Meet Our Team!
We are blessed to have a wonderful team of board members and staff members who always put our animals first!
The Wayward Ranch Board of Directors:
Eleni has always been an animal lover. Growing up with three dogs and a horse ensured that animals would always be a part of her life. When home for the summer her first year in college, she began to volunteer at a local animal shelter, and her life was forever changed. When she returned to college in the fall she couldn't stop thinking about the dogs she had met, and the animal rescue world her eyes had been opened to. A year later she moved back to New York and adopted two dogs who carved out her path to fight for the underdog: the dogs no one else looked at twice.
Eleni is a certified professional dog trainer specializing in aggression rehabilitation and tough behavioral cases. She loves animals of all sizes and is involved in many aspects of our rescue, including photographing the animals, promoting animals for adoption, coordinating with fosters and volunteers, and managing our staff.
Courtney is one of the three founding board members of Wayward Ranch and has been a part of our organization since the day we began rescuing animals! She has a hand in our management decisions, veterinary decision, and has been a repeat foster, heading up our cat rescue singlehandedly since 2016!
"Animals have always been a part of my life. I grew up rescuing the “misfits” and the “throw aways”. I started working at a shelter when I was 18 years old and my passion for saving animals has kept growing. 10 years later, I work as a veterinary assistant at an animal hospital. I wanted to start a rescue to create a safe haven for all animals and especially those that are hard to place."
Abbie Levitt hails from Westchester, NY where she lives with her (very) beloved rescue dog, Lilly. Abbie is an administrator at a Westchester-based non-profit and is extremely proud to join the Wayward Ranch board, bringing her professional experience and passion for animals to the team!
Abbie believes that the relationships we have with animals can be transformational - both for humans and animal friends. She truly has experienced that herself in her relationship with Lilly, a fearful and anxious dog who has molded Abbie's heart and life in the time they have been together. Having a dog that is afraid of every-day experiences is an eye opening experience and taking baby steps through Lilly's behavioral rehabilitation and socialization has strengthened their bond. It has also helped Abbie to gravitate to our most fearful or needy animals to give them some of the peace she has helped her own dog to find.
Megan became a board member of Wayward Ranch in 2019 and has been a wonderful addition to the team! She brings a veterinary perspective to our organization (she is an incredible veterinarian after all!) and helps us to make sure we are giving our animals the best care we are able! She has become our voice of reason when making decision about bringing in new animals and making sure we are rescuing within our means responsibly.
Megan is an animal lover and owns horses and an eclectic pack of pups, including a Wayward Ranch alumni named Gimley. She volunteers as a foster when she is able as well.
Adam came to animal rescue after exploring many careers. He was a nurse, teacher, went to law school, but it wasn't until he briefly worked at the Central Park Zoo that he realized he was never happier than when animals were a part of his life. He began working for an animal rescue where he met Eleni (who he'd end up marrying a year later) and later Courtney. He realized that their dream of a sanctuary for the "underdogs" was exactly what he had been searching for, and has thrown himself full force into Wayward Ranch!
Adam is a very well known face around the farm, as he has a hand in every aspect of the work here. He assists with barn work, adoptions, but mainly dog care as a volunteer and is by far every animal's favorite. Let's be honest though, he bribes them!
Miri Dainson comes to with us with a background in environmental studies and a career outdoor recreation. Miri has a passion for educating folks on environmental stewardship, responsible rock-climbing ethics and of course animal advocacy. Using her career in management Miri spearheads our community engagement and manages our visitor experiences.
Miri was drawn to Wayward through our Early Intervention Bully Program. She has a soft spot for bully breed advocacy and helped us set up meet and greets at local community events in Westchester. Overtime Miri became a fixture of the ranch volunteering with our Second Life Equine program learning to work with horses with behavioral needs. Miri’s goal is to integrate Wayward into the local community, educate folks on the importance of behavioral rehabilitation programs and help wayward in its commitment to provide a quality life to the animals who need it the most.
Tess joined our Board of Directors in 2020 but has been an adopter and volunteer with Wayward Ranch since 2019. She began by adopting two piglets named Urban and Delilah from our rescue who live in her home and have beautiful lives with her and her family! A year later she welcomed a third rescue pig into her home to complete the herd!
Tess has always been an animal lover, and brings her experience in production, marketing, and fashion to our team as well, helping us to shape the Wayward Ranch brand and plan fundraising projects. She also volunteers her time and this summer with her husband and a team of recruits, they installed a garden for our animals as well as renovating the exterior of our barn and even our stall interiors!
The Wayward Ranch Staff Members: