming to Puerto Vallarta in 2001 and saw all the helpless dogs and cats roaming the streets, Clare vowed to help. Says Clare, “Now that dream is coming true.”


Carl Timothy



Carl Timothy, president of Timothy Real Estate Group.  "I fell in love with Puerto Vallarta and moved here in 1999. I started my real estate career in Los Angeles and was working in the Beverly Hills office of John Aaroe.  I was introduced to Puerto Vallarta by some wonderful friends that invited me down to their beautiful home a number of times and the rest is history.  My move to this magical place has been a wonderful adventure.  I met the love of my life here, we have been together for 22 years and married four years ago. 

This opportunity to be living in such a beautiful place with such a beautiful mix of our accepting Mexican friends that put up with us gringos, is amazing."


Bill Goodloe

Past Director

Born in Virginia and raised on a large property that always had dogs.  Bill and his partner started a real estate-related company Goodloe & O'Donoghue Associates. Upon retiring he split his time between South Carolina and Puerto Vallarta.  Moderately bilingual, he moved to PV full time eleven years ago.  Always involved with animals, Bill has fostered dogs, volunteered at spay/neuter clinics and has adopted two dogs from the Acopio.  Bill believes if dogs could talk, he would stop trying to make human friends.


In Memoriam

Gretchen DeWitt


It is with sadness that we announce that our founder Gretchen DeWitt passed unexpectedly on Wed, Nov 11, 2020.  As one of our board members said, "We’ve lost one of the kindest, most caring and overall wonderful people on the planet."

A full-time resident of Puerto Vallarta, Gretchen formerly owned a San Francisco public relations/special events business for 25 years and was active in fundraising for a number of charities. She is a founding member of the board of directors of Planetree, a national health care resource.

After moving to Puerto Vallarta in 2006, Gretchen co-founded the SPCA-PV and served as its first president. In 2009, she joined the board of directors of PeaceMexico for a three-year term, focusing her fundraising efforts primarily on “Ayuda a los Animales,” the free spay/neuter clinics. In June 2013, Gretchen, Brischa Borchgrevink and Amy Welch, former PEACE USA treasurer, founded PEACEAnimals.

Gretchen and her husband, Ned, resided in Puerto Vallarta’s Centro, and between them have four children, eleven grandchildren, two dogs and six cats, all rescues except for the children and grandchildren.

Gretchen DeWitt Obituary (1942 - 2020) - San Francisco Chronicle (


In Memoriam

Ralph Osborne

DIRECTOR & Founding Board Member

Ralph Osborne, one of our founding board members, died on August 18, 2020 of COVID-19 in Puerto Vallarta.  He was 81.  Ralph was a full-time resident and had lived here since 2005.  Ralph loved animals and all things beautiful.   Originally from New York, at the age of eight he was sent to boarding school in Arizona because of his asthma.  Surrounded by dogs and horses, he learned how to ride.  Later, as a young man, he missed the equestrian riding team for the U.S. Olympics by just one person.  After graduating from Northern Arizona University, Ralph moved to New York City, where he served as president of the International Institute of New Jersey, an organization that resettles refugees. He recently retired as president of C.S. Osborne & Co., an international manufacturing firm, family owned and operated since the Civil War.   Ralph enjoyed adventures in 150 countries and had plans for more.  He was an active and supportive member of the local Episcopal church.  Ralph was also a board member and great supporter of the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens, where all four of his rescue dogs are buried.  If visiting, you will be able to look across the Horcones River and see the land Ralph purchased and donated.  It will remain wild and beautiful and where his ashes will be scattered.   Ralph Osborne was an extraordinary person - kind and good, generous and curious, modest and joyful, loving and very lovable.  So many people have lost a wonderful friend.  New York Times



In Memoriam

Ron Ragsdale


Born and raised in west Texas, Ron graduated from Vanderbilt University where he received a degree in Econometrics. He later graduated from St Mary’s Law School in San Antonio and was licensed as an attorney in Texas, New York and Colorado. Along with interests in banking, ranching, oil and gas, Ron presided over a law firm in west Texas for twenty years.

In 1989, he bought a number of cattle ranches and farms in South Dakota’s Black Hills, just outside Rapid City. He sold these South Dakota properties in 2012, but continued to live most of the time in his home in Rapid City. Ron also owned a home in Puerto Vallarta’s colonia centro, where he managed various investments while taking care of the occasional stray dog, a whole pile of cats, one raccoon and two opossums.  Ron passed on December 5, 2021.


Advisory Board

Ted with puppies
Ted with puppies

Brischa & Ted Borchgrevink


Hailing from Sweden (Brischa) and Norway (Ted), they met in Los Angeles in 1987. After living there for many years, they decided to move to Oslo to start a calm, “normal” life. After nine years there, Brischa and Ted found that it was too quiet and the weather was horrible. In 2004, they picked up their belongings, including their dog, and moved to Puerto Vallarta, where they built Hacienda las Animas, a B&B in the hills. People frequently mistake “Animas” for “animals” instead of “spirits,” but that’s a good thing because they have six dogs and six cats on the premises.

Over the years, the Borchgrevinks have accumulated various rescues, from cats and dogs to injured pigeons. The household grew, which took them to where they are now with LADRA (“bark” in Spanish), a ranch that serves as a boarding location and rescue site for dogs to recuperate and then be adopted. LADRA stands for Las Animas Dog Rescue Association.

Says Brischa, “We very much support spay and neuter as the best solution to control the many unwanted animals that end up homeless and suffering in the streets.”

Lucy Muñiz


Lucy Muñiz was born and raised in Oakland, California. While still in her twenties, she decided to return to her family roots in Mexico. Lucy has resided in Puerto Vallarta for the past 37 years, where she has been very active in the community, including the Beach & Bay Clean-Up Committee and The Women’s Network.

In 1994, Lucy and her husband, humorist Gil Gevins, opened a folk art store, Lucy’s CuCuCabana. In 2020, after 29 years in the same location, Gil and Lucy closed the store and retired to their home in San Miguel de Allende.  Lucy founded Animal Protection Association PV, A.C. spay/neuter nonprofit program was launched. Within eight years, over 3,000 spay/neuter operations, many adoptions, and a children’s educational coloring book were realized.

Patrick Pickett

Advisory Board

Puggy, Tiger, Blue, Rachel, Girl, Poodie, Fred, Cosmo, Brutus, Brutus II and Lefty are just some of the rescues Patrick can remember growing up with in Portland, Oregon. Eventually tiring of the Pacific Northwest weather, Pat migrated south to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 2005 and found his version of paradise working in the Vallarta hospitality industry. He expanded into local commercial real estate and founded the well-known expat service company, Pat's Plates. Patrick dedicates a portion of the proceeds of his local businesses to supporting various animal rescue groups and individuals, different free spay/neuter clinics as well as a local children's shelter, Casa Hogar. He is honored to serve the PEACEAnimals organization and further its goal of preventing the suffering of animals. When you meet Pat, ask him about his Schnauzer named Ice Cream and his family's many cat and dog rescues!

Amy Welch


Amy assists with the websites (PEACEAnimals, Amigos de La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and Banderas Bay Charities, Inc) and coordinates U.S. grants and donations to PEACEAnimals and other registered charities in and around the Bay of Banderas (Puerto Vallarta).  Amy also serves as Treasurer of PEACEAnimals, Banderas Bay Charities and Amigos de La Cruz de Huanacaxtle.

Soon after arriving in La Cruz in 1997, she and her now deceased husband Bill started another foundation, Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation (US non-profit) with their college friend, Christine Amo. Bill was a former CPA and tax attorney, formerly a tax partner with Coopers & Lybrand (now PriceWaterhouseCoopers). He helped with accounting, legal, tax filings and donor coordination.

Amy was a high school teacher and school administrator for Portland Public Schools (Oregon). Presently, she rents houses and condos in the Puerto Vallarta & Portland, during her free time. Floating back and forth between Portland, Oregon and Mexico, she enjoys travel, fishing and boats.

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