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Judges for Mutual Rescue™ Stories

Learn more about the panel of esteemed judges for A Call For Mutual Rescue™ Stories.

Dr. Marty Becker

Dr. Marty Becker, "America's Veterinarian," is the popular veterinary contributor to ABC's Good Morning America and lead veterinary expert for He is a founding member of Core Team Oz and the resident veterinarian on The Dr. Oz Show. He is a contributor to Parade magazine and, and a nationally syndicated pet-care expert. He's also a practicing veterinarian in north Idaho. He is the author of many top-selling books on pet-care, including Chicken Soup for the Pet-Lover's Soul, The Healing Power of Pets, and both Your Cat: The Owner's Manual and Your Dog: The Owner's Manual.

Tom Corwin

After many years of recording and performing as a bass player and vocalist with a variety of artists including Patti LaBelle, Booker T., Bonnie Raitt and the House of Blues band, Tom chose to focus his attention on producing and recording. Since that time his credits include multiple records with Bonnie Raitt, Kris Kristofferson's Broken Freedom Song, his self-produced release Mostly Dylan and Stevie Wonder's A Time to Love.

In 2006, his first book Mostly Bob was published by New World Library and was featured as a “Great Read” in People magazine. His book, Mr. Fooster: Traveling on a Whim, illustrated by Craig Frazier, was published by Doubleday in June 2008. He served as a Consulting Producer on the documentary film Emile Norman: By His Own Design, which won an HBO audience award and has received numerous national PBS airings from 2008-2012. Visit his website to learn more.

Ethan Goldman

Ethan Goldman is partner and Head of Development at Warrior Poets, a New York based production company founded by Academy Award © nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. Since its creation, Warrior Poets has produced multiple award-winning films, digital series and television programs. Visit his website to learn more.

Maggie Lawson

Maggie Lawson has felt a strong connection to animals ever since she was a child growing up in Louisville, Kentucky. She rescued her first pup, Popcorn, from a dumpster when she was just 10 years old. In high school, she and a classmate created the first local animal volunteer program through the Humane Society and it is still in play today.

When she met Jude McVay in 2011, they discovered that they shared a dream of starting an animal rescue. In 2014 that dream came true and The Tiger Frances Foundation (TTFF) was born. TTFF has been a springboard for Maggie’s many projects promoting animal rescue. Maggie has helped create content for Dogtv—the wildly successful channel dedicated to dogs—to bring in more programming to support rescue dogs. She hosts a show for Dogtv on Sunday nights called DogStar and helped create the special rescue edition of the show. Next up, Dogtv will be partnering with the Humane Society and ASPCA for a nationwide adoption show hosted by Maggie. She's good on camera because Maggie’s day job is actress. She is known for her work on Psych, ABC's Back in the Game, and Two and a Half Men. In conjunction with her new hit show Angel From Hell, Maggie has been making the rounds of talk shows, with co-star and fellow rescue advocate Jane Lynch, where she is always able to squeeze in a mention of TTFF and the importance of animal rescue.

Maggie is a newlywed and she lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband Ben and their pack of furry children: Peanut , Pork Chop and Lakey, all rescues and now TV stars after accompanying Maggie when she presented at The World Dog Awards. Visit her website to learn more.

Joshua McGuire

Joshua McGuire is an actor with a host of stage, TV, and movie roles. He recently played Oliver in Future Conditional, directed by Matthew Warchus for the Old Vic Theatre. He just finished filming the role of Nunney in new BBC drama Love Nina, alongside Faye Marsay and Helena Bonham Carter, that will be distributed in the US sometime in the Spring/Summer.

In 2015, Joshua McGuire opened in Jamie Lloyd's revival of satirical comedy The Ruling Class by Olivier Award-winning Peter Barnes for the Trafalgar Studios and performed in the 2015 release of the movie Cinderella.

Previously, Joshua led in James Graham's Privacy at the Donmar Warehouse before playing the title role in Amadeus, directed by Jonathan Church for Chichester Festival Theatre. He also starred in the BBC 4 comedy Scrotal Recall on UK TV and released on Netflix in the US, and was seen on the big screen in festive comedy Get Santa and Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner. He starred in the 2013 romantic comedy About Time, directed by Richard Curtis.

He has made cameo appearances in a number of BBC sitcoms and drama series and was a cast member in the 2011 BBC Two series The Hour. He also starred in the BBC production of the comedy series The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff, a parody of Charles Dickens' works, as the assistant to Stephen Fry's character Skulkingworm.

Jude McVay

Jude McVay grew up in East Hampton, N.Y. She rescued her first animal, a kitten she named Merlin, from under a car when she was 8 years old. It was the best thing that ever happened to her and she has been caring for and rescuing animals ever since.

Jude moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as an actress but a traumatic event caused her to make a 180 degree turn and she began pet sitting as a way to begin healing. Jude also worked as a nanny to several children who suffered from abuse and severe OCD. This is where she confirmed that the healing power of animals was not an experience unique to her. She would take her furry children to visit her human charges who were calmed and soothed by the animals’ presence. The animal/child connection took firm root in Jude’s mind and began to inform her work.

In 2008, Jude started her own pet care company Squirty’s House, named after her genius dog, a Jack Russell Boston terrier mix.Jude currently works along side one of the top dog trainers in L.A. She specializes in animals with difficulties. She works with dogs that have everything from shyness and anxiety to aggression.

Jude continues to work with children and animals through The Tiger Frances Foundation (named for the first rescues she made as an adult) which she founded with Maggie Lawson.

Jude is a product of the child/animal symbiotic programs she promotes. She credits her happy, healthy, peaceful life directly to the presence, love and influence of animals.

She resides in Silverlake, California with the eponymous Squirty, Hanky, a Beagle/dachshund mix , Squirty's sidekick, Bararee ,a giant grey kitty and a turtle named Jesse. All are rescues. Visit her website to learn more.

Doug Menuez

Award-winning documentary photographer Douglas Menuez began his varied career shooting first for the Washington Post followed by Time, Newsweek, Life, People, USA Today, Fortune Magazine and many other publications worldwide over the past twenty-five years. He’s covered major news stories including the famine in Ethiopia, the destruction of the Amazon, the AIDS crisis, drug wars, presidential campaigns, the Olympics, five Super Bowls and the World Series. His portraits of key figures range from Mother Teresa and Robert Redford, to President Clinton and Bill Gates. Throughout the 1980s and '90s, Menuez pursued a long-term project documenting the rise of Silicon Valley behind the scenes. With unprecedented access to almost every major technology company, he covered digital pioneers such as Steve Jobs, Andy Grove, John Warnock, Bill Joy and John Doerr. Working first for Life Magazine, Menuez continued covering start-ups and established giants until the collapse of the dot.coms. This era was one of the most turbulent and significant—more jobs and wealth were created then ever before in human history. Stanford University Library has recently acquired this work along with his entire archive. Visit his website to learn more.

Karen Mullarkey

Karen Mullarkey began her career in photography at Life magazine in the 1960s. She has been the photography director at Rolling Stone, New York magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and for The Tech Awards; produced and directed television documentaries; and been involved in editing and producing more than 75 photography books.

Amy Shojai

Amy Shojai is a nationally known authority on pet care and behavior, a certified animal behavior consultant, a spokesperson for the pet products industry, and the author of 30 nonfiction pet books. She also writes the “September Day” animal behaviorist thriller series, which includes a service dog viewpoint character, and is a produced playwright (STRAYS, the Musical). Amy addresses a wide range of fun-to-serious issues in her work, covering dog and cat training, behavior, natural and allopathic health care, nutrition, first aid, aging pets, “the bond”, and cutting-edge medical topics. In her nonfiction books, she empowers pet lovers by providing the information they need to make informed decisions for their cats and dogs. She specializes in translating “medicalese” into easily understood jargon-free language, making it accessible to all pet lovers. Visit her website to learn more.

Phoebe Smolan

Phoebe Smolan is a 16-year-old animal rights activist and animal rescue volunteer. Over the past five years, she has helped find loving homes for more than 400 rescue dogs and cats in New York City. Phoebe is best known for her appearances on The Martha Stewart Show, her Time for Kids interview with adventurer Robyn Davidson (Tracks), as an onstage TEDx host and interviewer, and for her hip-hop dance performances at Madison Square Garden and The Barclays Center as a member of the “Shooting Stars” dance troupe. Phoebe is also the youngest photographer ever to shoot with the international press corps at the annual Fashion Week show in NYC. She is said to take after her grandfather, world-renowned Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt.

Rick Smolan

Rick Smolan is the CEO of Against All Odds Productions and a New York Times best-selling author with more than five million copies of his books in print. A former Time, Life, and National Geographic photographer, Smolan is best known as the co-creator of the “Day in the Life” book series. His global photography projects utilizing hundreds of the worlds leading journalists combine creative storytelling with state-of-the-art technology and are have been featured on the covers of Fortune, Time, GEO, and similar publications around the globe.

In June 2014 the Oscar-winning producers of The King's Speech released Tracks, a feature film based on Smolan's National Geographic story about Robyn Davidson’s 2,000 mile camel trek across the Australian outback. In the movie, Robyn is portrayed by Mia Wasikowska and Smolan is portrayed by Adam Driver. Visit his website to learn more.

Gina Spadafori

Gina Spadafori has been writing about pets for more than 30 years as a reporter, syndicated columnist and book author. Many of her books have been top-sellers, and have been co-authored with “America’s Veterinarian” Dr. Marty Becker, her writing partner since 2007. Before joining forces with Dr. Becker, Spadafori wrote the first three books in the “For Dummies” pet-care line. Dogs For Dummies, her first book, was given the President's Award for the best writing on dogs and the Maxwell Medallion for the best general reference work, both by the Dog Writers Association of America. Her books have been translated into many languages, including French, Serbian, Danish, Japanese, Korean, and Russian. In 2007, she was one of a small group of journalists credited with breaking open the pet-food recall story, leading to her and her work being the focus of prominent features in USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.

Morgan Spurlock

Morgan Spurlock is a New York based writer, director and producer. His first film, Super Size Me, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004, winning Best Directing honors. The film went on to win the inaugural Writers Guild of America best documentary screenplay award as well as garner an Academy Award nomination for best feature documentary. Since then he has directed, produced and distributed multiple film and TV projects, including the critically acclaimed FX television series, “30 Days,” and the films Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, Confessions of a Superhero, Czech Dream, Chalk, The Future of Food, What Would Jesus Buy?, the WGA Award-winning and Emmy nominated “The Simpsons 20th Anniversary Special: In 3-D! On Ice!,” Freakonomics, POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope, and Mansome.

Morgan is currently working on the series “Inside Man” for CNN, as well as This Is Us, a 3D documentary following the musical group One Direction which opened Summer of 2013. The film was number 1 at the box office and grossed $67 million worldwide to date. Visit his website to learn more.

Tracey Stewart

Tracey Stewart is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller of Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live and How We Can Help Make Their Lives Better. A passionate animal advocate and expert, she lives in New Jersey with her husband, Jon Stewart; two kids; four dogs; two pigs; one hamster; three rabbits; two guinea pigs; one parrot; and two fish—all rescues except for the kids. A former veterinary technician, Tracey is currently working with Farm Sanctuary to develop the New Jersey branch of their organization. Visit her website to learn more.

Mark Ulriksen

Mark Ulriksen is a San Francisco-based artist and illustrator whose instantly recognizable portraits and whimsical take on life have led to projects for a variety of major clients. He specializes in figurative work that blends humor and darkness with psychological insight. After initially working for 13 years as a graphic designer and magazine art director, Mark went through a relatively early mid-life crisis and gave up a world of monthly deadlines for a world of weekly ones, pursuing a new career as a freelance illustrator, and artist.

His editorial illustration work began in the mid-nineties, and since then his paintings have appeared in many of America’s leading magazines and newspapers. Ulriksen is best known for his work for The New Yorker, where he has been a regular contributor since 1993, with more than 45 magazine covers to his credit.

Mark’s varied interests are often the subjects of his acrylic paintings, be they politics or dogs, people or sports. He covered the 2008 Masters for Golf Digest and has created murals for United Airlines and the Chicago Bears that grace the walls of the United Club at Soldier Field. His dog prints adorn the halls of Kaiser Permanente hospitals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the regular illustrator for the San Francisco Jazz Festival, as well as a children’s book illustrator, and the recipient of numerous awards, including Gold and Silver medals from the NY Society of Illustrators. His 2006 New Yorker cover parody of the film Brokeback Mountain was named the year’s top magazine news cover by the Magazine Publishers of America. Ulriksen’s work is in the permanent collection of The Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. Mark now balances his time between illustration assignments, children’s books, gallery work and private commissions, primarily family portraits and dog portraits. Visit his website to learn more.

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