Executive Director & Staff

Elizabeth Trick, M.A., Executive Director

Elizabeth Trick was born and raised in Houston, Texas. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Houston. During college, she volunteered for several non-profit agencies, including the Victim’s Resource Institute, the United Way’s Crisis Hotline, and the Texas Young Autism Project. She held the position of Historian in the National Honor Society for Psychology, Psi Chi. She was also a member of Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2003. After college, she earned a Master of Arts degree from University of Houston-Clear Lake; graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2005.

Upon graduation, Elizabeth began work as a staff psychotherapist at Jester IV, a maximum security psychiatric hospital. In 2010, she began working part-time at Special Pals and in 2013, she became the Executive Director. She currently has 3 dogs and lives in Katy with her husband and 7-year old son, Luke.

With a supportive and active board of directors and a strong community of supporters, both financial donors and volunteers, the state of the shelter is promising and sustainable. Special Pals is now serving more animals and making more of an impact in the community and in animal welfare in Houston.  


Elizabeth Trick - Special Pals

Our Staff

aaron smith and pippa for staff website

Aaron Smith ( With Pippa): Kennel Tech

Vakerie Murray Kennel Manager and Valero

Valerie Murray (With Valero): Kennel Manager

shaun and luther resized

Shaun Almaguer (With Luther): Vet Tech/ Kennel Tech


Crystal Zavala-Garza: Vet Tech/Front Office Support

Medical Director: Daniel Hendrix, DVM

Veterinarian: Angela Kinney, DVM

Administrative Support: Erin McCollum

Kennel Tech: Natalie Fawcett

Event Coordinator: Valerie Palomerez