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Genetic Committee Biographies



Andrea ( Andi ) Meloon ( Genetics Chair )




I have always been in love with dogs, horses, and my husband Dallas. I married my High School Sweetheart and along the 42 years together he too has shared his love with my involvement in the Canine and Equine world. I graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1975 with a Degree in Nursing. 

During my early years of riding, showing, and breeding horses - I worked eight years as a personal assistant to Tom Johnson DVM & Equine Reproductive Specialist. I worked during the day as an intensive care nurse to mares and foals and concurrently worked the evening shift as an intensive care nurse at Kentucky Baptist Hospital.

It wasnít until 1986 after the loss of our family dog of 12 years that my husband and I began looking at purebred dogs. We fell in love with the Akita and over the course of 12 years we bred several champions. We showed and bred conformation and obedience dogs, including a National Specialty winner and with the collaboration of a very good friend Bill Bobrow, we bred and trained Moto-Yoriís Cover Girl Dotti, CD who became the 1994 Delta Society Guide Dog of the Year. Her owner, Dr. Jeff Fowler was going blind due to a genetic disorder and I have been interested in PRA ever since my introduction to him in 1986. 

During our Akita years, The genetics work that I was involved with, included Von Willebrands and CERF clinics. In addition, due to the many breed problems the Akita has, OFA and Thyroid tests were a must, and autoimmune disease is a serious problem. 

It was during my active participation and work in Obedience from 1988 to 1994 that I fell in love with a small, beautiful, and talented Papillon. I told myself then, when I no longer can work with the big dogs, Papillons are the breed I want to have.

My first PCA National was in 2003 and shortly there after we bought our first companion, Mollie. She was ours to spoil, love and learn the behavior of the Papillon
We were hooked. Our first show dog came in 2004. And we showed at the 2004 PCA National. I became a member of PCA in 2004 and was eager to help the club and became the 2006 SW Regional Specialty Show Chairman. We have been actively involved in showing and breeding Papillons since 2004. All of our dogs we own are CHIC certified.
I know canine genetics is a critical factor to the future of any breed. I am ready and eager to serve PCA by working on the genetics committee. It is our responsibility to work toward Breeder and Owner openness and to help promote a better understanding of genetic disorders. By sharing knowledge and providing education our beloved breed has a future.

The ground work that has been laid by the past and present guardians of our breed are the building blocks for strong and healthy Papillons and Phalenes for future generations to enjoy.     


Andrea Meloon

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : April 2014   








I grew up with Bassett Hounds, but had a long hiatus from dog ownership during the time

that I was in college and graduate school. Having earned a bachelor's in science in biology, 

I realized that I wanted to learn more so I enrolled in graduate school at the University of

Maryland, College Park, where I earned my master's and doctoral degrees. My studies 

focused on population genetics and molecular systematic, the study of relationships among

organisms using information from DNA and proteins. My dissertation focused on a group of

lizards found mainly in the West Indies, so I was fortunate (and still am) to be able to 

include travel to exotic places as part of my research. In 1988 I came to Penn State, in the

heart of Pennsylvania, as a post doctoral fellow; currently I am a faculty member in the

biology department. My primary duties are teaching, but I still maintain a small research

program and stay current on new developments in molecular evolution, including the

determination of the molecular basis of inherited diseases, such as progressive retinal

atrophy, which is found in Papillons.

When my husband and I decided to take the plunge back into dog ownership ( he grew up

with Collies ), I did a lot of research to find a breed that would be the best fit for our life

style. I also hoped to be able to enjoy performance sports with a dog. The Papillon was 

the ideal combination of temperament, size, and appearance I still catch myself just

watching my dogs because they are so beautiful. Both Gusto and Amy were retired

champions, and we felt so fortunate that the breeders entrusted them to us. I became

involved with the PCA, not only to learn more about the breed and to meet people who 

share that interest, but to contribute what I can to support Papillons. Gusto and I have

enjoyed taking many agility and obedience classes; he earned his CGC at the 1999 PCA

National, as did Amy. However, I have come to realize that competing in dog sports, both

performance and conformation, is really more than a hobby, it is a lifestyle that my current

career does not allow enough time for, but definitely something to look forward to in 

retirement. For now, I have chosen to contribute to the breed by serving the PCA, including

service on the Genetic Committee, which seemed a natural fit given my training in genetics.

This committee is of critical importance to the future of the breed and is a very active

committee. I look forward to continuing to work toward a better understanding of genetic

disorders in this breed and the application of this knowledge to ensure the health of 

Papillons for generations to come. I have also served on the Constitution and Bylaws

Revisions Committee, and the Rescue Review Committee. Locally, I am president and

medical coordinator of Center County PAWS, an animal welfare organization involved

primarily in rescue and placement of companion animals, as well as promotion of 

responsible ownership.


Carla Hass

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : March 2004   






Committee member


Papillons became the focal point for this writer about 1986. Previously I had Miniature

Schnauzers for 35 years and finished championships on 6 Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.

I found my happiness in this small package of everything- rolled- into- one- dog.

Personality, agility, intelligence, longevity, small size, ease of care, and relatively good

health with few major genetic problems are assets for the Papillon.
Noting that the basically "unknown" Papillon breed has now become more popular, it is

conceivable that we may begin to notice increased genetic problems. Popularity and

indiscriminate breeding often follow as a breed becomes popular. My focus is to help

educate, try to recognize developing problems, and keep owners and breeders aware of 'new situations that affect the breed.
I have 5 goals : 1- Continue education regarding the Papillon, 2- Encourage and increase

financial support for the health of the breed, 3-maintain continued support for research projects being funded by PCA, 4- begin work on getting a comprehensive survey for the

breed to ascertain what problems may be occurring, ( it is hopeful this survey can be

world-wide ) and 5- finally to get a Genetic Trust established that will be the model for

Papillons. Making this trust transparent and trustworthy, will encourage future donations

benefiting the Papillon breed. A trust will make donations tax exempt and encourage

generous donations for the continuation of the breed.
The Papillon Club of America is one of the original members of the CHF ( Canine Health

Foundation ) and also of the new health registry, CHIC.( Canine Health Information Center ) It is our goal to remain one step ahead in the health of the breed.

Leona Domino

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : May 2004   






Committee member


My Papillon family, along with my husband Mark and I live in Avondale, Arizona. The first

51 years of my life were spent in Ohio and Indiana until Markís job transferred him to

"The Desert". Talk about an adjustment! Itís been almost two years and I still canít get

used to the heat!


Iíve always had a soft spot in my heart for animals having had dogs and cats as pets all my

life. One fateful day as I was flipping through the channels on TV, I ran across some dog

agility trials that were being run. A flash of black and white dog swept across the screen

and I was instantly mesmerized by this flying ball of energy, beauty and grace. I watched

this curious-looking dog with the huge ears finish its race and waited to see how he would

place. Well, he blew everyone else away with his time and as I watched the owner being

interviewed after his win, I observed this beautiful dog beam with pride at his

accomplishment and I knew this dog was my next breed, that is, after I found out what

the breed was !


Obviously it turned out to be a Papillon and we currently have five full-time Papillon

residents now. We started out with a pet-quality pap and soon discovered we needed

another one as we didnít want to share just one dog. We got our second pap from a local

breeder who talked us into trying to show dogs for fun. It turned out that I really enjoyed

showing even though I rarely won. I decided if I was going to be serious about showing

Iíd better study up on the breed and begin looking for some real quality dogs. We got

another couple of paps, getting better quality each time, but I still had much to learn.

Getting a top quality Papillon seemed impossible !


After we moved to Arizona, Andi Meloon and I met at a dog show. We soon became good

friends which has lead to our current co-ownership of a beautiful bitch. I owe more to Andi

than I could ever express. Her friendship, guidance and generosity are invaluable to me.

Iíve been involved in two breedings and I feel being involved in the Genetics Committee

with the National Papillon Club will give me a solid foundation to gain knowledge and breed

intelligently from the start rather than making all of the beginning breederís mistakes.


Three of my five Papillons have developed epilepsy which is being controlled with

medication. I know the feeling of heartbreak when your beloved dogs fall victim to any sort

of illness. We need to prevent as many genetic ailments as possible to promote a healthy

and happy Papillon breed for the future. I look forward to learning from and giving to the

Genetics Committee and all its members in the future. I love working on fundraising

projects as they allow my creative energies to run wild, so feel free to give me your

fundraising ideas !

Thank you for this honor.


Cheryl Maass

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : 2009   






Committee member


Hi my name is Chris Jackson.

I have lived most of my life in Logan county, Ohio. I grew up on a small farm with my grandparents. Animals have always been a big part of my life.


We had cows, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs & one fat pony. I was married 30 yrs. 2 children. Now divorced hence the kennel name Liberty.


I have a professional pet grooming business ( over 20 years ) & have had Papillons for over 20 years too. I started with German shepherds in obedience & schutzhund work .


My interest grew into wanting a small dog for conformation. I was drawn to Papillons for their personality , ease of coat care ,& generally a healthy breed.


I joined PCA in 1995 & have served on a few committees . I am proud to be a part of the genetics committee as we continue our research.


Chris Jackson

E-mail :  

BIO UPDATED : March 2015   






Committee member


My wife, Marilyn and I both grew up in Texas, on and around farming. We always had dogs, but usually larger dogs. We raised two very successful sons and there was always a dog or two around as they grew up. Years later, Marilyn and I again wanted a dog but felt it needed to be a smaller breed. We began researching and soon decided that it had to be a Papillon and we are eternally thankful that it's the breed we picked.

We got our first Papillon for a pet in 1999 but have only been involved in showing dogs since the 2003 Papillon National Show when Frieda Crane, from whom we got our pet, encouraged us to attend. We were fascinated. That began our addiction, and it has been a fulfilling and enjoyable hobby ever since. We both became members of PCA and the Papillon Club of Tulsa.

We named our kennel Pilot because I went directly into the Army after finishing college and became a pilot for airplanes and helicopters. After five Army years, I went into a 27-year career as an airline pilot with TWA. Not being highly creative with names, we searched for a kennel name that fit. Marilyn was a Ph.D. Clinical Mental Health Counselor and I was a Pilot. Counselor just didnít seem to work as a kennel name, so Pilot it became and all our show dogs have aviation-oriented names.

My serious connection with PCA Genetics began not long ago. We suddenly found ourselves faced with NAD from two dogs we acquired to broaden our lines. Their first litter together produced two NAD affected puppies. That is a situation that you actually have to experience to truly know what itís like, seeing two happy, outwardly healthy puppies slowly succumb to a crippling disorder with death as the only option.

Andi Meloon and the PCA Genetics Committee showed a resolve and determination to defeat this curse and I hope that my small contribution can somehow help in finding a marker soon.


Don Bauer

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : March 2015   






Committee member


My husband Peter and I live in the beautiful Umpqua River country of southern Oregon. 

Our first dog was an Airedale. Although I didn't buy her as a "Show Dog", with the

encouragement and tutelage of a mentor with much knowledge of that Breed-- I did finish 

her championship. 


She never had a litter as she was first and foremost the family pet. Our family also had 

a Lab for 15 years and several Shih Tzu dogs. When my children grew up, I became

interested in showing dogs again. My search led me to the Papillon breed. I was impressed

with the intelligence, beauty, elegance and hardiness of the Papillon. In 1994 I was 

fortunate to obtain my first Papillon puppy. She completed her championship in 1997 and 

I was hooked on the breed and exhibiting. I also admire and co-own a Standard Poodle 

(Ch. Kriscross Hallucination) with a dear friend. I have learned from the reputable Poodle

breeders that genetic and health testing is of extreme importance for the health of 

that breed. 

I am currently the President of the Umpqua Kennel Club, our local all breed club, a member 

of the Papillon Club of Puget Sound and a member of PCA since 1996. My career has been 

in human health care. First as an RN and then as a nurse practitioner. Canine health,

specifically of the Papillon Breed is of great importance to me. Since Papillons have become

much more popular, it is of extreme importance to recognize and understand some of the

genetic challenges that are facing us. 


As a member of the PCA genetics committee, I want to be active and involved to improve 

the overall health of our breed. I wish to encourage more health and genetic testing,

encourage openness among breeders, educate others and myself so that we may all become

more informed of the health issues facing the Papillon breed today. With health testing 

and information, we will have the power and knowledge to become true "guardians" of 

the Papillon breed that we all love so much. 


I look forward to serving on this committee and perhaps develop some PCA approved 

studies to identify problems that the breed is facing.


Elaine Zech

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : February 2004   




Elyse Vandermolen

Elyse Vandermolen

Committee member


Second generation exhibitor/breeder, always with an interest in genetics. Fortunately my hobby evolved into a career - Clear Lake Kennels, Inc. (Boarding/Grooming, Webster, TX), since 1986. My involvement with Papillons began in the late eighties with my first national specialty in 1992.


Prior to that I was involved with Anatolian Shepherds (early eighties) and helped obtain the breed's AKC recognition. As a child I showed in Junior handling.

With today's medical advancements and research capabilities many current genetic issues could be eradicated. I hope to see that on several fronts!

Club Affiliations:

Houston Kennel Club, Toy Club of Greater Houston, Houston Area Papillon Club (President

and founding member), Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club of America (Past board member, Vice President)


Elyse Vandermolen

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : March 2015   




Janis McLaren

Janis McLaren

Committee member


My life has centered around animals for as long as I can remember. I grew up on a dairy

farm and was involved in 4-H from the age of eight. I started with chickens and rabbits

and moved on to showing dairy cattle and horses. I was on the State Dairy judging team winning a trip to the National competition. I think this beginning has motivated me to be competitive and enabled me to understand structure and animal husbandry.

My husband, Chris, and I live in the beautiful state of Washington near the Columbia River, within a short drive to scenic Mt. Hood or the Pacific Ocean. It truly is a lovely place to live even though the winters are a bit wet. The area abounds with dog shows, with the Rose City Cluster about 25 minutes from home.

I obtained my first Papillon in 1985 as a pet, and then a couple of years later being completely smitten with the breed I purchased a show male and started showing.

I bred my first litter in 1988. Since that time, I have produced multiple champions

as well as  Group and Specialty winning Papillons. I joined Papillon Club of America in 1989 and also that year attended my first National Specialty. Since then I have attended

all but two of the National Specialties and have attended every Specialty held by Papillon Association of Puget Sound, except for one. I have held several positions with Papillon Association of Puget Sound, and currently I am President and Historian of that club.

I served two terms as a Director of the Papillon Club of America and am an Honorary

Lifetim Member. I have served on the Genetics committee and Phalene committee for several years at different times.

My first champion was a male Papillon I was fortunate enough to have imported from England, CH Chisobee Little Rembrandt, and he really gave me the start I needed in this breed. I also had the opportunity to import a dog from Japan from the Queen Bless Kennel, who became the PCA Golden Butterfly winner in 2005 and also won a Best in Show, with the help of co-owner and handler, Tammie Wilcox, Jareaux. Previous to that I was owner/breeder/handler of the Number 2 Papillon in 1999, AM/CN CH La Ren Smooth Talker.

Presently I am involved in breeding the Phalene. I have had them show up in my Papillon litters since 1991, so I decided to breed them intentionally - not an easy task. Proper drop ears are elusive but will provide future goals and challenges.

The health of this lovely breed is very important to me, and I hope that working together with the Genetics committee, we as breeders can ensure that our beloved Papillons

continue to be known as a happy, healthy breed and a joy to own.

Janis McLaren

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : March 2015   






Committee member



I'm currently a member of the Baltimore County Kennel club chesapeake toy club,

and current Vice President of the Metropolitan Area Papillon club.


Also a current member of PCA Health & Genetics committee.

Kurt Ewy

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : March 2015   






Committee member


I have been involved with dogs and animals most of my life. I started in 4-H with goats,

horses, cows and sundry of other farm animals. My first involvement with purebred dogs

was with Miniature Schnauzers. I showed in Junior Showmanship and Conformation.
I have been a member of PCA since 2003 and have been assisting with the Genetic

Committee since my beginning in PCA. Leona Domino is my mother and mentor.

We are very dedicated to the breeding health of our Papillons. We have a routine of

having their eyes checked and encourage others to do the same.
My husband, Don was a "big" dog-person until I brought Saddie home. He was hooked!.

I now have problems with him wanting to keep all the puppies. In particular he enjoys the

geriatric dogs. Don is the reason that I am able to go to show and travel because he will

take care of the dogs . He never complains.
My husband and I live in Hinckley, Ohio. My mom lives 10 miles from me so I visit there

frequently. I have a son and daughter-in-law who live in Cincinnati, Ohio.
I look forward to serving on the Genetic committee and working with an outstanding

group of people.

Laura Temperato

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : April 2009   


Stephanie Koeniger


Committee member


My husband Neil and I live in Anchorage, Alaska, a place we love and where we raised our family - a son and a daughter. Although I never had a dog as a child, I was fortunate to marry a man who had raised and loved dogs since childhood. Early in our marriage, our family pet was Labrador Retriever. Since I have always been a 'small dog person', I soon added a small mixed breed dog to our family and then a Chinese Pug. Later my husband added an English Bulldog.

We saw our first Papillons at an obedience class where we and our dogs were enrolled. Although the Papillons never returned to class, we were intrigued and began to research the breed. About 2 years later, in early 1994, I acquired my first Papillon. The breeder encouraged me to consider showing her. After attending a few shows to learn and watch my husband show his Bulldog, I took a deep breath and went in the ring with my Papillon. Turns out my little Papillon girl was a natural 'show dog'. She strutted herself to her championship in short order and I was hooked!

I have been a PCA member since 1995 and attended my first PCA National Specialty in 1998 in San Diego. Since then I have attended many more. I am also a member of the Papillon Association of Puget Sound and have attended several of those specialties as well. We are active members of the Alaska Kennel Club and enjoy showing our dogs in all of the Alaskan all breed shows across the state. When we can do so, we like to travel to shows in Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

In the last 20 years, we have enjoyed raising, showing and occasionally breeding our Papillons and Bulldogs. We've shown most of our Papillons and Bulldogs to their AKC championships, with several of them also earning their Canadian and International championships - all owner handled. We had our first Papillon litter in 1997 and our first Bulldog litter in 2000. In 2014, our 4th generation homebred Papillon earned her AKC championship! In all of our breedings, we strive to improve on what we have, including conformation, temperament, and especially health. To that end, I avail myself of every opportunity to expand my knowledge and understanding of canine behavior, structure, function, health and nutrition. Genetics is the scientific basis for understanding our canine companions. By participating on the Genetics Committee, I hope to promote and further that understanding for the fancy as a whole.


Stephanie Koeniger

E-mail :

BIO UPDATED : April 2014   





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