Meet the Team
Debbi CureExecutive Director
Debbi left a career in advertising to pursue a passion for working with animals in 2006. After completing her training in grooming, she started as an Animal Care Tech at the Houston SPCA (HSPCA), working with small domestic animals and participating in large scale rescue and cruelty seizures. Before long, her work involved horses, cattle, donkeys, mules, and goats. Debbi worked independently with notorious cruelty cases featured on HSPCA’s Animal Cops television show, including Betsy the Brown Northern Bear and Henry the Chimp. Debbi later moved to Vet Services where she worked alongside six on-staff veterinarians providing surgery for both cruelty emergency cases and common spay/neuter surgeries.
Debbi moved to Tennessee and began her career at HTH as the Shelter Manager in February, 2010. She immediately introduced new programs to improve the health and well-being of the shelter animals. She was instrumental in getting the spay/neuter surgery suite completed in 2011. Debbi assumed the Executive Director position in 2013, and she has recently navigated Happy Tales Humane through a major transition; moving to a new facility and re-opening in 2015. Having worked in all aspects of the rescue industry, Debbi sees a bright future for Happy Tales as presenting a unique and quality adoption experience for the community. She shares her life with a vast crew of rescued animals including dogs: Abbey, Lily Hope, Sydney “Tiny”, Timmy and cats: Zoe and CiCi……and a fish named Ronnie Milsap.
Kate RunyanDirector of Community Relations & Donation Administrator
Kate joined Happy Tales Humane in 2011 after a 25-year career in speech-language pathology. At Michigan State University, Kate led a team of therapy dog handlers in a research study assessing reading success with children and therapy dogs. She also worked with her own therapy dog in a hospital rehabilitation setting. Through this work she discovered a passion for the human-animal bond, and after moving to Tennessee in 2009, she went on to get certified in Canine Massage Therapy. Kate first joined Happy Tales as the Adoption Coordinator and then Shelter Manager. She and her husband Dave have 2 children, and they share their home with an array of dogs and cats.