Board of Directors
Brenda Manning – President
Brenda is a long-time volunteer and advocate for animal welfare. She worked on making animal cruelty a felony since it was first presented in legislature.
Brenda lives in Pierre with her husband Kyle and their five Weimaraners, a German Shorthair Pointer and a Great Dane. In her spare time, you might find her driving around town in the “Weim Time” bus, painted teal and adorned with Weimaraner graphics. She believes she’s “one Weimaraner short of being a crazy dog lady”.
Melita Hauge – Vice-President
Melita has been a member of PAWS for around 4 years and was elected Vice President in January 2016. She mainly works with the dogs at the shelter, acting as Dog Adoption Coordinator for potential adopters to “make sure the dog they have chosen will have a good furever home”, along with the help of Sally, Jenna and Betty.
Melita’s other roles at the shelter include organizing fundraising dinners 4-6 times per year. These dinners are a mainstay for the shelter so that they can continue to operate. She states, “If you so desire to join a great organization and help Pierre and Ft. Pierre continue to help our dogs and cats live a life that they deserve, please step up and volunteer today.”
Jenna Schiefelbein – Secretary
Jenna was born and raised in Pierre and graduated from Riggs High School. Following graduation, she moved to Sioux Falls and attended Augustana University. She lived and worked in Sioux Falls for around 12 years, during which time she volunteered at the local Humane Society and provided a foster home for Northern Plains Boxer Rescue.
Jenna returned to Pierre and began volunteering for PAWS, becoming a board member in January 2016. She states, “I love the passion and commitment that I witness every day from all of those involved in the organization. They truly are an inspiring group of people to work with!”
Betty Truax – Treasurer
Betty became a member of PAWS around 20 years ago but has been a dog lover all her life. Her father didn’t believe dogs should live in town, so her family didn’t own one while growing up. That changed when her youngest sibling brought home a puppy from Brownies.
Dogs were her first love, but cats have also worked their way into her heart and home. Betty currently has four dogs and four cats which she came to own, “Not really on purpose. They needed me or I needed them”. She continues to take in foster dogs that need special attention until they are ready for adoption, taking great joy in seeing them recover and flourish.
David Voeltz – General Board Member
Dave is a Pierre Riggs and Northern State University graduate and has lived in Pierre since 1976. He and his wife Mary have been married for over 35 years and have two adult children who also live in Pierre. He is currently employed by the South Dakota Department of Transportation.
Dave and his family first started volunteering in canine rescue in 1999. In 2001, he and 4 other rescuers founded National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network in which he is still active as a Board Member and the regional director for SD, ND, MN and WI. He volunteers as a foster home for NBRAN, conducts home visits and transports in central South Dakota for various requesting rescue agencies, and volunteers for PAWS taking care of the dogs and helping at various fundraising events.
Jen Uecker – General Board Member
Jen and her husband Cole are longtime residents of Pierre. Her busy household also includes 2 teenage boys, a Rat Terrier, a 100lb Pit/Lab, a new German Shepard puppy, 2 kitties, and a bearded dragon. She became involved with PAWS last year when her family returned to Pierre after a few years living in Yankton and was elected to the board in March. She and the boys were active volunteers at Heartland Humane Society in Yankton. Jen is firm believer that the community must come together to take care of all living things. Her favorite moments so far have been watching the compassion of all the volunteers and witnessing the joy as animals find their forever homes.
Jen can be found spending most of her time as Assistant General Manager of RedRossa. She expresses her creative side by sharing sweet concoctions through her specialty cake shop, Sugar Momma’s Custom Cakery. She also serves on the board for Pierre Swim Team. In her spare time, she’s working with Cole on any one of the continuous remodeling projects on their home. Jen is excited to share her event planning and fundraising experience with PAWS!