About Us

Meet the Board

The Four Paws Lifeline Board of Directors are a team of people that love animals just as much as you do. They are a dedicated group that want what is in the best interest of the animals that Four Paws Lifeline helps.

Founder and Director Karen Brothers

Karen has loved animals all her life and from an early age knew she would someday do all she could to help those who had no voice. She was inspired to create this organization after taking her own pets in for emergency care and realizing that not everyone had the financial resources to seek emergency services. During her work experiences in a veterinary lab she saw many examples of an inability to pay for tests that could better assist in their pet's treatment.

Karen, like most of us, was reminded of the need by many instances on social media where individuals have tried to raise money on their own to get funds for the vet. She decided there had be something she could do and thus began Four Paws Lifeline.

Vice President Dr. Ramona Skirpstunas DVM, PhD, DACVP

Anatomic Pathologist

Dr. Skirpstunas is a veterinary anatomic pathologist working at a private diagnostic laboratory in Washington State. She is a licensed veterinarian in the states of Washington & Utah. Prior to her pathology residency and move into diagnostic medicine, Ramona was in private practice working as a small animal/exotic and emergency veterinarian.

Ramona has served as a board member on numerous committees, including serving as the president of a practitioners' association, vice president of a regulatory board and was the chair of a state veterinary health board for a number of years.

Dr. Skirpstunas has been involved with a number of animal rescue organizations for many years and has a small family of rescue dogs. Her belief in the mission of Four Paws Lifeline gained her support and offer to assist in any way possible she could.

Board Member Shannon Pedersen

Shannon grew up with an affinity for animals. At age 5 she got Samson, a cocker Spaniel. They spent the next 13 years together.

Having spent most of her life here in the Pacific Northwest, her college choice allowed her to stay close to home. After completing her major in Biology and getting married, they adopted Shelby a Laborador Dalmatian mix. At age 12 Shelby became ill with a splenetic rupture, it became very clear how expensive emergency care and treatment was. After the loss of Shelby they still have not adopted another fur baby. Fortunately she is able to get puppy and kitty love daily at work.

Shannon's career includes experience in all departments in both human and veterinary clinical laboratories. This extensive laboratory knowledge and her initiative rewarded her with a management role at a veterinary lab here in WA. She is a current member of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA) and the American Society for Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ASVCP). In the ASVCP, she is a member of the Quality Assurance and Standards Committee.

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