Founder and President
Philadoptables’ President and founding member Michelle Helms began volunteering with Philadelphia’s homeless animals in 2007. At that time, most of the dogs and cats that entered the open-intake animal shelter did not leave alive. She recognized a great need, and founded Philadoptables in an effort to save more lives. She focuses on increasing adoptions, socializing animals and recruiting volunteers. Her goal is the transform the way animals are viewed in society: As valued companions, and beings worthy of kindness, respect and care.
Michelle and her husband Dave live in Bucks County and share their home with their many rescued senior dogs. Michelle is an HR professional and a Cum Laude Temple University graduate.
Diana grew up with dogs and cats and always loved animals but felt like something was missing. Then she found ACCT and her passion for helping the animals find their forever homes. She started volunteering at ACCT Philly in 2012. Diana assists with animal transports and helps on the promotions team at ACCT. She enjoys spreading the word about Philadoptables and assists with planning fundraisers to benefit ACCT and other local rescues.
Diana lives with her adorable fur daughter, Lilly, who is a black lab mix and her kitty, Nemo. She graduated from West Chester University in 2005 and now works in the property insurance field.
From rescuing injured birds to picking up loose dogs, Ali has, for as far back as she can remember, felt an attachment to all living creatures, and a deep need to protect them. She adopted her pit-bull terrier mix Daphne in 2013 from a North Carolina shelter and “failed” at fostering her dog Marni in March 2017, adding another to her pack. She has a soft spot for pit bull-type dogs, as these tend to flood open-intake shelters; and she focuses her life-saving efforts on those that are time-stamped for euthanasia at ACCT Philly.
In 2015, Ali started volunteering for Philadoptables, managing its Instagram account and helping with other communications needs. Her marketing and networking skills have been instrumental in growing the organization and awareness generally of the many, many ways people can help homeless animals. In her spare time, Ali enjoys creative projects, hiking, golf, snowboarding and all outdoor activities involving dogs.
In 2015, after her experience fostering and adopting a stray dog, Sandy realized the dire need for more animal rescue volunteers and advocates, and began volunteering with Tiny Paws Rescue. Two years later, she joined Philadoptables and also became an ACCT Philly volunteer.
For many years, Sandy has served as a business consultant for Wells Fargo, where she is also a board member for their local volunteer chapter and team member networks.
She lives in Philly with her husband Sean, has two daughters and three rescued dogs. She also enjoys volunteering and supporting other non-profit organizations such as Career Wardrobe and Women Against Abuse, as well as many local rescues.
Philadoptables would like to thank our former Board Members — Jeanie Dougherty, Christa Policella, Marta Gambone, and John Witherspoon — for their contribution to the ongoing success of Philadoptables.