Staff and Directors

Office Staff

Debra Probert – Executive Director

Debra has been with VHS since 1989; initially as a volunteer, then a volunteer director, and since 1996 as executive director. Her education includes a music diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto (ARCT) and until becoming a full-time employee of VHS, taught classical piano in a private studio. Debra lives in Surrey with her husband and and a lucky black cat called Darwin.

Peter doing media 003bPeter Fricker – Projects and Communications Director

Peter Fricker joined VHS in 2003. He lives in East Vancouver with his wife and a special spaniel called Millie. Peter has a diploma in journalism from Langara College and has worked in communications for a number of non-profit organizations and companies, including the United Way, BC Hydro and the Hyack Festival. He spent 16 years working for a UK housing charity in Bath, Somerset, before moving back to Canada.

Emily smallEmily Pickett – Program Coordinator

Emily joined VHS after moving from Saskatoon to Vancouver in 2014 to pursue her dream of living on the West Coast. She’s an active animal protection advocate who, after graduating with an honours degree in Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan, completed a campaign internship with the Humane Society of the United States; volunteered with companion animal spay/neuter clinics and most recently served as the Executive Director for New Hope Dog Rescue in Saskatoon. Emily has a passion for all things grassroots and community-based; her dogs Ryley, Copper & Moya; hiking the North Shore where she lives; and farm animal ambassador, Esther the Wonder Pig.



Board of Directors


Marylee Davies copysmallMarylee Davies, President

Marylee Davies is a Partner at Farris LLP, where she practises labour, employment and human rights law. Marylee acts for major public and private companies and institutions and regularly appears before a variety of administrative tribunals and all levels of the British Columbia courts.
Marylee became formally involved in the humane movement over ten years ago when she joined the BC SPCA, first as a Community Council Member and later as a member of the Society’s Board of Directors (including four years as President). Marylee’s love and respect for animals has a much longer history, having been surrounded by animals, domestic and otherwise, since childhood.
Marylee is profoundly committed to the humane treatment of animals and to ending animal abuse, cruelty and exploitation. In proudly accepting an appointment to the VHS Board, Marylee hopes to continue to use her education and professional skills to advance the rights and status of all animals.

Liberty_MulkaniLiberty Mulkani, Director, past president

Liberty Mulkani began her career in the film industry after completing a B.F.A. in theatre at Simon Fraser University. Shortly after graduation, she moved to California and decided to pursue her other passion: animal protection. She spent several years in the Bay Area working for the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) in their Animal Law Program and Event Planning departments. She continues to work as an Event Coordinator for both ALDF and the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) and has planned animal law events for the two organizations at several law schools including Yale and Harvard. In 2007, she earned her Masters of Education through the Institute for Humane Education and Cambridge College. At VHS, apart from her role on the board of directors, she also worked extensively with VHS’s Power of One humane education program.

Rebeka BrederRebeka Breder, Director

Rebeka Breder has been passionate about advancing the welfare of non-human animals since the age of 13 – when she presented her city council with a dead duck, shot by hunters, and a petition of hundreds of signatures to ban duck hunting in the area. Since then, Rebeka has volunteered and worked for various animal welfare and non-profit organizations. Today, Rebeka is a litigation lawyer at Boughton Law Corporation in Vancouver and has also developed a practice in Animal Law. Rebeka recently created the first Canadian Bar Association Animal Law section and is excited to be a member of VHS’ fantastic team.


Frances KellyFrances Kelly, Director

Frances Kelly is a public interest lawyer who has successfully argued many cases that have protected and advanced the rights of disadvantaged humans. She is equally committed to the rights and welfare of animals. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and two cats.


Pic_Aarti Gupta cropAarti Gupta, Director

Aarti joined the VHS board in January of 2014 after her search for an animal protection organization that was just the right fit. She was born, raised and completed her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in New Delhi. Having visited Vancouver several times, she couldn’t wait to move here in 2010 when she finished her degree. Aarti is an Account Manager for a property management company in North Vancouver, handling accounting for 14 companies. She enjoys working and appreciates the little things in life as well as learning new things and meeting new people. Aarti has been a vegetarian for her entire life.

Rob Monteverde, Treasurer (bio information to come)

Chris Morcom, Director (bio information to come)

 A l

ist of staff and directors of the Vancouver Humane Society.

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