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Our Story


The mission of Compassion Copper Canyon began when Dr. Dawkins traveled  to Mexico for the 16th annual Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon in March of 2018. The region of the Copper Canyons within the Sierra Madre Occidental is brutally beautiful, difficult to reach, and hard on its inhabitants.  She fell in love with the area and was inspired to help. She returned again in December 2018, this time with her two small children driving 30 hours to get there. She filled the back of her old Ford pick up truck with clothes she and friends donated, children's toys for a Christmas toy drive, and, of course, veterinary supplies. She spent a few days in the mountain area and a few in the canyon. Each place she went, she spread the word so people would know that she had free medications to treat people's pets or street dogs.  With the help of some wonderful local friends and supporters, she even reached some remote towns that only 4 wheel drive could get to, and one town that required a strenuous 3 hour hike up a mountain with a guide, Prospero, to reach. When she left the Copper Canyon

Region this time she felt that she wanted to do even more, and decided to start the process to become a non-profit. She returned again in March 2019 and did a very small spay and neuter trial clinic in the town of Cerocahui.  

Since starting the non-profit, Dr. Dawkins and her team have taken 4-6 trips per year to Mexico, and do anywhere from 200-500 surgeries per trip.  The goal is to continue to return to the same towns to make a long term difference, as well as expand to additional towns to grow the impact.

volunteer with dogs at spay and neuter clinic in Mexico

Board of Directors

Shannon Dawkins, Compassion Copper Canyon, veterinary services for dogs and cats in Mexico

Shannon Dawkins

Shannon studied abroad for a semester via the School for Field Studies spring of 1998 in a small fishing village of Mexico.  This semester opened her eyes to the complex balance of humans, animals and the ecosystem of the area. In the year 2000 after completing her undergraduate degree from Cornell University,  Shannon Dawkins (not yet Dr.) traveled back to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico to continue work with a shrimp aquaculture project. While there, her love and heart for animals had her taking in and supporting many of the strays roaming the streets. The smallest of these dogs was “Tiny”! Her time around the street dogs of these less developed communities with little resources  of Mexico motivated her to continue to follow her dream of becoming a veterinarian.   Shannon currently lives in Chattanooga TN where she owns a mobile Veterinary Clinic called Claws and Paws Mobile Veterinary services

Aimee Harvey, Compassion Copper Canyon, veterinary services for dogs and cats in Mexico

Aimee Harvey

Aimee is a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee and enjoys taking advantage of all of the beautiful outdoor spaces the Tennessee Valley offers. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a dog, and is currently mom to two year old rescue, Louie, who goes with her everywhere she is allowed to take him. Her life’s work is in the field of organizational development, where she helps people and organizations maximize their impact and accomplish their goals. Aimee enjoys cycling with friends and spending time with her family above all else. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the ALS Society of Indiana, and the Zotec Foundation.

Brad Harvey, Compassion Copper Canyon, veterinary services for dogs and cats in Mexico

Brad Harvey

Brad is married to Aimee.  All other accomplishments pale in comparison...

Brad grew up in the Chattanooga area, where he not only had his own dogs but regularly welcomed neighbor’s dogs into his family’s house.  He currently is the proud dad of rescue, Louie, who is ridiculously cute, smart, sweet, and, in Brad’s opinion, pending official certification, the world’s fastest dog.  Brad enjoys running, cycling, and going on adventures with his wife and fellow Board member, Aimee.  He also has volunteered with McKamey Animal Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Rotary, and the Chattanooga Track Club.  To help support Louie, Brad works as an attorney at Miller & Martin.

Jim Kennedy, Compassion Copper Canyon, veterinary services for dogs and cats in Mexico

Jim Kennedy

Jim relocated from Southern Maine to the Chattanooga, Tennessee area in 2009. His favorite dog was Smokey, a chocolate lab who loved to go mountain biking and running. He would follow Jim anywhere. Jim is the proud dad of 3 children and an even prouder Papa to 5 grandchildren. He is owned by Dante (the coolest rescue cat) who orders him around on a daily basis. He loves running, biking, and working out in his spare time.

Wendy Kennedy, Compassion Copper Canyon, veterinary services for dogs and cats in Mexico

Wendy Kennedy

Wendy grew up on a dairy farm in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania that fueled her love for animals. When she was about 10 years old, her family moved to another farm 2 miles away;  however, a couple of the family’s favorite barn cats, Fluffy and Calico, were nowhere to be found on moving day. It took a few weeks and lots of biking for Wendy to find their beloved kitties and transport them home in the basket on her Huffy 3-speed bicycle. Currently she is the furless mom to a handsome (spoiled rotten) rescue, Maine Coon mix, Dante who gives endless nose bumps and loves drinking from the faucet. Wendy loves to read, knit, quilt, and empower others to achieve their dreams.

Board members
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