About Us

Meet our staff, board members and doctors.

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Kristin Des Marais holding cat at clinic
Executive Director

Kristin Des Marais

Kristin Des Marais brings over 20 years of professional experience in animal welfare with a focus on promoting spaying and neutering of animals. Through her fundraising efforts and other social activities, Kristin wants to raise awareness about the vital importance of spaying/neutering and provide resources to some of our most underserved communities. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her husband Kevin and their dogs, Gigi, Boo and Teton, and 2 cats, Gabe and Simon.

Felicia Diamond Bergen Spay and Neuter
Board President

Felicia Diamond

Felicia is a lover of animals. She has lived with Newfoundlands, mutts, Shih Tzu, cats, birds, chickens, turkeys, horses and ducks. Felicia holds a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder in Evaluation Research. She spent ten years as a lobbyist for a variety of groups including a consortium that created the first legislation that enabled private animal protection organizations to investigate cruelty to animals. She founded the Diana Price Fish Cancer Foundation. She was the interim Executive Director of the Denver Chamber Orchestra, Executive Director of the Senior Citizen Law Center, Development and Marketing Director of the Robert Loup Jewish Community Center, Executive Director of the Howard Dental Center for HIV/AIDS. In 2009 she retired and began consulting for nonprofit organizations. In 2016, Felicia retired and joined the Board of Directors of The Urban Farm at Stapleton and Domino Service Dogs.

Board Secretary

Sloane Hawes, MSW

Sloane M. Hawes, MSW, is a Research Associate at the Institute for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She manages IHAC’s research agenda on the human community factors that inform companion animal welfare, with a particular interest in how animal welfare challenges intersect with human social justice issues. She received her MSW with a concentration in Sustainable Development and Global Practice from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work, with a certificate in Animal-Assisted Social Work. She also holds a certificate in Animal Shelter Management from the University of the Pacific. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies and Psychology from the University of San Diego. She currently lives in Milliken, CO with her partner, Derek, her daughter, Laney, and her English Mastiff, Benji.

John Backlund CFO
Financial Officer

John Backlund

John has had a career focusing on banking and investments. Most recently he has been a business financing consultant for entrepreneurial and small growing companies based in the Denver area.  His career includes stints in state government, commercial banking, public finance, and investment companies. For the last ten years, he has been on the Board of Conservation Colorado, the states largest environmental organization and is currently serving as Vice Chair. In the past, he has served on the Boards of the Denver Association of Business Economists as well as the Rockies Venture Club. John received an MBA and CPA designation while studying at Northwestern’s Kellogg School. His undergraduate degree is in economics and political science from Southern Methodist University.  His hobbies includecurrent events, politics, golf, yoga, and biking.

Board Member / Newsletter Publisher

Laurie E. Dearlove

Laurie cares about an animal’s well being. Is the animal being sheltered and fed properly? What is the status of its vaccinations? Is is spayed or neutered? Is it loved? A pet owner must answer all those questions.

Aside from personally loving 17 dogs in her life, Laurie is an honors graduate of Sweet Briar College with a degree in Anthropology and Sociology who has studied cultures in Mexico and Kenya. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and has served on boards/committees for English Speaking Union, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Condell Hospital and Lake Forest Academy. The former President of Grayslake Gelatin Company, Laurie is now retired and pursuing personal interests.

Board Member / Veterinary Services

Dr. Angelina Piccoli

Dr. Angelina Piccoli received her BA in EPO Biology from the University of Colorado in 1981 and her DVM from Colorado State University in 1986. She explored a number of facets of veterinary practice before finding her niche in 2009 when she founded the non-profit, HQHVSN (high quality, high volume, spay/neuter) clinic SpayToday, in Lakewood, Colorado. After being at the helm of SpayToday for nearly 11 years, she decided to retire from the clinic in September 2019.

Her passion for providing services to animals in under served areas has led her to travel to South America, the Caribbean and the South Pacific as well as to Arizona, New Mexico and southern Colorado. At clinics in these areas she provides high quality spay/neuter services as well as needed medical care to animals that may never see another veterinarian.

Working with Bergen Spay Neuter Alliance is another opportunity to provide a safety net for the animals in communities throughout Colorado where need is great but resources are scarce.

When not “spaycationing” Dr. P does a little bit of gardening, provides advice and support to several animal rescue organizations and shares her time with 3 cats-Curly, Moe and Oliver.

Veterinarian Team

Dr. Ruth Parkin

Ruth grew up on a small family farm in Washington State. She graduated from Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005, and fell in love with Colorado. After working as a small animal veterinarian in Denver for several years, she recently moved back to Washington State to be closer to her family. “I participated in my first spay/neuter clinic in Playa del Carmen during the summer of 2002 – I was in my second year of vet school at the time. We had a successful clinic, but there was obviously so much more to be done. The streets in the area were covered with sick, starving animals – a direct result of pet overpopulation and lack of resources to adequately address it. We recognized the need for a sustained presence and vowed to provide as much as we could. Four of us, all classmates at CSU, founded ViDAS that same year and have been working hard toward our cause ever since, sending down several crews a year to do high volume sterilization clinics while keeping our medical and safety standards as high as those used in clinics in the US. We are seeing changes and know that our approach is working!

Veterinarian Team

Laura Littlebear

Laura Littlebear was born and raised in Oklahoma. She attended her first ViDAS clinic in 2009 and has been addicted ever since. Laura has worked in the veterinary industry for 20 years. During this time she has worked as Director of Operations as well as other facets of vet med. Laura has a passion for animal welfare and improving the lives of pets and people that surround them. She is passionate about spay and neuter advocacy, education and sustainment.

Laura has two human children (Bear and Morgan) who have also served as volunteers for ViDAS. Her non-human kids are Luna and Gus-Gus. She enjoys time outdoors and travelling.

Veterinarian Team

Dr. Ashley Metcalfe

As a Cañon City native, Ashley is thrilled to return home after spending the last four years in Fort Collins where she completed her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree at Colorado State University. Prior to that, she received her Bachelor Science degree in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Supervisory Management from Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Dr. Metcalfe has a special interest in animal behavior and is currently the only Fear Free certified veterinarian in Cañon City. She lives with her supportive husband, Cody, and their three pups: Slim Shady (Standard Poodle), Grace (Boxer), and Archie (English Bulldog). Together, they enjoy hiking, playing games with family, enjoying craft beer, traveling, and enjoying new cultures.

Program Director

Tonya Smith-Martin

Tonya started her animal welfare adventures about 7 years ago when she answered a call to help transport at risk dogs from rural CO shelters to rescue groups the Denver area, and she has been advocating for them ever since!  In 2017 she started a non-profit organization to help further the needs of these voiceless animals and enjoys volunteering her time and services to help with many other aspects of their lives.  Tonya and her husband help host a monthly pet food pantry, spay and neuter clinics, help with veterinary, vaccine and other services, as well as fostering dogs, educating the public, and coordinating resources for several organizations.  Tonya and her husband, Jeff, live on a small farm in rural SE Colorado and she enjoys spending time with 11 fur-babies and all her other barnyard friends!

Our Partners
Colorado Animal Rescue Express LogoColorado O2 Services LogoFortis Law Partners logoThe Good Dog Rescue LogoGreen Dog Graphic DesignLos Huerfanos Animal Welfare Assoc logoMile High Canine Rescue logoMichelson Found Animal logoSw33t.com design & creative logo
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Stay informed of upcoming clinics, Colorado pet-related community events, and important announcements from Bergen Spay and Neuter Alliance.

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