Our Team 

Melissa Bahleda

PARTNERS! Canines founder Melissa Bahleda has been rescuing, training and working with shelter dogs for over 20 years.


Melissa and her three canine ‘PARTNERS’ Quik, Grace and Annie, travel extensively, providing behavior guidance and free training workshops for shelter staff and animal lovers from around the world. Their goal is to teach other human-canine partnerships how to build life-long relationships based on compassion, education and mutual understanding.


Melissa was honored in 2007 for her work with animal shelters by Glamour Magazine and won the Mountain Mover contest for women making changes in their community.

Melissa and her husband Tom currently live in Boone, NC with their 3 dogs, horse, 2 cats and 3 goats.  They foster, help organize local transports and continue supporting PARTNERS! mission.

Their dogs Mona, Lulu and Madison are dearly missed and will always be remembered as our lost PARTNERS! that helped start the organization.


Eva Hyatt

Eva joined the PARTNERS! Canines crew in 2013 after hearing about the organizations work in the area. She is a long time shelter activist, and shelter volunteer. We were thrilled to have her volunteer to be a part of our team.


Eva is a professor in the Marketing Program at Appalachian State University and has begun helping PARTNERS! with their marketing and outreach efforts.


Eva lives in Todd, NC and enjoys vacationing in Hawaii. She hopes to move to the island once she retires from teaching.

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