Leadership
Meet our team

 

Gray Muzzle Society is governed by a team of volunteers who are dedicated to keeping pets and families together. Click the photos to read each team member’s bio. 

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Kayson Cooper

Executive Director/Co-Founder

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Molly Dawson

Director of Grants and Giving/Co-Founder

Liam got involved in animal welfare after adopting an adult shelter dog, Zorro, who inspired him to give even more shelter dogs a second chance as a foster parent. Liam has been involved in social services for nearly a decade, aiding low-income families while working for the City and County of Denver. He later moved on to the development department of a non-profit agency dedicated to providing services for homeless women and children, with an emphasis on inclusivity and support services for transgender individuals struggling with homelessness. After finishing his second Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Liam is currently working as a software engineer for the first manned mission to Mars. Liam’s own experience caring for his aging dog, and working with disadvantaged populations, drew him to Gray Muzzle Society. Liam has seen first hand the importance of the human/animal bond and believes strongly that temporary financial hurdles shouldn’t separate pets from the people who love them. In his free time, Liam can be found enjoying the outdoors.

Liam Flannagan

President/Treasurer

EC got her start in animal welfare more than a decade ago working at a small equine non-profit and dog shelter in Corfu, Greece. Upon moving to Colorado EC began working at Colorado’s largest animal shelter, where she spent nearly a decade; striving to grow and improve the organization’s adoptions, intake, and foster programs. EC was later promoted to Transfer Manager, where she collaborated with animal welfare organizations across the country transporting pets and developing community outreach. EC later moved to a large municipal animal shelter where she took a position as the Assistant Director of Operations and Veterinary Services. In this role, she was responsible for the re-development of the public outreach spay/neuter program. EC currently works as an animal welfare consultant while completing her Master’s in Public Administration at the University of Colorado Denver, with a capstone focused on best practices in integrating public services with animal welfare. In her free time, EC enjoys traveling with her fiance and spending time with their dogs.

EC Michaels

Vice President

Shannon’s introduction to animal welfare started at an early age when her family adopted a former puppy mill dog from a Welsh Terrier rescue. Shannon got her first job working with animals professionally as a teenager, and has nearly 15 years experience caring for animals in shelter and veterinary settings. Shannon spent a decade on the animal care and veterinary services team at a large open admission animal shelter, where she was an advocate for ill, elderly, and undersocialized animals regularly fostering and finding homes for pets that were otherwise overlooked. Shannon currently works at a referring specialist animal hospital with multiple departments that treat complex cases. When not caring for animals professionally, Shannon enjoys spending time with her two dogs, two cats, and two rats, and enjoying good food with friends and family.

Shannon Villatoro

Secretary

Larz grew up in rural Colorado surrounded by dogs, cats, poultry, sheep, rabbits, and horses. After moving to Denver to complete his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies Larz began work at Colorado’s largest animal shelter where he has dedicated more than a decade protecting Colorado’s most vulnerable animals. Working closely with a network of animal shelters, rescues, and other animal welfare partners Larz has transported hundreds of animals to ensure they receive the best outcome possible. A dedicated member to the emergency response team, Larz has traveled across the country protecting pets in the face of natural disasters. Larz also hosts foster dogs who are recovering from surgery or face other medical challenges to give them a better chance of being adopted. These experiences, and his belief that pets should be kept with their families whenever possible, are what drew Larz to Gray Muzzle Society. Outside of animal welfare, Larz is an avid hiker, trail runner, and backpacker.

Larz Yerian

Board Member

Emily grew up outside of San Francisco with many dogs, cats, and horses. She started her animal welfare journey at 12 years old volunteering at the local humane society walking dogs. After moving to Seattle, WA she got her BA in sociology and social work. Following college, she had several different animal welfare jobs from client relations in an emergency animal hospital to animal care lead at a shelter. She finally settled in Denver, Co with her husband, daughter, cat and dog. Her latest job was with a large shelter in the Denver area working in the Transfer Department moving animals across the state and working with other shelters, rescues, and organizations to help animals receive the best possible chance of finding homes. She is currently working on her Masters in Shelter Management at CSU. Outside of animal welfare, Emily enjoys reading, going to concerts, and exploring all Colorado has to offer, especially the food!

Emily Lowman

Board Member

Haley grew up on the Western Slope of Colorado surrounded by pet dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, and fish. After graduating with a BA in biology from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Haley began a long-lasting career in wildlife conservation. She was involved in education, outreach, animal husbandry, translation, and fieldwork for zoological organizations, national parks, and state governments. Haley has also served as a dedicated volunteer for her local humane society, fostering animals in need and providing enrichment for shelter pets. Haley now works as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. Her own experience with senior pets, and her belief that families and pets should be kept together whenever possible drew her to continue pursuing her passion for animals with Gray Muzzle Society. In her free time, Haley loves to hike and explore the beautiful mountains Colorado has to offer, go camping, boating, and simply hanging out with her family and snuggling with her pups.

Haley DiMarchi

Board Member

Mark was born in Gary, Indiana, and raised in a small town in the Midwest, he came to Colorado to attend the USAF from 1970-1974. Having fallen in love with Colorado he decided to stay and attend Colorado State University Veterinarian College, graduating in 1979. As a young vet, Dr. Howard worked with Dr. Beckvermit at Alameda Vet Clinic from 1980-1986. After having experience with corporate veterinary medicine, he returned to Dr. Beckvermit in 1994 and purchased the practice from him at that time. Dr. Howard is the past president of the Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society. He has three grown children and two grandchildren. He is an avid skier and road bicyclist. During his time off he also enjoys swing dancing and spending time with his family and standard poodle, Remy.

Dr. Mark Howard

Veterinarian