Mike McCarthy

President & Founder

Founder, Mike McCarthy, a retired software entrepreneur who has been working with rescue groups to save the lives of homeless animals for over 20 years, established his rescue transport nonprofit February 14, 2015. Rescue Express has transported and saved over 15,000 lives since then. Mr. McCarthy recently relocated headquarters of Rescue Express to Rancho Santa Fe, California from Eugene, Oregon, where buses leave every weekend, transporting up to 150 animals per trip, from overpopulated high-kill shelters, along the I-5 corridor as far north as Canada, in collaboration with 300 rescue groups who find the pets forever homes.

Karen Moy

Executive Director

Karen is a native of Southern California from Rancho Palos Verdes, and a lifelong animal lover who grew up in a home filled with pets of every species. Pets bring a tremendous amount of joy to our lives and providing individuals and families with the experience of loving a pet is the best feeling in the world. She's a Fulbright Scholar with a PhD in Public Health from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Karen transitioned from academic research into the nonprofit sector, and has a successful grant writing and fundraising track record.

Vanna Sumontha

Administrative and Operations Coordinator

Born and raised in San Diego, California, Vanna has a passion for making a lasting difference in the lives of others and the community. She has 3+ years of experience working in the nonprofit sector and has helped many different populations including, children with autism and special needs, at-risk youth, low-income families, and individuals with severe mental illnesses. Outside of work, you can find Vanna cooking, shopping, volunteering, spending time with loved ones, doing yoga, or trying a new fitness activity. She has a love for Hawaii and anything that has to do with a tropical paradise. Although she does not have a dog of her own and spends 80% of her time daydreaming of what life would be like if she had one, Vanna has a huge admiration for dogs and is thankful to work for an organization that saves the lives of thousands of animals each year.

Karen Tinajero

Marketing and Social Media Coordinator


As a marketing graduate of the University of California, Riverside, Karen has devoted herself to organizations and causes that exist to serve underrepresented communities. In her time she has worked in the civil rights and education industries and has also developed a passion for travel. Karen has also led discussions on self empowerment in schools across Japan and provided humanitarian disaster relief abroad. She hopes to continue using her skills to engage communities and bring awareness to resources and important causes. Most importantly, she’s mother to a kitty named Maru and hopes to adopt many more animals in the future.

Emily Brand

Events and Volunteer Coordinator


Emily's background is in research within the biotechnology industry with a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science and a Masters degree in Biotechnology. As the Events & Volunteer Coordinator, , Emily manages organizational and event volunteers, and is the community liaison for event vendors and sponsors. She is enthusiastic about the organization, and is excited to play a role in the success of Rescue Express.