Board of Directors

Kerry Oldridge / Founder & Director

Kerry Oldridge, a native Canadian, is the founder of United Hope for Animals. Her love of animals and dogs in particular started in childhood. United Hope for Animals was born out of Kerry’s desire to help neglected dogs in Mexico, and she expanded the organization to address the many dogs in Southern California who suffer under adverse conditions as well. 

Janette Cooksey / President & Director, Shelter Support Program

janetteJanette is a Southern California native. She grew up surrounded by animals. She loves all dog breeds, but has a special spot for Terriers. Her current dog is a Wire Fox Terrier named Winston “Winnie” that she adopted from Terrier Rescue. Janette graduated from the University of Redlands with a Business Management Degree. She has been working for a Vitamin manufacturing company for the last five years as a Category Sales Analyst.

Her job allows her to work at home, so she gets to spend many hours with her beloved dog. In her spare time she volunteers for UHA, Desperate Paws of Orange County and Abandoned Terrier Rescue. Her volunteer work for UHA consists of going to the shelters to help photograph and videotape the dogs and updating the adoptable dogs on the computer (PetFinder and Adopt-A-Pet). On the weekends, she enjoys knitting, reading and hanging out with her dog.

Samantha Sayon / Treasurer


Samantha Sayon is a California native, born and raised. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Most of her career experience has been in the field of Music Marketing and TV Accounting, and she is currently a Freelance Accountant in TV Production.

Her ultimate career goal is to work in the growing field of Animal-Assisted Therapy, or something in the Occupational Therapy realm, and hopes to one day achieve an Advanced Academic Degree in Psychology with an Emphasis in Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. She believes that animals have healing qualities and can benefit those in need.  

Mary Raquepo / Secretary

Bio coming soon.

Laura Knighten / Board Member

Laura Knighten with cute dog in her lap

Laura is a San Diego native who came to Los Angeles after graduating college. She currently teaches writing at UC Irvine and shares her home with dog-loving hubby and a naughty but talented Coton de Tuléar dog and a Corgi-Spaniel mix rescued while she was volunteering for UHA.

She began doing rescue work while doing her dissertation. She thought she was just going to walk dogs but is now essential to the organization’s operations, and there isn’t any aspect of UHA she hasn’t conquered though many hours of trying. Just for fun she and her dogs compete in agility, and the whole family are Ireland-o-philes and love to travel to the Emerald Isle.