board of directors

Kristy Kilpatrick


kristy.jpgKristy Kilpatrick is a teacher in the Greater Victoria School District, recognized for innovative teaching practices and for giving her students the tools to excel.

A two-time recipient of the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence, her initiatives include an outdoor classroom at her school to support “urban wild culture” and community mapping.

Kristy encourages her students to be stewards of the natural world by incorporating nature, including urban wildlife, into the school curriculum wherever possible.

When not in her classroom or working with the UWSS, Kristy loves to garden, read and hike, but most of all, spend time with her husband, children and grandson, along with her beloved dogs and 21 year old cat.



Annette Dehalt

Vice President

annette.jpgAnnette Dehalt is an instructor at Camosun College in both the Biology Department and the Environmental Technology Program, where she currently teaches Marine Biology and Vertebrate Diversity and Ecology.

She takes her students into the field as much as possible, and integrates Traditional Ecological Knowledge with the Western Science model to facilitate greater understanding and respect for the natural world. Annette is passionate about animal protection and has been an active humane educator as well.

Annette's past work experience includes eco-tourism (whale watching), ranch work (herding) and a variety of biological and oceanographic research projects (environmental impact assessment). In her spare time, besides serving as Vice President and Scientific Advisory Group member of the UWSS, you can find her hiking with her dog Dash, horse-back riding, gardening, tap dancing, practicing yoga, or exploring the habits and habitats of various animals.



Steve Huxter

Project Manager

steve.jpgAn animal behaviourist, writer and painter, Steve Huxter has a wide variety of experience with many animal species.

After spending eight years as head of the animal care and training division at Sealand of the Pacific and overseeing the operations of the Victoria Marine Animal Rescue Centre, Steve owned Transform, Animal Behaviour Solutions; specializing in problematic and severe behavioural issues with companion animals.

He is a former Board member with Fins & Fluke, an international ocean conservancy organization and is a cast member in the documentary film, Blackfish.

Along with being the Project Manager for the UWSS - Urban Deer Research Project, Steve is an Advisor for the Whale Sanctuary Project. He is a tireless advocate for animal welfare and rights, as well as environmental issues that affect the world’s oceans.



Barb McKerrell

Recording Secretary

Barb-Millie.jpgBarb McKerrell is a director and officer of UWSS serving as board secretary. She has spent her entire life caring and providing for those who cannot care for themselves.

She is a trained sociologist who has practiced in several disciplines including operating a group home for 14 children in need of special care; education, agriculture and life skills.

Barb has spent a number of years nurturing an early passion for animal training resulting in her having developed three of her own certified therapy dogs for the benefit of the community. As an active volunteer member of Pacific Animal Therapy Society (PATS) she visits schools, public interest groups, extended care facilities, hospitals and care homes for seniors and veterans with her dogs.

Her passion for such activities coupled with her commitment to the community is a natural skill set for her to serve on the board of UWSS in an effort to attain humane methods of urban wildlife population management.



Holly Vear


holly.jpgHolly Vear practices aboriginal law and environmental law in British Columbia and the Yukon, with a focus on governance and sustainable land use. She also works with local animal advocacy and welfare groups to help advance their respective missions.

As a Director on the board of the UWSS, Holly brings valuable insight, research skills, compassion and determination to animal welfare issues particularly, at this time, to humane and non-lethal methods of managing deer and wild geese.

In her spare time, you will find Holly spending time with her husband and canine companions, trail-running in Vancouver Island’s beautiful natural spaces, cooking delicious plant-based foods, volunteering at the local dog shelter and advocating for animals.