Our Team

Rescue Ranch is run by a very small and fearless team that would do anything and everything for animals and our community.


Krissie Newman

President & Co-Founder

Since she was a little girl, Krissie Newman has always had a passion for animal welfare and educating society on responsible pet ownership. When she's not at the Ranch, you can find her with her two beautiful girls or deploying with Code 3 Associates and IFAW rescuing animals from natural disasters.

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Michelle Hepler

Executive Director

Michelle served more than 26 years at Iredell Parks and Recreation. Michelle is passionate about the environment and creating opportunities for education and growth which led her to the Ranch. She loves to spend time outdoors camping, paddling, and hiking with her husband David and two rescued pups, Dude and Darla. 


Jim Boyle


Jim has worked in finance for over 25 years. His daughter Krissie Newman inspired his love of animals and the Ranch. When he's not trying to retire, he spends his time with his beautiful grandkids and wife.


Allyson Floyd

Humane Education Manager

Allyson is our Education Manager, or as we like to call her - the Chaos Coordinator. She is the brain child behind all our humane education programs, relating animal care to STEM activities. In her free time she loves listening to true crime podcasts and having a dark sense of humor.


Amy Spear

Development Director

Amy has always worked in non-profits trying to create a better community and world. This is her first time at an animal non-profit and we're trying to show her Snakes aren't that scary. In her free time she enjoys hanging with her family and two rescue dogs.


Leslie Smith

Animal Husbandry Manager

Leslie grew up with Lions, Tigers and Bears so it was natural for her to go to school for Zoology. Leslie is the backbone of the Ranch and pretty much lives here. In her free time she loves traveling, hanging with her two Dachshunds and her boyfriend.


Madison Hess

Animal Care Assistant

Maddie grew up with all different kinds of pets and has rescued dogs her entire life so working at the ranch has been the perfect fit! She lives on a farm with a variety of animals and has two dogs, two rats, and an eclectus parrot! Her favorite animals to work with are the rats and the birds and in her free time she loves to read, watch movies, and go to concerts!


Cheryl Hanna

Executive Assistant

Cheryl has always loved animals - especially chickens. She is the silent auction queen for the Ranch and is the friendly face for everyone who comes through the front door. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and spoiling her grandkids.


Jenn Bhagirat

Humane Education Instructor

Jenn grew up with animals of all kinds and has always wanted to work with animals. She's currently in school for zoology and aquarium science. Her hobbies include video games and hanging out with her scaly, furry, and feathered kids. She was terrified of snakes until she fell in love with Dante the ball python that lives at the Ranch.


Grace Mauk

Humane Education Instructor

From scaly to furry and feathery, all animals have a place in Grace’s heart. Her passion for animals led her into a career as an Education Instructor where you will find her inviting all guests to be an animal advocate like her. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors and with her family.


Brandy Fowler

Humane Education Instructor

An animal lover since birth and a passion for teaching lead Brandy to the Ranch. Added bonus was becoming a foster family for the Ranch. When not at the Ranch you will find her spending time with her husband, son, two dogs, parrot, lizard and frog.

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April Arrington

Adoptions Director

Since birth, April has been completely dog obsessed so it was natural for her to get into dog rescue and adoptions. She enjoys working with all sorts of animals at the ranch, especially Lover the Cockatoo. In her free time, she enjoys live music, meeting dogs and traveling.

Our Leadership

Krissie Newman - Co-Founder & President
Ryan Newman - Co-Founder & Vice President
James Boyle - Secretary / Treasurer
Mike Arms - Board Member
Michael Horvath - Board Member
Chris Cartner - Board Member
Blair Miller - Board Member