About Us

Mission of Take Paws Rescue

The mission of Take Paws Rescue is to meet the moral obligation to protect and save the lives of pets in need of rescue in Louisiana. Take Paws Rescue enacts this mission by pulling pets from shelters and preparing them for transport to fosters, adopters, rescue organizations, and other shelters around the U.S. in need of adoptable pets.

The Rescue

Take Paws Rescue is a volunteer, foster-based, non-profit rescue group based out of New Orleans, LA. Our rescued animals live with loving foster families until a forever home is found. We have volunteers all over South East Louisiana. Our new Stray Café in New Orleans also helps a few dogs at a time transition from homelessness to loving forever homes through training, socialization, and love. 


Monique Bonnaffons, the founder of Take Paws Resuce, experienced a situation which would change the course of her life and bring her to her calling.


In 2015, after rescuing a dog named Clarence from a life or death situation, Monique followed her heart and, with the endless support of her husband and five children, started Take Paws Rescue.  Always having a love for animals and pulling for the underdog, there was no going back. With Monique’s constant nurturing of the rescue, it’s grown from 40 dogs a month to its current size of nearly 200 dogs monthly. She has surrounded herself with hundreds of amazing volunteers that continue to grow the rescue operation across the state of Louisiana and beyond.  Through this calling, Monique has proven to be a tireless advocate for animal rights and is determined that Take Paws will make a difference in the lives of countless rescues and fosters on their journey to their forever homes.  


Monique Bonnaffons

Founder / Executive Director

Monique has proven to be a tireless advocate for animal rights and is determined that Take Paws will make a difference in the lives of countless rescues and fosters on their journey to their forever homes.


Teresa Hatfield

Co-Chair Board of Directors

Teresa recently retired from the US Coast Guard after 26 years, and now spends her time writing, running her maritime consulting firm and working with Take Paws Rescue


Mary Ann Cardinale

Board Member

Also a Board Member of NOLA City Bark, which has aided in outreach and connections with dog people of all walks of life, and every corner of 
the state. When not spending as much time as possible rescuing, she is a busy wife, mom, grandma, insurance agent, partner in a house remodeling business, and co-owner of Muddy Mutts in Lakeview!


Jessica Clements

Board Member

Among the many hats Jessica wears as part of the Take Paws team, she coordinates with the vets, making sure appointments are made for dogs in the rescue. Her dedication to helping animals is outstanding and continues to make an impact on the lives of the many pets in the Take Paws Rescue. 


Tico Soto

Board Member

Throughout his career, he has developed not just partnerships, but friendships.  During his tenure with the New Orleans CVB as director of tourism, he oversaw three European offices in their day-to-day promotion of New Orleans, assisting in maintaining their monthly goals.


Debbie Johnston

Co-Chair Board of Directors

Debbie believes that life is an adventure and her favorite saying is: It’s not the things you do in life that you will regret. It’s the things you don’t do.


Danielle Cecchine

Board Member

The Cecchine family has become an active family in animal rescue, calling their home "The Cecchine Hotel for Dogs", and now has one unfinished novel, four family dogs and anywhere from two to five foster dogs at any given time.


Laurie Johnston Bernard

Board Member

Laurie does an outstanding job fundraising for Take Paws Rescue, and has also fostered at least 20 dogs since coming to work with us.


Kelsy Bonnaffons

Board Member

Kelsey currently practices law in New Orleans and Mandeville.  Meanwhile, she is active in the community and passionate about charity work.

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