The TLC Team

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Melissa De Decker

Founder/President

I founded Taffy's Legacy in 2015 when the previous rescue I had been involved with closed their doors. I had lost my soulmate dog Taffy in January of that year and it only seemed fitting to found a rescue in her name. My role, like most of the team member's roles, fluctuates depending on the needs of the rescue. That can be anything from dog intakes and evaluations, reference checks, picking up donations to overseeing adoptions.

I might be the definition of a crazy dog lady. I've had over 500 dogs come through my house in the last 14 years.  When I am not volunteering with the rescue, almost all of my hobbies involve dogs. You can find me hanging out with my American Bulldogs whom I do various sports with and show in conformation. Alternatively, you may find me working in my dog boarding, training or daycare facility or tending to my training client's needs online at Training Dogs Online. I do have a handful of hobbies outside of the dog world and those include cooking, photography, camping and traveling. I also recently became a mom to a beautiful baby girl!

I dream of a day that dog rescues are not necessary. I became a dog trainer because I saw so many owners trying their best, but inevitably failing their dog and having to give them up because they did not have the resources to live a mutually beneficial life. The problems they were having all boiled down to training, so I started attending seminars and researching everything there was to know about training. My goal was to help people help their dogs, before they had to give them up. In an ideal world there will come a day that rescue will be essentially obsolete because we will have resources in place that promote responsible pet ownership.

Marieke Manshanden

Foster Coordinator

I started with reference checking, then fostering in 2016, then fundraising and here we are! I love coming out to all of the local events, meeting all of the foster homes and helping with training and making fostering easier for our volunteers! I am responsible for intakes, dog assessments, matching dogs to foster homes, volunteer training and coaching.

I work at the University of Waterloo! When I'm not working or doing rescue things I enjoy doing escape rooms, having backyard fires, or hiking with my fiancé! I'm also a huge boardgame nerd! My favourite thing to do is hangout on my porch with my man and my two dogs! I also make biothane dog gear for fun!

 

We recently sold our house in Waterloo (the one that you pick up auction items from!) and are living our dream of moving to the country in February! This might mean less intakes of new dogs in the next coming months, but then we're very excited to bring more events to the Flamborough/Guelph/Hamilton area!

 

Fun Facts:

Favourite Foster Dog? Oakley! Tidal was pretty great too!

Number of Fosters? Cliff was number 50!

Favourite Breed? Bully breeds! I love their goofy pushy attitude!

Least Favourite Behaviour? Anxiety/separation anxiety!

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Nicole Murphy

Adoptions Coordinator

In 2020 I started fostering for TLC and foster failed (aka adopted) my first dog, Cheddar, shortly after that! I stayed involved with the rescue by doing reference checks and home visits. I started fostering again in the Fall of 2020 and I have learned so much from the team at Taffy's. I am responsible for receiving and processing applications, managing adoption processing volunteers, matching dogs with adopters and sometimes intakes!

 

I loved being involved in the adoptions process and I would get so excited learning about potential adopters and helping to match the right people and pups together. In the summer of 2021 the core team was expanding and I joined to help with Social Media for a bit then Adoptions! My favourite part of helping with Adoptions is hearing about Meet & Greets and also getting updates after adoptions are finalized of dogs who are loving their forever homes.

When I am not volunteering with the dog rescue I work as a medical device rep! I also love to play board games and to be active including running, hiking, camping, and hockey.

Fun Facts:

Favourite Foster Dog? Bravo

Number of Fosters? Pretzel is #3

Favourite Breed? Northern Mixes and Border Collies

Least Favourite Behaviour? Barking

Favrouite Thing to Teach? Place and Agility!

Sami Frank

Adoptions Coordinator

I moved to KW a few years ago and really wanted to take my love for dogs to the next level by helping out a local rescue. Reached out to Taffy's and began doing home visits, which really got me outside of my comfort zone! Volunteering with Taffy's has really boosted my confidence with dogs and I learn so much from this great team weekly. I am responsible for receiving and processing applications, managing adoption processing volunteers, and matching dogs with adopters. 

I work at a local credit union. I spend most of my downtime with my little family- my partner Nathan and our two dogs Henry and Cooper. We like to go on hikes, go camping, and eat way too much food.

Fun Facts:

Favourite Foster Dog? Muscat.. now named Ricky.. my first and only foster

Number of Fosters? 1

Favourite Breed? Any kind of "hound" dog- i'm a sucker for those ears.

Least Favourite Behaviour? Excessive barking

Favrouite Thing to Teach? "time for bed!"- crate time

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Sabrina Da Cruz-Neiva

Marketing Coordinator

In 2019 I was living with my roommates and we desperately wanted a little four legged friend in the house! Couple issues though... none of us were ready to commit to a dog long time and some of us had NO dog experience (like me). So, we put in a foster application with Taffy's and then got our first foster, Octaiva. Taffy's did such a good job with matching our house's experience and needs with her and that's when we feel in love with it! I am responsible for Events, Fundraising and Marketing.

The whole taffy's team is always there for support when needed and truly cares about educating their foster homes. I came in with no experience and in the last two years I have gained so much confidence in my dog knowledge and continue to learn more and more. In fact, I started with understanding that I wasn't ready for a dog yet, to foster failing my pup Charlie who is the perfect fit for my home!

When I am not doing rescue things I am working towards becoming a teacher! I have worked the past two years with children with Autism and now I am in school getting my Bachelors of Education to teach grade kindergarten to grade 6! Outside of working and being a student I love to go on adventures with my dog Charlie, play boardgames, binge watch a few shows and hang out with friends! 

Fun Facts:

Favourite Foster Dog? Russel

Number of Fosters? 6

Least Favourite Behaviour? Super vocal dogs

Favrouite Thing to Teach? "which cup?" or hide and seek!