Our Staff

Diana George, Executive Director

Diana comes to PAWS from Tacoma Musical Playhouse as their Development Director for eight years. While there, she completed a $1.2 million capital campaign to remodel their old movie theater into a state of the art live musical theater stage and auditorium as well as refurbished the vintage marquee. Pre Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Diana was the Executive Director of CAPRI Heart and Lung Institute in Kitsap County.

Diana has a BS in Molecular Biology/Genetics as well as her Fundraising Management certificate from the University of Washington. She has been in development for over 15 years and has worked with non-profits or not-for-profits all her life.

In her other life, Diana lives with her leading man and 2 very spoiled Welsh Pembroke Corgis. She has three grown daughters who are incredible people and periodically visit. When she has time she still graces the local Puget Sound stages; you never know who you might see her playing!

As the Executive Director of PAWS, it will be Diana’s pleasure to meet all the wonderful people who support this community treasure as well as those, both human and animal, who benefit from PAWS’ many community outreach programs. She would love to hear from you anytime.

Jen Walker , Program Manager

Jen Walker comes to PAWS with broad and deep knowledge of animal sheltering, a strong background in companion animal behavior and training, and a personal love of all creatures (fur, feathered, and scaled). After volunteering at animal shelters when she was younger, she made the shift to a career in animal welfare in 2004. Since then she has worked in both private nonprofits and municipal county shelters, open-admission and limited admission facilities, with rescues, served on a regional animal welfare task force, written for pet related publications, and presented at conferences.

Jen has also taught summer-camp and after-school programs in general science, environmental studies and animal welfare, been a park docent, and interned at a wildlife rehabilitation center. The thread that weaves through these is compassionate stewardship for all – for animals (domestic and wild), people, and for the world around us.

She shares her home in Chico with three herding dog mutts, a practically perfect orange tabby, and a very tolerant and supportive husband.

Melissa Byrd, Animal Welfare Manager

Joining PAWS in 2011, Melissa is no newcomer to animal welfare in Kitsap County. Before joining PAWS, Melissa served as Animal Care Manager for Rescue Every Dog (RED) in Poulsbo. In that position, she was responsible for adoptions, as well as health and welfare of animals in the adoption program.

Prior to her tenure with RED, Melissa worked for 10 years at the Kitsap Humane Society, in a variety of increasingly responsible positions including Rescue Coordinator, Mobile Adoption Outreach Coordinator, Adoption Outreach Manager, and Animal Control Dispatcher.

As Manager of Animal Welfare at PAWS, Melissa provides hands on animal care, interacts with potential adopters and volunteers about the health of PAWS companion animals, coordinates foster homes and focuses on adoption outreach and interagency coordination. Melissa also manages the PALS, SafeHarbor, and Right Dog – Right Home Matchmaking programs.

Melissa took courses at Iowa State University and lives with her husband Mike, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 3 cats in Seabeck.

Jeanine Worthington, Facilities and Community Relations Manager

Jeanine moved to Kingston from Spokane in 2012. Prior to moving, she was the owner of two coffee shops. In 2016, she graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in English/Creative and Professional Writing.

Jeanine began her career with PAWS in 2017 as the Volunteer Coordinator/Adoption Center Manager. With Marylou Zimmerman’s retirement in 2020, as of July 1st, 2020, Jeanine became the Facilities and Community Relations Manager. As the FCRM, Jeanine continues to coordinate, train, and schedule the volunteers at the adoption centers. She also coordinates the TNR program, Kitsaplostpets, PAWS social media accounts, and newsletters.

Jeanine is a life-long animal lover. She lives in Kingston with a menagerie of dogs, cats, bunnies, goats, and chickens. She has a grown son who lives in Kingston. Jeanine is also a licensed Real Estate broker with Redfin, which she does in her spare time.