Board of Trustees

Executive Director

Robin Pressnall

Tulsa, Oklahoma Click to Email

Robin is an animal rescuer, an author, a contributor to the Chicken Soup For The Soul books, and a media consultant in the field of care, rescue and placement of Bichons. Robin has been a frequent guest on The Fox News Network's morning show, "Fox & Friends", as well as having appeared on "Inside Edition" with Deborah Norville. She has also appeared on two episodes about Small Paws® Rescue on Animal Planet.

Executive Assistant

Bonnie Ferguson

Bristow, Oklahoma Click to Email

Bonnie serves as our Executive Assistant and as our Director of Adoptions. Bonnie was a professional in the publishing and editing world for many years before devoting her life full time to rescuing Bichons, back in 1998. Bonnie has personally fostered hundreds of Bichons and has bottle fed newborn Bichon babies who were rejected by their mothers.

Dr. Cindy Leigh PH.D Trustee Emeritus

Oxford, Ms. Click to Email

Dr. Cindy Leigh holds the title of Professor Emeritus of Curriculum and Instruction with an emphases in Language Arts, Gifted Education, and Early Childhood Education. Cindy was a founding member of the Oxford/Lafayette Humane Society in the early seventies. Cindy participated in numerous rescue runs after Hurricane Katrina, driving cross country to deliver homeless animals that had been left alone in New Orleans. Upon retirement from our Board of Trustees, Cindy has reached Emeritus Status with Small Paws® Rescue. Cindy will remain as an advisor, bringing with her a wealth of experience in the field of Animal Rescue. We thank Cindy Leigh for her many years of service and mentoring, to all of our Board of Trustees. Thank you, Cindy!

Bekye Eckert

Hampstead, MD. Click to Email

Inspired by Robin Pressnall’s message of faith and rescue, Bekye joined Small Paws as a volunteer in 1999. She has adopted three Bichons from Small Paws: Robin Faith (9/20/02 - 9/17/14), Willie and Beau, and has fostered many others over the years. With Robin as her mentor she founded a regional rescue in the Midwest, saving over 1,100 small breed dogs during her four years’ leadership. Now living on the East Coast, Bekye, with her husband John, cares for senior, special needs, and hospice dogs, and watches a lot of football.

Dale Pressnall

Tulsa, OK. Click to Email

Dale is an Environmental Engineer. He helped to get SPR started back in 1998. He was instrumental in getting us up and running on the Internet. Today he serves as Secretary-Treasurer for Small Paws.

Joanne Raus

Denver, North Carolina. Click to Email

Joanne is retired from the dental practice that she operated with her husband, Dr. John Raus, DMD, for 30 Years in Stamford, CT. She's been with Small Paws for over 14 years. She is a Team Leader to 16 states in the Northeast. They have three Small Paws Bichons, Olivia, Marcus, and Sophie.

Louie Bertolino

Cambridge, MA. Click to Email

Louie has been a Senior Auditor with the Commonwealth of MA. for almost 20 years. Louie is also our Credit Card Donations Coordinator. Louie also sends out our "Thank You" cards, as well as our tax receipts to donors.

Brant Cramer (1933-2018) Trustee Emeritus

Years Served: 2000-2013
Leesburg, FL.

Brant held the title of Trustee Emeritus. Brant spent several years in the military, stationed in the Far East and in Europe. He worked in the automotive industry for many years. He retired from a project management assignment. Brant proudly served Small Paws Rescue for more than 13 years before retiring again. Brant instigated the concept of "Team Leaders" for Small Paws, many years ago. He passed away in 2018. He is greatly missed.

Near Chicago Il.

Officer Lauren Throm

Click to Email

Lauren graduated from North Central College with a double major in Psychology and Sociology, with an emphasis in Criminal Justice. Lauren went on to get her Master's degree in Police Psychology, from Adler School of Professional Psychology, in 2009.  She is a full-time police officer and started her career in November of 2004.  Lauren works patrol and has specialties as an evidence technician but more importantly, an Elderly Services Officer since 2012.  Lauren works with seniors and helps investigate abuse, neglect and fraud of senior citizens.  She also sits on the county's "At Risk and Fatality Review Team.," since 2017. Lauren is a huge advocate of all animals and has rescued many pets and wildlife throughout her career and in her personal life. Lauren's first family dog was a Bichon Frise, Scooter, and she has had a Bichon in her life ever since, including two from Small Paws® Rescue.