About our work.

Better Together Animal Alliance is an animal welfare organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of dogs, cats, and the people in our community who love them. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is not affiliated with the county or city and receive no tax support.

Located in Ponderay, Idaho, we serve Bonner, Boundary, and Kootenai Counties. Our programs focus on supporting people and their pets to prevent unnecessary owner surrenders, sheltering lost pets, and providing a safe and enriching environment for pets to stay while they wait to find new homes. We assist approximately 2400 stray or surrendered animals every year and over 6000 pets through our community-based programs.

For more information about our programs and services, visit here.



Mandy G. Evans


Mandy G. Evans is executive director of Better Together Animal Alliance and the Home To Home™ network. Mandy came to animal welfare over eight years ago as the first executive director for the organization after leaving a career as a professional corporate event planner. She has worked to transcend a fear-based negative environment in which animals were housed instead of adopted, and where the local population expressed what they perceived was a lack of support. Mandy’s love for animal welfare was solidified after her dog, Molly, became paralyzed due to a malformed spine. Instead of euthanizing her, Mandy dedicated herself to providing her with the best life possible. She developed a website for owners of special needs dogs called, My Special Dog and a nonprofit, Molly Inspires which took Mandy and Molly into elementary schools across the nation teaching kids about empathy, kindness and not to be scared of people who are different than you.

Devin Laundrie


Devin joined BTAA in February of 2016 as the director of shelter and medical operations. Devin has worked in veterinary medicine since 2004 in both small and large animal medicine. She excelled in working ON animals but she also wanted to work WITH animals. Devin got to fulfill that desire when she came to BTAA. She has the pleasure of working with cats and dogs, helping to transition them into the next chapter of their lives. Fun fact, Devin was once the medical director at the largest donkey rescue in the US.

Christi Roberson


Christi began her career at BTAA in spring 2019 as the Volunteer Coordinator. She is now the Animal Care Center Manager ensuring the smooth operations of the reception, feline and canine departments. Christi has been committed to serving the communities she has lived in throughout her entire life. Christi has a great love of being helpful to both the humans and animals within her communities.

Joya Blair


Joya is the program manager for Home To Home™ (home-home.org), a pet rehoming tool. Previously, Joya worked in the human resources and administrative organization field for a tech company. She made the career switch to animal welfare because it provides a strong sense of meaning and purpose in her life. Joya recognizes the special connection within the animal-human bond and desires to professionally contribute to the growth and development of programs that strengthen that connection and make a difference in animal welfare and lifesaving.

Kendra Dodge


Kendra started with BTAA in March of 2019 as the Pets for Life Program Manager. She has been dubbed the Mary Poppins of the communities she has served because she always has just what they ask for in her little bag.

Betty Anderson


Betty joined the team at the Better Together Animal Alliance in 2016 as the manager and administrator of their local Home to Home website and Helpline and has a sincere passion for helping and offering support to people and their beloved pets. Her hobbies include spending time with her granddaughter, writing, baking, hiking, biking, kayaking and camping. Betty has always had an appreciation for animals and is proud to have spent the majority of her life on her farm in North Idaho with her husband of 40 years, raising her kids – surrounded in a variety of critters from working farm animals to pets including horses, cattle, rabbits, chickens, geese, sheep, cats and dogs.

Paige McGowan


Paige joined the BTAA team in July 2019 as Development Director where she works with donors to connect their gifts with programs that help animals and people – her dream job! Prior to joining BTAA, Paige worked in public health promoting healthier communities through policy, systems, and environmental approaches. She dreams of a more-kind world for animals and people and her passions are spending time with animals, eating vegetarian food, traveling, and making soap.

Steve Carothers


Steve has over 35 years in the retail business that encompasses a wide range of professional experiences; including launching two retail businesses and serving as regional manager for Goodwill of Central Coast. Steve’s expertise in supply chain management, transportation, and logistics are driving revenues for retail, saving operational costs and increasing operational efficiency.

Andrea Nagel

Director of Storytelling and Partnerships

Andrea joined BTAA in April 2021 as Director of Storytelling and Partnerships, telling the stories of the people and animals that make BTAA an important and special resource. Prior to joining BTAA, Andrea worked as a communications and public relations specialist for a community-owned regional health care system for 10 years and a journalist prior to that. Andrea has a passion for storytelling, animals, exploring the outdoors, and traveling.

Caprice Butler


Caprice began working at the PAS – BTAA in September of 2017 as the front desk supervisor and after a few months was promoted to shelter manager. After becoming a mother, Caprice took a step back from managing the shelter and now helps with special projects around the shelter. Prior to working in the animal-welfare community, Caprice worked for an insurance brokerage in Santa Monica for five years followed by working at a horse ranch. When she was working with horses she realized she had a bigger passion for animals than she had previously thought. Caprice was able to combine her experience working in an office setting with her passion for animals at BTAA.

Stephanie Offermann


Stephanie joined BTAA as a volunteer in 2018 because of her love for animals. Stephanie’s career background was in customer service and it really showed. Because of her excellent customer service skills, Stephanie was hired at BTAA. Stephanie enjoys being an advocate for animals in need.

Joel Akins


Joel started with BTAA in April, 2021 as the Volunteer & Event Coordinator. He is responsible for recruiting and managing volunteers and coordinating BTAA events. Before coming to BTAA, Joel worked at North Idaho College for eight years as an Event Coordinator before transitioning to Toni&Guy Hairdressing Academy as the Admissions Director. Not only is Joel a people person, but his dogs, Ripley and Luna, are both adopted, so animal welfare is an issue very close to home. BTAA’s mission to bring animals and people together is one that he is very passionate about, and he feels very fortunate to be a part of this incredible organization.

Corey Nelson


Corey joined the team at BTAA in February 2019 after she moved to Idaho in 2018. She loved stopping by the shelter and now she absolutely loves working at BTAA. She comes to BTAA with experience in the food industry, call centers, and the post office. She has never felt so at home as when she started working at BTAA with the animals. She loves being around the dogs, training them, getting to know them, and giving them lots of love. Corey loves animals and feels like working with them is what she was meant to do in life.

Stephanie Prutzman


Stephanie joined BTAA as an employee in 2020 after being a volunteer. Stephanie likes working with animals. Providing them with care and helping them find homes gives her a sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Corey Nelson


Corey joined the team at BTAA in February 2019 after she moved to Idaho in 2018. She loved stopping by the shelter and now she absolutely loves working at BTAA. She comes to BTAA with experience in the food industry, call centers, and the post office. She has never felt so at home as when she started working at BTAA with the animals. She loves being around the dogs, training them, getting to know them, and giving them lots of love. Corey loves animals and feels like working with them is what she was meant to do in life.

Alessandra Kocianova


Hello! My name is Alessandra and I work as a Care Center Receptionist at BTAA. I started my career here on April 1st 2021. I have a background in customer service, management and the culinary arts. I am passionate about helping others and doing everything I can to help my community. I am also a big animal lover and love all the work BTAA does for the animals in their care and this amazing community.

Kaylee Storer


Kaylee began volunteering in 2019 and was later hired as a cat care attendant. Kaylee has been passionate about animals since childhood and loves working with pets.

Mary Davis


Mary joined the BTAA team in March 2021. Mary is one of our amazing Care Center Representatives and brings several years of customer service and web design to the team.  Mary loves animals and likes being able to have positive impacts on their lives.



Jim Asche

Jim and his wife Jeanine adopted a puppy from Better Together Animal Alliance and were impressed with the staff and operations of the shelter. Jim was invited to join the board of directors in April 2016 by a friend who was serving on the board. Jim had a long career in public service as a firefighter. He began as a seasonal forestry firefighter and eventually was serving as a division chief for CalFire (previously called the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or CDF) by the end of his 25 years there. Jim went on to serve as fire chief of the Half Moon Bay Fire Protection District. He and his wife currently have two dogs from the shelter. Jim and Jeannie find themselves planning vacations and activities so their dogs can be included as much as possible.

Cary Kelly

Cary has supported and been involved with the shelter since moving to Bonner County in 1993 when he and his wife adopted two shelter kittens. Cary has been on the BTAA Board since 2016 after he stopped working full time. Cary retired as an officer in the Marine Corps and also served 18 years for the Bonner County Sheriff’s Office and served as a county commissioner for four years. He is currently a trustee of the Lake Pend Oreille School District. Cary has had dogs and cats his entire life and can’t imagine a world without them.

Woody Sherwood

Woody became involved with Better Together Animal Alliance in 2018 as a donor as well as sharing his experience in development work. Woody used to be the executive director of a large nonprofit and a successful business owner so he was happy to lend his talents to BTAA. He feels BTAA is one of the best in class nonprofits and the innovative programs and way of looking at animal welfare makes it easy to support and continue to strengthen the fabric of the community.

Dorrie Francis

Dorrie began serving on the board of directors for the Better Together Animal Alliance in 2019. She has recently expanded their family to include their dog Zelda from BTAA. Dorrie enjoys supporting BTAA by participating in foster programs as well as community outreach. Originally from Florida, Dorrie and her family moved to Sandpoint in 2013 and enjoys spending summers by the water and winters by the heater!

Keith Congleton

President of the Board of Directors

Keith first joined the Board of Directors in 2010, and rejoined the Board in 2018 after a two year hiatus in keeping with the Board’s term limit policy. He is currently retired after a forty year career in finance and accounting. He became the Board President in 2020, having previously served two terms as the organization’s Secretary/Treasurer. Keith has been a resident of the Sandpoint area since 1995. While not currently having any pets in the household, in the past he has had numerous dogs and cats, and is especially fond of sporting dogs. He is on a “first name basis” with every dog in the neighborhood, and will probably get his own animal again when having completed his plans for travel.

Kelli West

Kelli began serving on the board of directors for the Better Together Animal Alliance in 2014. Kelli’s full-time career is web development and marketing. She has a true passion for dogs, including the Vizsla she adopted from PAS-BTAA. Kelli is a strong believer in the human-animal bond and fully supports BTAA’s mission, and wants others to experience the love and enjoyment pets bring to her life.


BTAA is proud to serve the North Idaho region and beyond. We’re nationally recognized for the impact we make in the animal welfare community.


+ Humane Society of the United States Pets for Life Storyteller Award

+ Best Service Club/Non-Profit Organization 2019 Bonner County Daily Bee

+ Best Thrift Store 2019, Bonner County Daily Bee

+ Best Large Nonprofit in North Idaho 2016, Idaho Nonprofit Center


Bonner County Daily Bee, 11/22/2020 –  “Keeping Fur Family at Home”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 9/23/2020 – “Progress in a Pandemic”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 1/9/2018 – “Executive Director Mandy Evans Named Woman of the Year Honoree”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 10/18/2017 – “Santa comes to share love and treats with shelter animals

Bonner County Daily Bee, 10/18/2017 – “Better Together Animal Alliance Receives Grant”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 8/01/2017 –  “Shelter Contest Is ‘Bad to the Bone’”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 6/29/2017 –  “Shelter Moves Forward With TNR Program”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 6/04/2017 – “BTAA Always Working To Help Region’ Dogs, Cats”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 4/25/2017 – “Yappy Hours Return to the Community”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 3/21/2017 – “Tour de Thrift Offers Day of Discounts, Fun”

Bonner County Daily Bee, 2/28/2017 – “Doggone Fun”

KREM 2 News, KREM.com, 2/26/2017 – “Dogs make a run for charity in Sandpoint K-9 Keg Pull”

Bonner County Daily Bee article, 2/25/2017 – “Shelter Receives $25,000 Grant”

Sandpoint Reader, 2/23/2017 – “Get Along Little Doggies – The K-9 Keg Pull Celebrates 10 Years of Raising Funds for The Better Together Animal Alliance” –  see Outdoors Section, page 10

Press Release, 2/16,2017 – “Winter Dog Sport Sandpoint Style – K-9 Keg Pull”

KHQ’s website, 12/30/16 –  “A Paw-sitively Pur-fect Family”

Coeur d’Alene Press article, 12/29/16 – “One-Eyed Cat, One-Eyed Girl Find Each Other”

Cd’A Press link to article: http://www.cdapress.com/article/20161229/ARTICLE/161229962

Bonner County Daily Bee, 12/29/2016 –  “Pair Prove ‘Purr”fect Match”

Bonner County Daily Bee article, 12/22/16 – “Becker Family Pays Holiday Visit to BTAA”

Press Release “BTAA Helpline Assists Pet Owners Facing Difficult Circumstances”

Coeur d’Alene Press Article “Program Helps Pets Avoid Shelter Life” published September 6, 2016

Impact Reports

2019 Annual Report (Click here to view report)

2018 Annual Report (Click here to view report)

2017 Annual Report (Click here to view report)

2016 Annual Report (Click here to view report)

2015 Annual Report (Click here to view report)