Our Leadership .
Field Director & Secretary
Amanda Armstrong is the visionary who conceptualized Army’s Legacy Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. She has been active in animal rescue since 2014, and quickly became a respected and sought-after name in Connecticut. Amanda is a former Animal Control Officer, and owner of the pet sitting business raved about by her clients - Pawz Around the World, LLC.
In early 2019, Amanda was diagnosed with Stage 2B Breast Cancer. She took on the challenge with spirit, grace, honesty and incredible strength. As a survivor, she has become an inspiration to many. She learned from her journey, and believes in fighting for what is genuine, positive, and fulfilling. This kept her active in saving dogs as she saved herself. Amanda wants to be the change in animal rescue. She decided to step back, breathe, and take control of the industry by becoming the true and caring voice of animals in need. She directed her energies and enthusiasm into creating Army’s Legacy.
Amanda’s vision for Army’s Legacy is not only to save dogs at risk, as well as educate and provide resources for the public and owners, but also to build the first true dog sanctuary in Connecticut. She envisions a place where dogs who have been abused, are aggressive, have a bite history, are on hospice, or are simply unwanted, can live out their lives in safety, comfort, health, and peace.
Amanda’s greatest loves are as a wife and mother. Her family has supported and admired her through these journeys. Her beautiful children, Cody and Ava, and wonderful step-sons, Mason and Brandon, bring Amanda joy and gratitude every single day. She is also the proud dog mom to four amazing rescued fur-babies - Carmel, Stanley, Navy and Darcy.
Amanda honors her dear Rottweiler, Army, who passed of cancer in 2018, with Army’s Legacy... saving one dog at a time!
Denise has been a successful corporate leader for over 25 years. In 2011, she combined her extensive experience in both the healthcare and technology industries to co-launch SIMatry, LLC, a medical simulation and training company specializing in the pharmaceutical industry. Her vision and leadership have resulted in new, cutting-edge and highly successful technologies. She was the pioneer who successfully integrated the Visible Human® project with physical, tactile and realistic anatomy. Denise also remains active in outside corporate projects and productions as an agency consultant and producer.
Denise’s passion for teaching, training, connecting, and successful outcomes is evident in her management style of learning the entire landscape, yet still attending to each individual’s needs. Denise designs industry standard-setting programs sought by companies looking for innovative tools reflective of the times. She’s helped to train tens-of-thousands of health care providers and pharmaceutical and medical device representatives, greatly increased ROI and brand loyalty for clients, and most importantly, improved care for patients worldwide. Denise has insight and strong relationships at all levels, giving her the ability to work transparently with minimal client effort.
Denise has also been a lifelong part of the Y family and remains faculty with the national organization. She is involved in a plethora of other not-for-profit organizations as a volunteer leader as well. Her excitement to participate at all levels allows her to personally understand the range of needs within an organization.
Denise will bring her business experience to Army’s Legacy Animal Rescue and Sanctuary with passion and a deep love of animals. Denise’s first rescue, Katie Bug, is the ruler of the house. Cooper, the first adoption for Army’s Legacy, was a fantastic and irresistible introduction to hosting a Legacy™. The family decided to officially adopt Cooper immediately. Denise, Katie Bug and Cooper are eager to make a difference in the lives of dogs and animals in need, and are honored to be a part of this movement. Denise lives in North Haven with Katie Bug and her significant other, Matt, as well as her daughter, Jacki, when she is on break from college.
Deb is a lifelong Connecticut resident and joins the Board of Directors with over 12 years of non-profit experience with expertise in the areas of both fundraising and finance, having worked for three national non-profit organizations throughout her career. She resides in Wallingford with her husband and has two girls in college.
After adopting a rescued cat, Lucy, once Channel 8’s Pet of the Week, found abandoned in the back of a local school, she knew her desire to save animals would not end there. She has since adopted a Bully Bordeaux, Porkchop, who sadly passed in June 2020 from bone cancer, a feral cat named Max, a Dogue de Bordeaux named Audrey, and most recently an English Mastiff named Zeus. As a giant breed lover, she is all too aware of the challenges that are often faced when placing them in forever homes and is proud to be a part of changing the lives of these pups and their owners!
Meredith has degrees in Early Childhood Education/Special Education and Nursing. She has coached children in cheerleading and soccer, and instructed horseback riding. She has also been an active board member of high school athletic clubs.
Meredith comes to Army’s Legacy with years of experience in the veterinary technician field, and training with large and small animals. She commits to finding a way to help in each animal’s situation, including finding solutions where others may not want to help because of breed or history. She is a true team player, who has never been afraid to get dirty. She believes in teaching strategies and making sure that, if needed, any animal owner has the resources and guidance they need.
Meredith has a passion for standing up not only for the well-being of animals, but also for families in need. Meredith and her daughter have founded Butterfly Boost. Butterfly Boost supplies hygiene items in “Boost Bags” to local domestic violence/care centers. Meredith’s goal is to help advocate for those whose voices can’t be heard.
Eight years ago, as Meredith was nominated for Employee of the Year, she and her entire hospital unit contracted a rare virus. Her life changed in an instant. She has yet to fully recovered from the virus that triggered many auto immune responses. Adjusting to the “new Meredith” has been challenging, but with the support of her family, friends, and fur babies, and with her focus on the causes dear to her, she continues to make a difference to those whose lives she touches.
Meredith lives with her husband Richard, her three awesome children, Richie, Olivia, and Connor, and their animal children - German Shepherds, a rescue Great Dane mix, a Pitbull mix, and her rescue cats.
Members and Committee Heads .
Mason Armstrong is from Wallingford, CT. He is a junior at the University of Connecticut and has been accepted into the Neag School of Education for the IB/M program studying Music Education. Mason has organized and created all merchandising products for the UCONN Marching Band.
Mason has an established reputation in animal care through his work at Paws Around the World. His efforts there have been recognized for his caring, responsible, respectful and thoughtful care of animals throughout Connecticut.
Lissie’s commitment to and passion for helping not-for-profit organizations is evident in her board and leadership roles in multiple causes. Her willingness to volunteer wherever she is needed is a welcome asset to every effort she supports. Lissie’s experience with social media has helped nonprofits grow their platforms, stay organized and keep key audiences involved. Lissie graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Denison University, located in Granville Ohio. She now lives in San Francisco and Lissie’s enthusiasm and contributions to Army's Legacy come in from over 3,000 miles away.
Lissie has always felt an unconditional love for animals, especially dogs. She had the opportunity to travel to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah where she describes the effort as “playing with animals all day” (though the truth is she also rolled up her sleeves and did the tough work). During her time on the sanctuary, she fell in love with the type of people who dream of this work, and she remains in contact today with many of the amazing people she met during her experience.
In 2010, when Lissie adopted her first dog, Millie, from a dog sanctuary in Maryland, her heart grew for all of the other dogs there, and she was determined to get involved. Since then, she has been able to help others find their forever dog and has found some of her own. She currently lives with her cat Ollie, who had been abused and forgotten by his previous owners, but now lives the best life he could by watching birds, sleeping, and getting unconditional love and treats all day.
Evaluator & Field Specialist
Alexandria (Ally) Paulette lives in Bristol, CT with her two dogs, Nova-Reign and Nanuk. She has been involved in animal rescue for over ten years. Ally organizes an annual event called Bow Wow Bark in the Park, which she created in dedication to her dog, Kane who passed in 2017. The event raises awareness for Pitbulls and shelter animals with food trucks, vendors, a talent show, and costume contests. She also hosts a Pitty March Around the Park every year, where dogs of all breeds march together in solidarity for Pitbulls. Ally has also dreamed of creating a hospice animal rescue for terminally ill animals who need a safe and loving place to enjoy the rest of their lives.
Ally is a teacher full time, and also owns her own catering company, Paulie’s Kitchen, which provides custom catering and private chef events. Paulie’s Kitchen specializes in all foods, but Ally’s passion is vegan cooking and dog cookies. In her free time, she loves to hike, travel and bake. Ally embodies Army’s Legacy’s Animal Rescue and Sanctuary’s heart and mission with her love of dogs and ambition to help all animals.
Junior Members .
Ava Armstrong lives in Bristol, CT. She is in 7th grade at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School. Ava loves animal rescue, drawing/sketching, DreamSmp and YouTube. Ava’s dislikes are being cold and math!
Ava has been immersed in animal care all of her life. She is a fantastic companion on freedom rides, where animals immediately feel comforted by her. Her love and compassion for all animals is evident in her entrepreneurial spirit… Ava has designed and sold merchandise in support of animals on her own from a young age. She is a support and hard worker at all events, and gives 100% of her focus to animals in her care. Ava brings fresh perspective and a youthful energy to Army’s Legacy, which is much needed in our work!
Junior Member, Merchandising
Junior Member, Ambassador
Olivia Canto is currently a junior and Honors high school student. She is a varsity cheerleader and softball player. Olivia is enrolled in the Vernon E. Cleaves Agriculture Science and Technology program at Lyman Hall. Working with animals has been a passion for Olivia her whole life. She has volunteered with multiple animal rescues and likes to work with the more difficult cases. She is planning a career in Animal Rehabilitation.
Olivia and her mother have founded Butterfly Boost. Butterfly Boost supplies personal hygiene “Boost Bags” to our area’s local domestic violence shelters/care centers. They are given upon intake at the shelters. Olivia supervises a support team which helps to collect donated hygiene items to fill the bags. She organizes community-wide collection events for hygiene items and promotes awareness, resources and education on domestic violence. She has been recognized locally by the Mayor’s Exemplary Award and by the State of Connecticut General Assembly for Outstanding Service Award for her efforts.
Olivia lives with her family and has a bunny, rescue dogs, and rescue cats.
Other Members of our Army .
Volunteer Coordinator & Operations Director