Board of Directors

Our Founder and Board President, Becca Riker, has spent the last few years building friendships and relationships with many of her clients at The Mutt Hutt as well as adopters and volunteers for Secondhand Mutts. Through these relationships she has created a small team of dedicated, committed and loyal folks to serve as board members.

 Meet the Directors

joyJoy Sutton, Vice President

Joy loves all animals; big and small.  Her compassion for them has been a lifetime commitment straight from the heart.  Snuffy the Schnauzer was her first dog at age three, a gift from her beloved grandfather.  She has cared for lots of pets both inside and outside the house through her successful pet sitting business JoyCares Personalized Pet Care.  Riding horses has impacted her life as much as dogs and cats. Joy’s critters at home are: Gazelle, Sinatra, and Dr. Dude (kitty), plus various house guests and foster dogs. After office hours Joy turns into an animal rescue hero.  She enjoys planning and executing fundraising events and fostering dogs for various rescues.  Especially medical disaster dogs that need to be nursed back to health.  She lends a hand for two animal rescue boards, Berea ARF (Director) and Secondhand Mutts (Vice President).



Sandy_profile picSandy Smith

Sandy Smith is starting her third term as a board member of Secondhand Mutts. Sandy has served as a volunteer and fostered for several animal rescues, including Secondhand Mutts, Friends of the City of Cleveland Kennel, Canine Lifeline, Pitty Love Rescue and For the Love of Pits. She was appointed to the Cuyahoga Humane Animal Control Board by the Cuyahoga County Executive and served for two years, one year as president. She is an active volunteer with Secondhand Mutts as well as a board member, and participates in a number of animal rescue events each year. She served as one of several advisors to Cleveland City Council when members of council created a breed-neutral dangerous dog ordinance and enacted an anti-tethering law.



Laura Novak picLaura Novak

Laura Novak is starting her first term as a board member of Secondhand Mutts.  Laura has served as a volunteer for Secondhand Mutts for approximately two years, spending many weekend days at adoption events.  Laura has volunteered in the past as Team Manager for The Cleveland Cobras Soccer Club for two years, as well as for the planning committee for the 2011 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Light The Night Walk.  She is employed by MetroHealth Medical Center as the secretary for two busy surgeons.  Laura is the proud mom of former Secondhand Mutt, R.B. (Rubber Bucket) and his canine buddy, Chuck, as well as two wonderful cats, Storm and Crush.  You will often see her dropping the very energetic R.B. and Chuck off at The Mutt Hutt to give them playtime and wear them out for at least an evening.


Emily profile picEmily Sanders

Emily Sanders currently works as a Veterinary Technician at Gateway Animal Clinic, and has been in the field for about 7 years. Her passion is thoroughly about the love and care of all animals, particularly dogs.  She owns 3 dogs which are her life; and she’s been quoted saying “I would do anything for them”.  Emily was introduced to Secondhand Mutts through the Mutt Hutt, when I brought her high energy dog there about a year and a half ago.  She believed that the idea of daycare, connected with a dog rescue was brilliant, and points anyone looking for a dog, towards Secondhand Mutts.

Secondhand Mutts is a rescue that she firmly believe does “Respect The Dog”. Which when working in the animal field, this is undoubtedly the most important thing for the dogs. Emily is a great asset to the board because of her knowledge and eagerness to give new ideas. She is looking forward to giving insight on some adoption education, as well as new projects working directly with Becca.  Her clear ability to think creatively, drive business initiatives and give my time are some of her greatest contributions she can provide to Secondhand Mutts with. The well being of the dog is something Emily is passionate about and always will be.