The Sam Simon Foundation
"Saving the lives of dogs, to enrich the lives of people"

Sam Simon - Founder

In 2013, Simon was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. Shortly after the diagnosis, the nine-time Emmy Award-winning producer told The Hollywood Reporter that he planned to donate nearly his entire fortune to various charities upon his death. The Sam Simon Foundation specializes in helping hungry people and stray dogs. He also worked with PETA.

In television history, Simon is most famous for developing "The Simpsons" in 1989. Until 1993, he produced the show and co-wrote several episodes. He's credited with assembling the show's first writing team and establishing its tone. The series is the longest-running sitcom in American history. Other shows Simon produced include "The Drew Carey Show," "Taxi, and "Cheers."

Sam passed away March 8, 2015. "We all miss him, and in his honor, we will continue bringing his vision to light through our work at The Sam Simon Foundation."

Barb Velasquez
Assistance Dog Program Director

Barb Velasquez has been training dogs for 24 years. She is licensed and holds a certification for Hearing Dog training.

Barb has been a presenter at trade shows for the deaf and hard of hearing since 1996. She co-founded a family dog training business and has been providing behavior counseling as well as teaching group obedience classes for the past 17 years. She also instructed in the canine sports of Flyball and Musical Freestyle Dance.

Barb grew up in Virginia and got her BS in laboratory medicine from Old Dominion University. She is currently owned by two dogs, Mariah and Dazzle Donovan

Kim Meinhardt
Assistance Dog Program Instructor

Kim has always shared his life with at least one dog. During the last 23 years, he has worked as a Hearing Dog trainer. Kim has also worked with a Search and Rescue Organization in Oregon, where he and one of his dogs, Keno, became certified in Wilderness/Air Scent Search. He co-founded a family dog obedience business to help family pets become better companions in their homes and provided individual pet behavioral counseling. He believes that a well-behaved, happy dog is more likely to stay in a permanent home.

If Kim isn’t out training, he will be out enjoying the outdoors hiking and fishing. He enjoys the early mornings in Malibu either kayaking or out on a hike. He feels very fortunate to be able to work with such a tight-knit team at the Foundation.

Lori Ramey
Assistance Dog Program Instructor

Lori has been living with dogs and cats all of her life. Her house is not a home without a few furry friends around. She currently shares her home with two dogs, Ryder and Mango. She has been working as a Certified Hearing Dog Instructor for 27 years. Lori is a volunteer with United Animal Nations “Emergency Animal Rescue Service”. An organization that goes to areas hit by natural disasters and assists with the care of displaced animals. She also assisted with the training of dogs in the sport of Fly-ball. Lori considers herself to be a West Coast native.

She was born in Oregon and raised in California. When she isn’t working, she enjoys the sun and the sea. She spent 5 years in the United States Coast Guard, stationed in Long Beach, CA. The ocean is a place where she finds peace of mind and spirit. Working and living in Malibu is perfect for her.

Hannah Lieberman
Mobile Clinic Director

Hannah’s devotion to animal welfare became evident at a very early age. She started volunteering at veterinary hospitals at age 13, and took additional weekend and after-school classes on animal care throughout her high school years. She then went to U.C. Berkeley, where she continued advocating for animal rights. Upon returning to Los Angeles, Hannah ran a veterinary hospital for several years before completing her degree at U.C.L.A. Her love of animals runs so deeply, that she quit her job as a teacher to take care of her beloved dog, Winnie, when her hind legs became paralyzed in 2004.

Hannah now enjoys running The Sam Simon Foundation’s mobile pet clinic, as she is able to combine her love of teaching with her love of animals. Plus, Winnie gets to accompany her “mom” everywhere she goes, and spends her days riding in the car and barking out the window!

Jackie Serrato
Program Assistant

Jackie has lived in California her entire life and would not change it for the world. Her love for animals began as a child having dogs, cats, chickens and even a duck in her home. She joined the team in 2010 and enjoys working alongside her assistant Maribelle (A basset hound/ beagle mix) who is always by her side.

Dr. Rick Mori

Dr. Rick Mori Graduated from Colorado State University in 1985, Completed a rotating small animal medicine/surgery internship at West Los Angeles Animal Hospital in 1987, relief work at general practices and emergency clinics 1988-1991, owned and operated Bear Valley Pet Hospital 1991-2005.

© 2015 The Sam Simon Foundation