Blythe Wheaton – Co-Founder & Executive Director
In 2007, Blythe felt the time was right to act and co-found a non-profit with her husband, Dr. Matthew Wheaton of Alicia Pet Care Center, that would address the needs not being met in the animal community and to set an innovative cooperative example to those involved with animal care. Having earned her Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Northern Arizona University, she possesses the drive and know how to read people and connect with them personally. “There is no one answer to the problems animals face in this world, but with the creation of The Pet Rescue Center, I hope to set a good example and save as many lives as I can.”
Matthew Wheaton, DVM – Co-Founder, Board President & Medical Director
Dr. Matthew Wheaton is a second generation veterinarian who was born and raised in Laguna Beach, California. His father, Dr. Jack Wheaton, owned Corona Del Mar Animal Hospital for 25 years and after a brief retirement, opened Aliso Animal Clinic in South Laguna Beach. After graduation from UC Davis, Dr. Wheaton completed a rigorous internship program at California Animal Hospital in West Los Angeles. He purchased Alicia Pet Clinic after 3 years at Animal Urgent Care and has been the Hospital Director ever since. Alicia Pet Clinic expanded to a new site in the Spring of 2008, becoming Alicia Pet Care Center, a premier veterinary facility in Orange County.
The Pet Rescue Center has enabled Dr. Wheaton to realize his goal of helping pets in almost every aspect of life, from veterinary care and rescue, to creating new families.
Kati Winters – Director of Operations
Kati has always been a passionate advocate for animals. She has past experience working for Irvine Animal Shelter, Alicia Pet Care Center and as the former Rescue Coordinator of The Pet Rescue Center. She is a Veterinary Technician, and her dedication and confidence with animals quickly carved a place for her skills within The Pet Rescue Center. As The Pet Rescue Center’s Operations Director, Kati is up to the task to help at-risk dogs and cats find their forever families by utilizing her skilled training, organization skills, her past experience of animal behavior and care and true love for all our furry friends we rescue.
Jan Henry – Director of Development
Jan adopted Monty from The Pet Rescue Center in March of 2011. Jan became very committed to supporting the cause of animal rescue because of her experience with adopting a rescued dog. Jan has a degree in Non-Profit Agency Administration and began volunteering shortly after Monty’s adoption. She began her professional career with The Pet Rescue Center as a Development Assistant and quickly rose to take over the Development Director position. She possesses strong administrative and communication skills and has been invaluable in her role, securing multiple national grants, gaining new corporate partnerships, and increasing private donations through monthly giving and employee matching programs. Understanding that Monty’s story is the story of each rescue we take in has given Jan a personal drive to make a difference in the animal rescue community.
Josh Lanting – Chief Financial Officer
Long time friend of the Wheaton family, Josh received the rare opportunity to be a integral part of the start up of a very worthy cause, The Pet Rescue Center. With a recent background in Property Management and Corporate Office Management he was a more than qualified candidate of the position. Growing up in Mission Viejo, CA in a family that could not turn away a stray, and that bred Cats, German Shepherds and Akitas, Josh already had a strong passion for animals. With his first job at age 15 at Petco, who knew his life would come full circle. In December 2007, Josh was submerged in the animal rescue world with the hands on guidance of Dr. Wheaton. Josh has enabled The Pet Rescue Center to function properly and smoothly throughout our evolution and start up, with his “do it all” persona, he makes it possible to envision a very successful future.
Patti Grijalva – Pet Pantry Coordinator
After moving her family back to California, Patti knew she wanted to get involved with animal rescue. In January 2013, she found The Pet Rescue Center online, and has been actively involved ever since. Patti had previously volunteered with BARC (Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition) when she lived in Illinois. BARC rescues Bernese Mt. Dogs from puppy mills and other at-risk situations. She loves being involved with the rescues, volunteer orientations, and events. She is also very excited about the PRC’s Pet Pantry for seniors and the unemployed. Patti loves all The PRC rescues and believes they are all special. Because she has three Bernese Mt. Dogs at home (Boomer, Jasmine, and Bruno), she has a special place in her heart for the big dogs. Patti has really enjoyed volunteering and working with the staff at The PRC and Alicia Pet Care Center. Patti has been married to her high school sweetheart, Manny, for 30 years, and has three grown children, Stephanie, Brandon and Eric; her three dogs; and a cat named Sneakers.
Lynne Ehrlich – Youth Education Coordinator
In 2013, Lynne took a break from her corporate job because she wanted to “give back” and volunteer with rescue animals. Along the way, a friend told her about The Pet Rescue Center and she started volunteering as soon as the orientation class was over! She enjoyed helping at adoption events, bagging food for The PRC’s Pet Pantry, playing with the cats, walking the dogs, showering them all with love, and she wanted to do even more. Having led humane education tours at the Irvine Shelter, Lynne was thrilled when asked to lead Youth Education tours at The PRC! She uses her Masters in Counseling Psychology to connect with the kids and loves seeing their eyes light up as she talks about what it means to take care of a pet and how to treat all animals with kindness, respect and dignity. As a child Lynne wanted to be a veterinarian, but allergies forced her to give up that dream…but not her love for animals! In 2003, she and her husband, Tom, adopted their kitty, Ashes, from the Irvine Animal Shelter.