About

Who We Are

Sonoma Valley Dog Owners and Guardians (SVDOG) is a 501c3 non-profit organization formed by and for Sonoma Valley Dog lovers.

Mission

1. Through education and related activities, promote the welfare of dogs in Sonoma Valley   and recognize their contribution to the quality of life in our communities
2. Model and promote responsible dog ownership through educational outreach programs, publications and events
3. Support organizations and causes that benefit dogs in Sonoma Valley
4. Create networks for dog-lovers to share and disseminate information about important dog-related issues, laws and public policies
5. Partner with private and public entities to increase access for dogs throughout the Valley
6. Sponsor events to celebrate the value of dogs to the quality of life in Sonoma Valley

Strategy

Through education and related activities, promote the welfare of dogs in Sonoma Valley and recognize their contribution to the quality of life in our communities

Model and promote responsible dog ownership through educational outreach programs, publications and events

Support organizations and causes that benefit dogs in Sonoma Valley

Create networks for dog-lovers to share and disseminate information about important dog-related issues, laws and public policies

Partner with private and public entities to increase access for dogs throughout the Valley

Sponsor events to celebrate the value of dogs to the quality of life in Sonoma Valley

 

Board of Directors

Rich&dogsRich Lee, President of the Board

Rich Lee is a charter member of SVDOG and currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors. Rich has worked as the practice manager of Arroyo Veterinary Hospital since 1998 after a career as a graphic designer and project manager. Since joining the practice, he oversaw the extensive renovation of the hospital (formerly a bike shop occupied by Goodtime Bicycle) to which the business relocated in May 2002. For the past several years, he has been active in the Rotary Club of Sonoma, serving on the board of directors and participating in many of the club’s community service projects. He has also served on the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Sonoma Valley Redevelopment Advisory Committee, and the Springs Task Force Coordinating Committee. He is currently Chair of the Springs Community Alliance as well as serving as the current President of the Sonoma chapter of BNI (Business Networking International)

Rich lives in Sonoma with his wife and fellow board member, Dr. Rhonda Stallings and his daughter Abbey. Their son Mike currently resides in San Francisco. The four legged family includes the canines Peanut, Sandy, Scully and Paco along with Oranges the cat.

 

Secretary (position currently unfilled)

 

shelleyShelley Richey, Treasurer

In addition to being the treasurer of SVDOG, Shelley has been an officer of Sonoma Dog Park Association, Inc. since 2002.  Their mission statement is: “Our purpose is to provide a safe and clean environment where you can come exercise and socialize your dogs.”  Shelley cheerfully joined SVDOG so that both organizations could make a joint effort to keep the canines and their guardians healthy and happy.

She is also a seasoned professional at house/dog/cat sitting.  She currently works at a jewelry supply business and has created and repaired jewelry for many years.  Some of the other organizations she participates in are: Women’s Club, Moose Lodge, Board of Trustees for the Sonoma United Methodist Church, Affordable Housing Group, and is a singer and Director for the local singing group called “Vox Populi (Latin for Voice of the People).

Her sweet Golden Retriever, Kobe, recently “Jumped Over the Rainbow” after living a joy filled life of 15+ years.  Her photo is with Bodhi Blattner, to whom she’s known as Auntie Shelley.

 

Rhonda & dogsDr. Rhonda Stallings, Co-Founder & Charter Member

Dr. Rhonda Stallings is the co-founder and charter member of SVDOG. She is the owner of Arroyo Veterinary Hospital and has been practicing veterinary medicine for 34 years having graduated from The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1981. She practiced briefly in Akron, Ohio then for 15 years in San Francisco at Pets Unlimited then Avenues Pet Hospital before buying Arroyo in 1997 with her husband, Rich Lee, who serves as the Practice Manager and co-owner. Many of Dr. Stalling’s San Francisco clients still travel to Sonoma to see her. Dr. Stallings is passionate about providing a high level of care for pets so that they can live lives free of pain and discomfort.

Dr. Stallings has been a resident of Sonoma since 1992 with her family which includes husband Rich Lee, son Michael, now living in San Francisco, and daughter Abbey, as well as dogs Peanut, Sandy, Scully and Paco along with Oranges the cat.

 

Steve Brannon, directorFB_IMG_1447899385204

Steve Brannon became a SVDOG Board Member in 2015. He and his late
wife Barbara began serving as puppy raisers-trainers for Canine Companions for
Independence beginning in 2003 and welcomed Brix, Demi II, Parisse, Beulie and
Cassidy into their home as well as other CCI trainees on a short-term basis. Steve
grew up in a small town in Illinois and has since lived in New York, San Francisco
and Berkeley before moving to Sonoma in 1995 where he served as Rector of
Trinity Episcopal Church, retiring in 2005 as Rector Emeritus. He is a 15 year
veteran Chaplain of the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Service in Sonoma County
which provides personal support to law enforcement officers and victims of crimes and accidents throughout the County, currently serving as President of that organization. He is also an attorney, having worked with the Sheriff’s Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Unit to provide pro bono representation for low income abused women and children in Sonoma County Superior Court, and through the Episcopal Church representing refugees from around the world including El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Vietnam, Uganda, Iran, Iraq, and Ethiopia. He has three adult children and two grandsons, having also been a foster parent for twenty-six foster children.

 

Ron Vitt, Director

Ron Vitt became a board member in 2017.  Ron is retired and spent 25 years as an Quality, Reliability and or Engineering manager in the semiconductor industry.  Ron has a Doctorate in Materials Science from UCLA and has lived in Sonoma for over 20 years.  Ron’s hobbies include wood working, metal working, dabbles in electronics and thinks there is nothing that he can’t do (at least once).  While at Intel, Ron became an accomplished meeting facilitator dealing with planning, problem identification and solution.

His wife, Ellen Brantley is a former SVDog Vice President and retired dog trainer. Together they raised Cricket a Belgium Shephard and a difficult dog, had a Katrina rescue, Murphy and the wonderful lab, Tucker.

Ron became more dog involved after moving near the plaza by walking their current dog, Tara, down 2nd street east and most every place else.  Tara is ¾ German Shepard and ¼ Lab, and a real sweet heart.  Ron was raised with two dogs.  Ron’s first experience with a dog was when he was three and was bitten on the face by a German Shepard.  He has no lasting scars, physical or mental since he caused the problem by stepping on the Sheppard.  In a previous life, Ron assisted in raising collies and helped obtain three championships.  The best advice he has ever gotten was, “listen to the dog.” When not enjoying living within walking distance of the Plaza, Ron and Ellen travel in their RV with Tara.

 

Wendy Lindstrom, Director