Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Fatima has always felt a strong affinity towards animals. After moving to Boston, MA at the age of 9, she found herself always looking for ways to get involved with helping animals. As she grew older, she began volunteering in shelters in the Boston area and even took a few mission trips abroad to assist in spay and neuter programs and to help educate those communities on the importance of spaying and neutering.
She has since adopted 3 dogs of her own. One in particular - Cantu - is a special needs pup who completely changed her perspective on rescue dogs and the value they bring to the world. Cantu gained a significant following on social media in a very short timespan. It has been through his platform that they have garnered enough support to bring The Cantu Foundation to fruition.
Fatima has always had plans of starting her own non-profit, but didn’t see that happening for many years. After stepping in to help a couple of dogs earlier this year, she realized the time was now. She hopes to continue growing the The Cantu Foundation to save as many dogs as possible.
Director of Operations
Jenna is born and raised in San Diego, California and grew up in a household full of animals. With a mom who was always taking of stray dogs and cats, rescue came very naturally to her. In college, she worked as a volunteer director at a local, no-kill shelter in Santa Barbara and post-college, she volunteered in South Africa working with lions, tigers, hyenas and a variety of other wild animals. It was through these experiences that her love of animals grew even deeper.
Growing up, her father owned a beach house in Rosarito, Mexico, where she and her sister spent a lot of time. She remembers begging her father to let them take in the countless homeless dogs they would encounter. She has seen firsthand how dire the situation is in Mexico regarding the homeless dog population; how deeply neglected, unloved and abused many of these street dogs are. It is because of this that our cause resonates so deeply with her.
Approximately 2 years ago, she became involved with an organization called The Animal Pad (TAP) and it was through TAP that she found The Cantu Foundation and connected with Fatima. She rescued her first dog almost 5 years ago, who is a big, block-headed pittie. Her love for her own dog is also why she fiercely advocates for this very misunderstood breed.
My name is Jena Huynh and I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I have always had a love for all animals. I’ve always wanted to find a rescue to help out dogs since there are so many that need our help. Over the years, I’ve heard horrific stories, which has driven me to want to save them all! But without resources, it is impossible. That said, I’ve learned that the best way to help and give each dog the best chance of survival is to educate others to adopt and not shop. I helped a few rescues in San Diego and I wanted to extend my support by joining The Cantu Foundation.
Yahaira has been working as an analyst at Fidelity Investments for two years. She earned her degree in Economics and Finance from Bentley University. Yahaira has always loved dogs and grew more passionate about helping those in need when her best friend adopted Cantu and even more when she saw first hand how much love and care rescues need. She’s excited to to be a part of the Cantu team and giving these dogs the best lives!
Growing up in Tijuana, I always felt a connection with stray animals and said I would become a veterinarian one day to help those in need. I actually studied to become a vet assistant but I did not want to be stuck in an office all day. I wanted to be more hands on and involved with animals so I thought about rescuing - I just didn’t know where and how to start. After losing my bulldog Spike last year, I felt it was time to get moving in honor of him and thanks to the power of the internet, I was connected to the Cantu Foundation. When I’m not volunteering with TCF, I spend my time feeding and caring for community cats in my neighborhood.
Val, Kate, Eva, Leticia and Samantha
The voice behind our rescue dogs stories ♥️
Val: Hello! My name is Val, and this is a picture with my dog Ghost. I currently volunteer for two animal nonprofits as their dog bio writer because I love giving a voice to the voiceless! I am currently starting my Master's for Nonprofit Leadership and Management at USD with the hopes of being an Executive Director to an animal nonprofit... then to found my own someday! My soul and passion go to saving dogs and trying to help them in any way possible. Volunteering here at TCF is so rewarding because you see where these dogs come from and where they end up, in loving homes!
Kate: My name is Kate Serbinowski. This is a picture of me with my dog Bean! I've always had a special connection with dogs, and I'm passionate about volunteering and doing charity work. I love TCF's instagram page; they always take in the dogs that most people would give up on, and the love and care they give the pups completely transforms them. I recently moved to a new city, so I wanted to find somewhere new to volunteer, but Covid prevented me from doing the normal volunteer work I usually do. So when TCF needed people to write bios for their dogs it was the perfect opportunity for me to volunteer safely from home, and help an organization that does so much good in the world.
Eva: Eva's rescue dog (and best friend!) Penny has been the inspiration for her passion of helping to raise awareness of the benefits of rescuing dogs, especially those that had a difficult start to their life. Penny was abused and severely malnourished when she was rescued but has shown amazing resilience and still has the ability to love unconditionally. Dogs are incredible and Eva loves giving TCF adoptable dogs a voice so they can get adopted. She is also a regular volunteer at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay.
Leticia: Hi everyone! My name is Leticia or Lele and this is my dog Edgar Allan Poe. I got Poe in 2017 when I was going into my last year of college and I was super depressed and unmotivated. He is such a light in my life, I’m so grateful for him helping me get out of a dark place. Having to care for him gave me a sense of purpose. If I can give a voice to rescues so they have a second chance to be a light in someone else’s life, I’d like to spend my free time doing just that! I’m thankful that TCF has given me this opportunity, but I’m even more excited about their work of rescuing and rehabilitating dogs!
Samantha: As soon as Cantu’s bodacious body rolled across Sam’s IG screen, it was game over. There is nothing she loves more than a squatty, rollie-pollie dog—evident in her own choice of dog breed. A die-hard animal lover since birth, Sam knew she wanted to get involved as soon as Fatíma, Cantu’s mom, started TCF. Having a vacation home in Mexico, Sam has seen firsthand the critical need for animal welfare and rights across our border. Sam longs for the day when her writing skills are no longer needed, because all dogs are cherished family members in their forever homes. Till then, it’s pen to paper (or finger’s to keyboard).