Meet our Happiness Team!

As a Happiness Team, helping people and their pets – no matter what their station in life – is our passion.

If you are interested in serving on our board of directors or acting as a committee Chair please email info@mydogeatsfirst.org.

Betheny Buster

Founder/Director

Betheny had her first encounter with a unhoused man and his dog in September of 2013 and by November of 2013 was passing out pet food and supplies with her best friend, Carolyn in parking lots all over downtown Louisville to the unhoused with pets.

Betheny has always had a combined love and passion for animals and people, as can be seen in her personal and professional life, and dedicates herself full time to her family, her friends and the management and growth of her businesses, Paws Pet Care Pet Sitting and Dog Walking, BCB Lifestyle Personal Assistant Services and to My Dog Eats First.

Betheny has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business Management from Sullivan University. Her hobbies include shopping, camping, hiking, white water rafting, kayaking and all-things outdoors. She loves to spend time with her people-kids, Jacob and Dillon, and her fur-kids  – Biscuit, Bee and Oscar and in helping others less fortunate with companion animals.

Carolyn Wolf

Co-Founder/Hotel Outreach Director

Carolyn Wolf was/is Betheny’s best friend and “ride-or-die” when they BOTH started working with the unhoused in parking lots across downtown Louisville in 2013. 

Carolyn is the founder and director for On The Go Personal Assistants. Carolyn brings with her a myriad of executive and entrepreneur skills with over twenty years experience.  Carolyn knows what it takes to get the job done and always goes above and beyond expectations.  Being a multi-tasker and overflowing with an abundance of energy, creativity and attention to detail, Carolyn enjoys donating her time to local non-profit organizations and has served on various committees.  On The Go allows Carolyn to continue to reach out to others while helping them balance the pressures of work and personal life. She is committed to making your to-do list her top priority and giving you back the most precious resource in life… your time.

Helping people is a passion of hers and running an on-demand errand/personal assistant company comes naturally to Carolyn! She is a native of Louisville and a proud mother of three beautiful children!

Marilyn McLendon

Secretary/Treasurer/Low Barrier Shelter Program Director

Marilyn has always loved animals (especially cats) but was a late-comer to the animal rescue world. Looking to add some meaning to her life as she approached 40, she started volunteering with a local animal shelter. She overheard the staff talking about their desperate need for foster homes for the many cats and kittens and volunteered to take home a mom cat and her two kittens. Ten years, 600+ fosters and more than 50,000 hours of volunteer time later,

Marilyn continues to love having a house full of animals needing her love and attention. Although she loves her work with animals, she was looking for a way to more directly serve people and came across My Dog Eats First. It has been a perfect way for her to combine her love of animals and her desire to help the “widows and orphans” of Louisville. She is honored to serve on the Board of Directors and is excited about what the future holds.

Marilyn was born in Georgia but raised in New York, Missouri and Kentucky. She graduated from Kentucky Wesleyan College and has lived and worked in Louisville since 1986. She is a “mother” to six cats.

Leslie Hansford

Volunteer Coordinator/UNHOUSED Liaison

Leslie has been and active volunteer and a member of MDEF’s board since 2014.

Leslie was born and raised in New Albany, IN but has lived in Louisville since 1987. She was a political science major at Indiana University and and attended Valparaiso School of Law for two years. Leslie has worked in the legal field since 1989. Her specialities include real estate law, risk/litigation and privacy matters.

Leslie grew up in a pet friendly home where they always took in strays to care for and love. She once counted that she has probably had over 50 pets in her lifetime! Instead of “people” kids, Leslie has her fur-babies at home, Katie – an English Coon Hound, Arnie, pit bull and Hank a Chorkie –chihuahua yorkie mix. She also continuously opens her home to foster pets of our unhoused friends when they need someone to help them.

Barry Steiger

Fundraising Director

Barry Steiger is a former WHAS, WAVE and WKLO radio newscaster. He also spent many years working in the TV and entertainment business in New York and Los Angeles as a comedian.

One of the first openly gay comics, Barry is the founding host of Hollywood’s first openly Gay and Lesbian Comedy Show at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. He also guest starred on ABC-TV’s Grace Under Fire.

Barry returned to Louisville 20 years ago where he quickly became involved in unhoused outreach, including serving as a Board Member to Louisville’s Coalition for the Homeless.

For the past 9 years, Barry has been a volunteer animal handler/dog walker at Louisville Metro Animal Services.

Will & Becky West

"Human" Needs Program Coordinators

Becky and Will West, our DYNAMIC  husband/wife duo, have been volunteering and acting as board members for MDEF since 2014.

Lilia Rodriquez

Pet Food Bank Coordinator

Lilia has been an active volunteer for MDEF since 2016 and a member of the MDEF’s board since 2020.

ABOUT US

My Dog Eats First believes in the healing power of pets and in the love and companionship that these pets bring to the underserved and unhoused.

An estimated 3.5 million Americans are unhoused. Between 5% to 10% of unhoused people have pets that provide companionship, protection, and unconditional love.

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