Our Mission


The Human Animal Bond Association is centered on the delivery of education and information that helps us better understand how – and why- both humans and animals feel and are impacted by the bond.

Core Values

  • To elevate and educate on the benefits of the human-animal bond including social, therapeutic, and economic aspects
  • Conduct our work with diligence, integrity, and transparency
  • Advance the understanding of the human-animal bond within all professions, cultures, and regions of the world
  • Support and promote human-animal bond research and other science-based work in this area
  • Collaborate with other human-animal bond organization as their values align with ours
  • Offer resources for practical support of the human-animal bond to veterinary practitioners, pet owners, and other community members

International Human Animal Bond Day (IHABDay) 

IHABDay was created by The Human Animal Bond Association (HABA) to bring an annual focus to the role people and animals play in each other’s lives by featuring stories on social media with the hashtags #IHABDay #HABA #HumanAnimalBond. IHABDay is celebrated on November 8. 

Board of Directors

Our current leadership continues the legacy of others in advocating, celebrating, and educating on the importance of the human-animal bond for over 28 years.

Patrick Flynn, DVM, MS – President
Patrick Flynn

Patrick Flynn, DVM is the Senior Professional Services Veterinarian for Central Florida. Dr. Flynn received his veterinary degree from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in 1994. He was in private small animal practice for 13 years in both Pennsylvania and Florida before joining Pfizer Animal Health, now Zoetis Petcare in 2006. His passion and curiosity for the scientific study of the role animals play in our lives (and vice versa) led him to Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, where he completed a Master of Science degree in Anthrozoology in 2019. Dr. Flynn enjoys speaking on the many subjects under Human Animal Bond and related subjects such as cognition and intelligence, the history of the HAB and literature interpretation at national and international conventions. Dr. Flynn is also a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional and is currently enrolled in the One Health Program offered by the Department of Environmental & Global Health in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida.

Laird Goodman, DVM, CVA – Immediate Past President
Laird Goodman

Dr. Laird M. Goodman, DVM received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota and was among the first veterinarians in the Pacific Northwest to receive accreditation from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society. Widely recognized as an animal expert and advocate, he has received numerous awards, including the AAHA Practitioner of the Year for the Pacific Northwest and Oregon Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Award. He was a veterinary consultant and caregiver during the filming of Disney’s Homeward Bound and has been a frequent guest expert on “Good Day Oregon” and other Portland-area radio and TV programs.

Kerry Plemmons – Treasurer
Kerry Plemmons

Kerry has 30 years of entrepreneurial experience with success in launching and running small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. and Mexico, and another 16 years as an academic and consultant. Plemmons is a published author with his book, Juxtapositions: Comparing Mild to Wild Success – Irreverently.

Brenda Shepek Andresen – Director at Large
Brenda Andresen

Co-Chief Executive Officer, Stephens & Associates (S&A)
A connector, collaborator, and confidante who values sincerity and authenticity above all else, Brenda has built her career on a belief in the power of mutually beneficial relationships and a commitment to forward thinking. She is a veterinary industry insider who is well known and well respected across the profession.

Brenda brings a unique and 3-dimensional approach to industry engagement. Her diverse experience includes leading the innovative AVMA’s Partners for Healthy Pets initiative, directing DVM360’s publication and conference marketing to record sales, building a connections-centric community as co-founder of The Bridge Club and The Bridge Club Pets, and guiding strategy and creative for some of animal health’s most successful brands via her advertising agency roles.

As S&A’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, Brenda heads business strategy for the Agency, guides brand and creative strategy for Agency clients, and leads the Agency’s account service, content, and creative teams.

Rachel Beck, CVT, PMP – Director at Large
Rachel Beck

Director of Veterinary Technician Programs for Banfield Pet Hospital.
Rachel has spent over two decades in the veterinary industry in numerous roles. In her current role, she leads the strategy and oversees the execution of a nursing roadmap that drives the recruitment, retention, and supply of veterinary technicians for Banfield while focusing on career growth opportunities and skill utilization for veterinary technicians. Her passion is creating a sustainable career for all veterinary professionals, particularly veterinary technicians. She is also part of Banfield’s Veterinary Leadership Team, providing input and guidance on strategy impacting over 1,000 hospitals and 19,000 associates. Apart from clinical and leadership skills, she is a credentialed project manager and experienced change management practitioner. She has authored several articles in publications such as Today’s Veterinary Nurse and the NAVTA Journal. She sits on boards including the Oregon Veterinary Technician and Assistant Association, and the Human Animal Bond Association.

Shereen Burton, MS, DVM – Director at Large
Shereen Burton

Medical Director for Hearts Alive Village Veterinary Clinic. Shereen Burton, MS, DVM graduated from Ross University, School of Veterinary Medicine in 2006. She moved to Las Vegas, NV with her husband and began working as an associate at a small animal hospital. She joined the US Army Reserves, Veterinary Corps in 2009 to build her career and help give back to our community and country. In 2012, Dr. Burton began volunteering and doing relief work at The Animal Foundation, a large nonprofit open admission animal shelter. When the shelter was in need of a Chief Veterinarian, she accepted their offer to join the team full time. Wanting to expand her career, in 2018 Dr. Burton joined Zoetis as a Professional Services Veterinarian. She was with Zoetis for over 5 years, provide education and support to veterinary hospital teams throughout Arizona, California and the Las Vegas Valley.

She is Human-Animal Bond Certified, Fear-Free Certified and is Certified as a Compassion Fatigue Professional.  Her mission is to provide compassionate care to pets and their people though the power of the human-animal bond.   

Steve Dale, CABC – Director at Large
Steve Dale

Steve is a certified animal behavior consultant, host of two nationally syndicated radio shows–Steve Dale’s Pet World and The Pet Minute —and is a special contributor at Chicago’s WGN Radio where for 23 years he’s also hosted Steve Dale’s Pet World. He is involved in many legislative efforts, from preventing breed bans to creating a law to protect animals from kennel fires; the first law of its kind. Steve has been honored with many awards, including the AVMA Humane Award in 2002, and he’s in the Dog Writers’ Hall of Fame.

Amanda Landis-Hanna, DVM – Director at Large
Amanda Landis-Hanna

Amanda Landis-Hanna is Vice President for Veterinarians at Heal House Call Veterinarian. She has practiced small animal and exotic medicine, shelter medicine, relief medicine and has worked in both private practice and corporate practice over the last 20 years.

She has worked in research and industry, helping develop and test biometric monitoring devices in telemedicine. She has also worked in non-profit, managing the veterinary portfolio for the largest animal welfare funder in North America. She has presented at numerous conferences including VMX, WVC, ACVIM, AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, AVMA Convention and has completed both Human-Animal Bond Certification and Fear Free Certification. She sits on the board of VetPartners, an organization for veterinary consultants.

Her passions include improving access to veterinary care by decreasing barriers within communities, increasing research and educational opportunities within veterinary medicine, and mental health in the animal care industry.

Patricia Zehna, RVT – Director at Large
Patricia Zehna

A lifelong animal and nature lover, I became interested in veterinary medicine while volunteering at a local shelter in high school. After detours working in marketing for AT&T and as a cosmetologist, I finally started my career in veterinary medicine in 1993. I began volunteering in the veterinary clinic at Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, CA and was hired in 1998. I returned “home” to Monterey in 2009 and have worked in many aspects of medicine, including Internal Medicine, ECC, Surgery, Dermatology, and general practice. In 2014, I was hired as an instructor and coordinator to help establish a veterinary assistant program at Central Coast College in Salinas.

Paige Gabrielson – Student Member at Large
Paige Gabrielson

Paige is currently attending Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biochemical Sciences pursing my Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree. She grew up on a hobby farm in Alexandria, Minnesota with her parents Larry and Kristin Gabrielson and her brother James. She has always had a passion for animals and the desire to become a veterinarian. She joined 4-H at a young age and was involved in every aspect to learn and research all that she could. Paige then took what she had learned and shared it with others by providing free riding lessons, earning five grants to enhance the program and facilities, as well as started a youth horse camp. She is very active in her university, church, and community. She enjoys spending time with her various horses, singing, playing my viola, sports and is determined to become an equine veterinarian, become certified in animal chiropractic and potentially pursue a specialization. In 2019, Paige graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science, with Chemistry and Music Minors.

Advisors Board
Alice Villalobos

Alice Villalobos DVM, FNAP

John Wright

John Wright, DVM

Past Presidents
The Human Animal Bond Association is Grateful for the Leadership and Dedication of our Past Presidents

Dr. Rod Jouppi (2018-2020)
Dr. Timothy Lee (2016-2018)
Dr. Gregg Takashima (2014-16)
Dr. Emilia Wong Gordon (2012-14)
Dr. Robin Downing (2010-12)
Dr. Tami Shearer (2009-10)
Dr. Victoria Voith (2008-09)
Dr. Martha Littlefield (2007-08)
Dr. Richard P. Timmins (2006-07)
Dr. Alice Villalobos (2005-06)
Dr. Lauren Keating (2004-05)

Dr. H. Marie Suthers-McCabe (2003-04)
Dr. John New (2002-03)
Dr. Guy Hancock (2001-02)
Dr. John S. Wright (2000-01)
Dr. Caroline B. Schaffer (1999-00)
Dr. Perry R. Chumley (1998-99)
Dr. Thomas J. Lane (1997-98)
Dr. James J. Elliott (1996-97)
Dr. Earl O. Strimple (1995-96)
Dr. Kathy L. Mitchener (1994-95)
Dr. Lynn J. Anderson (1993-94) Charter President


We are grateful for the support of our sponsors and partners who help us to continue to elevate and educate the human-animal bond.

HABA Partners

Special Mentions
Greg Max
Kerry Plemmons Consulting (2019)
Love Dog Adventures (2018 & 2019)