Facilitating The Human/Animal Bond

Meet the 2020 ElderPet Board

Michael Cicchese (Chairperson) - Mike works for the Dover Police Department and is a communications specialist by training. He and his wife Holly are were registered Pet Partners with BoomBoom (now passed) a retired racing Greyhound. Mike and BoomBoom visited Wentworth Douglass Hospital.  Mike is one of our licensed Pet Partners Evaluators and our Facebook Administrator.

Marsha Barden (Vice Chairperson)- Marsha is a former trainer of Standardbred horses and a retired wildlife biologist for USDA, Wildlife Services. She currently runs a small boarding stable for retired horses.  She has been a Pet Partners Handler with two English setters, Rosa and Mister Grover (now passed). She and her dogs did R.E.A.D. visits at the libraries in Stratham and Madbury and visited at Exeter Hospital's Cancer Center and inpatient units, as well as and The Pines of Newmarket assisted living facility. Marsha is one of our Licensed Pet Partners Evaluators and is membership coordinator.

Kim Faustino (Secretary) - Kim has been a dedicated "crowd" volunteer for our evaluations for several years. She is the proud owner of 2 rescued Labrador retievers and active in Dock Dogs. Jackie, is her Pet Partners teammate. A lifelong volunteer who has worked with many organizations, Kim comes to us with a business and accounting background which will be put to good use on our board.

Jerilee Zezula, D.V.M. (Treasurer) - Jeri is a retired professor of Applied Animal Science at the Thompson School at UNH. She has been a Pet Partners Handler since 1997 first with Abby, a German shepherd dog (now deceased) and is now with Lily, a mixed breed.  Jeri is a Licensed Pet Partners Instructor, ElderPet Service Coordinator, and has taught an on-line Animal Assisted Therapy course through UNH Professional Development and Training.

Doris Irwin - Doris is retired from UNH. She has been a Pet Partners Handler since 2001 with her English Cockers, Sebastian (now passed) and Tango (now retired) and Fletcher. They have visited at nursing homes, classes and library events at UNH and Wentworth Douglass Hospital. They have also been active in the "Read With Me" program at the Durham Public Library.  Doris volunteers at Pet Partner Evaluations and has often brought Tango to serve as a neutral dog team.

Sue Walsh - Sue is a dog obedience instructor and board member with Piscataqua Obedience Club in Kittery, ME. She and her cocker spaniel Livy are a dedicated Pet Partners team primarily involved with the "Read With Me" program in the Acton, ME schools. Sue's background as a trainer and her knowledge of dog behavior and horses are very valuable assets to our board.

Allison Powers - Allison is former instructor at the Thompson School Companion Animal Care Program and has been involved in various professional and volunteer aspects of companion animal care for over twenty-five years. Her professional specialty is companion animal behavior. She volunteers her time with ElderPet to promote and support mutually healthy, human-animal relationships. 

Patty Welch - Patty is a Pet Partner with her little Boston terrier Bodie. As a Pet Partners team, she and Bodie volunteer and conduct many popular actvitities at Newmarket Elementary School. Patty and Bodie also serve as a neutral team for Pet Partners evaluations and other events. In their other life, Patty is a dog groomer and Bodie and his "sister" Bindi compete very successfully in agility. Patty and Bodie also actively promote and fundraise for the service branch of ElderPet.

Joanne Fatur - Joanne is a Pet Partners handler with her little Shih Tsu Lexie. She and Lexie visit Parkland Hospital's Lahey Oncology and Behavior Health Unit and do "Read With Me" at Grinnell Elementary School. A new board member in 2020, she comes to the board with many business related skills and talents.

Advisory Board

Jennie Dapice, O.T. - Jennie is an occupational therapist who has worked in adult and pediatric acute care settings, skilled nursing facilities, and schools. She has researched, and taught AAT and AAA. She has volunteered for Canine Companions for Independence for 18 years, was a Pet Partners volunteer handler for 4 years. Jennie has volunteerd to consult with facilities wishing to establish robust animal assisted therapy programs.

Linda Franchi, R.T. - Linda is a repiratory therapist who has been delivering pet food, dog walking and doing emergency pet sitting for ElderPet for several years. She has many years of hands-on experience with dogs, cats, and horses and was a 4-H leader for 8 years. Linda has helped revamp our community services in Strafford County.