Education and Community Outreach Team
Director of Education & Community Outreach
Inge Koopman-Leyva is recognized throughout the region as an innovative, creative and organized leader in Humane Education serving Tucson, Arizona for almost two decades in Humane Education. She is an active member of the Association of Professional Humane Educators and the Animal Cruelty Taskforce of Southern Arizona. Inge moved to Tucson in 2003 from her birth state of New York where she lived in Brooklyn while working in New York City for many years as a Veterinary Technician and Membership Associate for the American Museum of Natural History. She has her B.A. in Anthropology, with a minor in Sustainable Development, from Hunter College in NYC.
Outreach and Resource Manager
Amy has been with the organization since 2017 and currently holds the title of Humane Education Lead. She organizes and conducts many of the education programs for children at HSSA including the hand in Paw Kid's Club, Paws & Pages, Birthday PAW-ties, and Movie and Cuddle. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2013 with BA in Psychology. Prior to working at HSSA she worked at the Southern Arizona Center Against Sexual Assault doing crisis intervention as a crisis advocate. When she is not working at HSSA, she enjoys snuggling with her two dogs, Oak and Thor, and dancing for the Leaps for Lives Dance Company and holds the position of Secretary for the company.
Youth Programs Lead
Monica comes to HSSA with a love for teaching and a passion for animals. As the Children's Program Coordinator, she runs the Kids Club, leads children's activities, and hosts school visits. Before Monica joined in 2022, she served with FoodCorps and AmeriCorps in their school outreach program at TUSD, teaching kids about healthy foods, nourishment, and how to plant and harvest their own crops at school, later becoming Garden Lead at Manzo Elementary. She graduated from the University of Arizona with double degrees in Political Science and Public Management and Policy. At UA, she also completed an internship at Hearts that Purr Feline Guardians, where she continues to volunteer today. In her spare time, Monica can often be found spoiling and brokering peace between her two cats, Oz and Neptune.
Children's Programs Coordinator
Dylan is a new addition to HSSA, and a fresh transplant to Tucson. He comes to us from Colorado, where he recently completed his Master's in Zoo, Aquarium, and Animal Shelter Management. During his time at Colorado State he taught undergraduate Biology labs, and led a team of students in positive reinforcement training to help former laboratory animals find their forever homes. Prior to graduating Dylan interned with Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida where he led summer camp programs and worked as a zookeeper. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from Indiana University, where he specialized in Primatology and Human Paleontology, and conducted field research on four species of monkeys in Costa Rica. Once terrified of public speaking, Dylan is a Certified Interpretive Guide and now enjoys any opportunity to share his passion for the natural world. Dylan has a love for action sports, especially longboard racing, and formerly competed in World Cup downhill races. In his free time he enjoys playing video games, hiking, or spending time with his goldendoodle Frankie.
Certified Canine Trainers Team
Community Canine Programs Manager
Veronica has practiced her passion of helping people and animals through her work at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona for over 5 years. Veronica previously operated her own animal training business for over 8 years, providing certification for Trick Animals and Service Dogs. Veronica also conducted temperament assessments for service animals at Handi-Dogs Inc. for over 3 years. She currently trains, and evaluates therapy animal and crisis response dog team volunteers for animal assisted activities, animal assisted therapy, and crisis response program and organizes and instructs the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen classes. She is also the author of “Dog; A Diabetic’s Best Friend – Diabetic and Glycemic Alert Dog Training Guide”
Community Canine Trainer
Lynne is a positive reinforcement trainer and member of the TOP Dogs training team completing more than 4000 hours teaching volunteers, fosters and adopters to train shelter dogs in life skills and basic manners; supporting the critical transition during the rehoming process and meeting one on one to demonstrate remediation of undesirable behaviors to keep dogs in their homes. A member of the Board of Directors for the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, she has helped to create web content on training topics for owners and trainers and served as a member the communications and marketing committee. Lynne came to the dog training profession after years in hospitality management with her CFBE from the University of Michigan and as adjunct faculty for Pima Community College and Northern Arizona University Extension Program teaching Catering & Event Management and Marketing. Her work in hospitality focused on opening new departments, logistics and creating teams.
Community Canine Programs Coordinator
Ana Mendoza is a devoted animal lover with a profound passion for canine education and behavior. With a childhood dream of becoming a marine biologist fueled by her enthusiasm for killer whale activism, Ana's path took an unexpected turn into the world of dog training.
Having spent three years specializing in basic obedience and canine behavior, Ana has found her stride as a Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator. Her dedication to positive training techniques and her pursuit of the Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CCPDT-KA) certification exemplify her commitment to humane and effective training.
Ana's journey into training was inspired by her own dog's transformation from reactivity to confidence through consistent training. This experience ignited her mission to help others experience the same positive changes with their canine companions.