#carefamily is made up of dedicated staff members, devoted volunteers, attentive foster parents, generous donors, and lifesaving shelter partners working tirelessly together for our city's animals to make sure they are safe and happy!
Meet the CARE STL team
Founder & Chief Lifesaving Officer
Rowena Horak, or commonly known as "Weng" to her friends, is the Founder and CEO of CARE STL. An animal lover at heart, she's always had a passion for helping the voiceless. Weng brings to CARE STL nearly two decades of business & financial management experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, with focus on developing policies and procedures to improve performance, provide strategic direction, develop fundraising strategies and marketing. Before founding CARE STL, Weng worked as the Chief Financial Officer for Stray Rescue of St. Louis and Ability Building & Restoration.
Weng was born in the Philippines, and before moving in St. Louis in 2008, she served as the Asia Group CFO & Corporate Treasurer for C&C Alpha Group, the UK based private equity company with substantial investments worldwide. She also served as Chief Financial Controller for an airline company and hospitality industry for many years. Weng holds a Master's in Business Administration and a graduate degree of Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. She is a CPA and ISO 2000 Certified Internal Auditor. She is a member of several financial executive groups, CFO, and nonprofit networks. Weng loves to travel, and she is happily enjoying life outside of CARE STL with her husband, four lovely daughters, and six furry kids.
VP of Operations
Valerie is the VP of Operations for CARE STL. Being an avid animal lover and with a background in psychology, she's always had a passion for helping people, helping animals, animal-assisted therapy programs and building healthy communities. As the VP of Operations for CARE STL, she's able to combine both. Valerie ensures the shelter and shelter programs are running smoothly, and develops strategic programming to fortify CARE's No-Kill sustainability through building community outreach programs and partnerships. She also helps with the financial and business development by writing grants and assisting the CEO in maintaining a strong relationship with CARE's donor base. Prior to joining CARE STL, Valerie was the Adoption, Foster, and Community Outreach Programs Manager at Stray Rescue of St. Louis since 2013. Outside of CARE, Valerie enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and their 3 dogs.
Dr. Jay King, DVM
Dr. King graduated from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 1987. To go along with his degree in Veterinary Medicine, Dr. King holds educational certificates in: Biology, Endangered Species Management, Conservation/ Captive Breeding Endangered Species, and Animal Behavior. Since graduating from vet school in 1987, Dr. King has worked at a number of animal hospitals in St. Louis. He has worked Watson Road since 1999. Dr. King has been selected for various awards, scholarships, and grants such as, The Gerald Durrell Memorial Fund Grant. His writing has been published in over 30 scientific publications. Dr. King’s passion is to work with exotic animals. He enjoys spending time with his wife, traveling, and, studying martial arts in his free time.
Clinic Manager, Veterinary Technician
Kerrie is the Clinic Manager at CARE. In 2008, she received her BA in Mass Communication from SIUE, then continued schooling at Hickey College to earn her Veterinary Technician Degree. Kerrie began working at CARE STL since May 2019 after working at Stray Rescue of St. Louis for six years. In the free time that she finds, she spends time with her husband, daughter, and two fur babies: Banjo and Gemma, who are both rescued Pitbull mixes. According to Kerrie, they are both great siblings to their little sister and are spoiled rotten! She also says, "I always knew I would work in animal rescue. It is often heartbreaking, but always rewarding to have a hand in finding once unwanted and forgotten dogs their forever homes. My patients are pretty much always grateful for the care I provide. I've learned that animals are far more forgiving than human beings."
Kelsey is the shelter manager at CARE STL and oversees care/maintenance for all the animals. She makes sure our animal shelter at Clark is running smoothly and proper care is taken with each animal. Kelsey is the direct correspondent to the City of St. Louis Department of Health regarding bite cases involving citizens’ animals. She has been in the animal rescue world since November 2014 at Stray Rescue, working her way up from caregiver to certified trainer. Kelsey has also specialized in rehabilitating feral dogs and managing aggressive behavior in the home and in shelter. Her favorite part about working in the shelter is the sense of family she gets from her co-workers and volunteers.
She says, "whenever there is a negative aspect I see at work like an abused dog, I have to turn it into motivation to do better for these animals. It makes me want to be better for them, and instead of being upset over why this dog was returned I can be glad it has people who will always be on its side."
Foster & Rescue Programs Manager
After several years of volunteering in different shelter and rescue settings, Jenny made the switch from higher ed, where she was a faculty member and administrator for the last 20 years, to working full-time for CARE STL. Her educational, professional, and volunteer background includes teaching, mentoring, program management, professional writing, animal advocacy, marketing, and fostering dogs. She holds an MA and Ph.D. in English, enjoys solving problems, and believes that all animals are individuals.
Senna started working at Stray Rescue of St. Louis in 2015 as a caregiver. There, she was able to take care of and help the neglected and abused animals come out of their shells to learn how to trust people again. She's spent all her life with pets, between growing up with them and also working in the rescue world. Her whole family is passionate about animal welfare!
She says, "With my experience in the rescue world, I realized that all these animals need is love and a second chance at life. This is why I am very passionate about my job as a adoption counselor because I get to see dogs go home to wonderful families who I know will love them unconditionally and ensure them that from then on they will never have to experience pain and neglect ever again."
Liz is the Adoption Manager at CARE STL and she is the person we point you to when you are ready for your new best pet friend! She also runs both cat adoption programs with our partners at Petsmart and Pet Supplies Plus. She started off working in veterinary care in 2008, where she learned her passion and figured out what field she was ready to dedicate her life. When people would bring in dogs she would try and find their owners or take them home to foster so they wouldn't have to be dropped off at the pound. She says this is where she learned about animal rescue and why it was so important for the community. Since then, she has managed doggy daycares, did pet sitting, and worked at grooming and boarding facilities. She ended up at Stray Rescue of St. Louis in 2015 and moved on to be their adoption/foster manager before coming to CARE STL in October 2020.
"I love working with people as much as I do the dogs. My favorite part is sitting down and talking to someone about what life would be like for the pet they will have and making them that PERFECT match! Getting these shelter pets into families that care about them is what this is all about. Sometimes, they send me update pictures and it makes my whole world go round! I'm living the dream and making sure the animals will live theirs too!"