Lisa Sanborn President


I was born with a love for animals. Growing up in Nashville, I had dogs and cats and rode horses every weekend. Animals brought me the most joy in life and they still do; I’ve never been without one. My husband, Chris, and I moved to Maggie Valley a few years ago from Florida where we had a Speed Boat Tour business and rescued cats and dogs. Prior to that, we were realtors in San Diego, volunteering for the Humane Society. Since moving to Western NC, we’ve been blessed to become involved with FUR and STAR Horse Rescue. Giving back to these precious animals that have no voice, and often fall into the void, is one of the toughest but most satisfying and rewarding experiences I have ever had. We currently enjoy living in our mountain home with our 3 rescue dogs and 5 rescue kitties!


Jennie Kirby Co-Treasurer


Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, I was an Assistant Vice-President in Banking, Accounting and Investments before moving into Commercial Real Estate with the Georgia Power Company. Never having had a cat until the year 2000, a friend asked if I would like to take a kitten from a litter that her sister had rescued from an empty house.  We decided to take two sisters and I fell in love.  Since then, my husband Roy and I relocated to North Carolina and now live with our five cats, all rescues. I believe that every cat should have a good home.  So glad that I found FUR and hope to make my dream of finding homes for our residents come true….


Hunter Wyman Board Member


Texas born and South Carolina raised I moved to the mountains in 2000. From snakes, frogs, and turtles to horses, cats, and dogs I've never been without multiple animals in my life. I worked in the restaurant business for 14 years until my fiance and I purchased The Dog House in 2015. Through the years I've gotten to know Haywood county really well and my love for our mountain community has only grown. The one thing that has always amazed me is how strong our animal support is here. Joining FUR and seeing the countless fur babies they have saved gives me the amazing opportunity to give back to this beautiful community that has given so much to me! 


Erin Jennings Board Member


I was born in South Florida where I lived for 24 years before moving to Alabama, Colorado, and finally here, to the Smoky Mountains. While in High School, I was approached by one of our coaches who was an associate veterinarian at a local animal hospital. It was after he offered me a summer job in the kennel that I realized my passion for animals ran deep.

I followed him around, annoyingly asking questions, until I finally was promoted from kennel manager to (non RVT) Veterinary Technician. Fast forward 20 years, I still have that same passion for working with animals, the community, and other rescue organizations. I currently serve on multiple boards including Friends of the Haywood County Shelter, FUR, and my local dart organization, WCDA. When not serving our animal welfare community, I travel the country playing competitive darts.

Rachel L. West Vice President

Rachel Headshot.jpg

I am an independent, self-employed insurance adjuster for the past 25 years. I currently specialize in catastrophic disaster events but my true love and compassion has always been animals. For many years, prior to the establishment of FUR, I had been rescuing  cats and dogs found suffering on the streets with absolutely nowhere acceptable for them to go. I found homes for most of these rescues but the cats were by far the most challenging. It was apparent that cats were way too often misunderstood, unappreciated and mostly unwanted in Western North Carolina.  The sad realization that homeless cats here desperately needed a safe haven resulted in a long time, dream come true called F.U.R.


SyDney Klocke Co-Treasurer


I am a retired educator from Illinois.  With 38 years in education I taught math, was math department chair, Director of Discipline and Attendance, Associate Principal and Principal. Growing up with dogs all my life and a landlord that said no dogs, my first feline rescue was in 1982.  I fell in love and have rescued several cats since then.  I did some volunteer work at a shelter in Illinois but became very disenchanted due to all the cats being in cages.  So sad.  I retired to North Carolina a couple of years ago and soon after discovered FUR.  A blessing in disguise.


Julie Moriarty Leffler Board Member


I grew up in Virginia, outside D.C., on several acres with dogs, cats, horses and many other kinds of animals.  I learned to respect and love all living creatures.  In 2013, when my husband semi-retired from his law practice, we moved to Waynesville so we could have a little farm.  In 2015, after spending over 30 years managing operations in the legal and ethics and compliance industries, I had the opportunity to purchase the Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery.  I left airports, conference calls and meetings behind to manage a business that caters to cats and dogs – a perfect vocation for me.  I have not regretted it for a second.  I am incredibly lucky to be able to finally focus on my passion – saving homeless animals. 


Darden Yerkes Board Member


While I was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL I was lucky to spend the summers at Skyland Camp for Girls in Clyde.  In 2015 I finally fulfilled my lifelong dream to live in WNC and have yet to regret my decision.  I enjoy working as a paralegal at Griffin & Schaefer, P.A.  Even though I am allergic to animals, there has never been a time in my life that I did not have a pet.  My parents never said “No” to a new furry face in our home. At home I am servant to a beagle, his hound-mix sister and their handsome tuxedo kitty. In my spare time I spend as much time as possible at Skyland Camp loving on my horse, Gratitude.

Tracy Payne Secretary


I am a native of Haywood County and have worked at the Animal Hospital of Waynesville since 2005. I have 3 kids (Dakota, Gavin and Maylan), 3 dogs Waylan, Jesse and Dixie, a cat Sonic, 2 horses, goats and chickens. In my spare time I enjoy horseback riding, camping and spending time with friends and family.


Scott Maclay Board Member


Born in Boston, I have lived in New England, DC and Florida before retiring in beautiful Western North Carolina. Educated in journalism, I started my career as a newspaper photographer at Florida’s Space Coast photographing events such as the Space Shuttle. I continued in photojournalism as a photo director at Jackson, MS’s Clarion Ledger and then moved to our nation’s capital to work as photo editor at Gannett Co. Inc. and later in a similar position at The Freedom Forum. I’m a life-long lover of animals, especially cats, and have become a staunch supporter of FUR. Our house in Waynesville is home to 8 loving and spoiled rescue cats!


Ellen Sither Board Member


Waynesville became my home 20 years ago, moving here from Atlanta to raise my family. Since I was a child, I have loved cats. Though my mother grew weary of kittens hidden in her shoes or tucked safely away in the linen closet, I knew my cat was the cleverest, pleasingly prolific and a hide and seek extraordinaire. My mom developed an appreciation of this cat's many talents and thankfully granted her the nine lives. My passion was apparent and has been lifelong. Currently, I enjoy my full-time work as a Real Estate Broker with Beverly-Hanks & Associates. My husband Tom and I share our house with three feisty felines, an adorable cockapoo and have six grown children and one grand cat between us.