Corinne Mackie – Founder
Corinne is the founder and dog whisperer extraordinaire of SXM PAWS. She has been selflessly volunteering her time helping the island animals for countless years on her own and also volunteering for the late rescue organization Les Quatre Pattes/PAWS which was closed in 2012 on the French side. She formed SXM PAWS on the Dutch side of the island to continue the work and good will that the volunteers and founders of the former organization, Les Quatre Pattes/PAWS started in 2005.
Known locally as Corry, she is a pillar to the animal rescue community on the island and has become a guardian angel to hundreds of strays that she has spayed/neutered and fed over the years. Corry is known as the “puppy magnet”. She has searched out and found literally HUNDREDS of new litters of pups in the Cupecoy/Mullet Bay area and has placed them in loving homes either on the island or by sending them to their forever homes in the USA, Canada, France or Holland.
Although Corry is now located in Florida, she continues to work tirelessly towards keeping SXM Paws strong and in the forefront of rescue efforts in St. Maarten. Since forming this organization she has spread the word about the plight of the homeless and abandoned animals on the island.
Dorette de Leeuw Pfennings – Treasurer
Dorette was born on the island of St. Maarten, her family dates back several generations on St. Maarten …we tease her that she was born in a bar…which is close to the truth Her family home later became the West Indian Tavern on Front street and is now the Guavaberry Factory. Dorette left the island for an education in Canada, culminating with a degree from McGill University, upon her return she opened a very successful administrative services company on the island, helping many people from around the world wishing to settle in St. Maarten and plan their future. Dorette is married and lives with her husband and her dog Bridget. She created a cat sanctuary in her home 10 years ago and cares for them in a covered area in the garden, these lucky kitties enjoy a life of luxury and security. Dorette has a huge heart and will always be there to help an animal in need, they all seem to gravitate to her, sensing her compassion, animals know genuine kindness.
Diana Boyd – Secretary
Diana was born and raised in New York, she always had an affinity towards animals, her dream as a child was to grow up and become a veterinarian. Although life took her down as different path, she discovered many years later what she was meant to do. Her first rescue came 12 years ago and has been a longtime supporter of organizations in the US, like the ASPCA, Humane Society and local rescues in NYC. After moving to St. Maarten in 2009 she witnessed firsthand the heartbreaking problems with the animal population. Diana’s involvement with SXM Paws grew organically through a desire to help the animals here on our island dogs, through fostering and assisting to finding them homes. Now as an official member of the team, she has worked on fundraising efforts, oversaw the construction of our Adoption Center, works closely with vet clinics and helps to build our foster program. Diana continues to open her heart and her home to many animals with the Paws family, helping to foster until they find their forever home.
Kathy Blasberg – Volunteer
Kathy Blasberg has been rescuing animals since was a little girl, she is our volunteer extraordinaire who never met an animal she didn’t get along with. Kathy is the longest standing volunteer and works tirelessly to socialize and care for the animals in our care. Kathy is at the center every day around lunchtime to feed any puppies and do the “noontime shift” of letting different groups of dogs out for playtime. She also coordinates with the foster parents to ensure that all fosters have the supplies they need and has done so many runs to the airport with dogs and puppies leaving for their new homes over the years that we’re pretty sure she’ll get her own dedicated parking soon.
Jenna Gagne – Dog Extraordinaire
Jenna Gagne, dog whisperer, puppy magician, equestrienne, mom to a two-year old son, Jenna hails from Montreal, Canada and is the glue that holds the adoption center together. Along with her rescue dog, Latte who comes to work with her everyday, Jenna helps new dogs and puppies integrate to the shelter, provides training and socialization and acts as the liaison between volunteers, potential adopters, the board and the clinics. She is available at the center during posted hours of the week so that potential adopters or visitors can stop by for a meet- and-greet.
Adriana Pereira. Rescue angel Adriana spends most of her free time zipping around on her scooter to care for street dogs and stray cats by providing food, love and medication. She didn’t hesitate to volunteer to do the morning and afternoon shifts on Saturdays and Sundays and we don’t know what we would do without her.
A SPECIAL MENTION TO:
Shelley Crane – former director of Les Quatre Pattes foundation here on French St. Martin, Shelley moved back to the States in 2012 and still advises SXM Paws on various dog issues.
Audry Andrus – Guardian Angel to many dogs, Audrey is the Director of The Animal Rescue League in the USA and assists SXM Paws through her foundation. Audrey spends most of her time now in Michigan, but still helps out Paws, for that we are most appreciative.
The Island Vet—Rescue groups on St. Maarten would be unable to carry out their mission without the cooperation of the local veterinary clinics. We owe special gratitude to St. Maarten Veterinary Clinic who has always been there for us when we need them, either to take in that one dog that was found in danger on a Friday afternoon and for whom no foster is immediately available or to to lend their expertise to the next rescue and Dr. Ruth Wright of The Island Vet who graciously allowed space in her clinic complex for our adoption center and who provides medical care and advice for the dogs housed at the center.
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” –Anatole France
“Dogs are the most amazing creatures, they give unconditional love, they are a role model for being alive.”—Gilda Radner