Leigh Burney


I have been privileged to have always shared my life growing up with many much loved pets. I was able to then share this wonderful experience with my children as they grew up and they now continue this with their families. My memories are of loyal and loving dogs and the greatest pleasure for me was always in seeing them safe, secure, happy and well cared for.

Seeing so many dogs over the years that have not had this certainty in their lives has always been extremely difficult to witness and even harder to accept. I have reached a point in my life where I have the skills, experience and absolute determination to not just stop the awful suffering of so many dogs but to see as many of these dogs as possible safe, secure, happy and well cared for.

Dogs of the Globe is about millions of people who feel exactly the same, who can unite to create a powerful force for change and to deliver the respect and care that all dogs deserve. Dogs are unique in their unconditional love and loyalty to us and we can now return this to all dogs in need.

The majority of my working life has been spent as a founder of successful companies and managing them. I’ve set up and run many projects during this time and thrive on ‘making things happen’ and doing what is necessary to ensure there is a successful outcome. I believe that all the skills that I’ve built up will be instrumental in working to create and make successful our Dogs of the Globe Foundation.

Erica Hume

Establishment team

Over the years Erica has raised a family, assisted in the family business whilst still finding time to help various community organisations such as Samaritans, Guide dogs Queensland – Puppy raiser and trainer Hopewell Hospice – Gold Coast – Bereavement Support, Riding for the Disabled, Gold Coast as Vice President. Currently Erica is involved with Toastmaster and Rotary in Motueka.

Erica has been a very successful campaigner and fundraiser for a number of these organisations, she is currently working regular volunteer shifts as an ambulance officer for St John’s in Motueka, a role she is very passionate about.

Erica has always had dogs in her life who have been loved and appreciated as valued members of her family. She strongly believes that the care and respect shown to all dogs promotes an empathy and understanding that will continue across generations to come. Erica brings years of experience to the DOG foundation and her skills and energy will help to ensure a better future for many dogs in desperate need.

Michael Okkerse

Establishment team

Michael has always had dogs in his life. He recognises that because dogs evolved largely in social partnership with humans we have a special responsibility of care towards them.

Michael’s professional life was spent mostly as a Barrister, with sabbaticals (“for good behaviour”) as a legal academic, policy consultant and futurist.

Travel in the USA, Europe, Asia and India exposed him to the cruel and often culturally embedded dark sides of dog life - unloved, uncared for, exploited, and worse. He supports the DOG Foundation for its commitment to caring and its potential to contribute to transforming change.

Michael brings a great deal of life experience and wisdom to our foundation. His legal skills and broad life knowledge have helped immensely to shape the foundation and guide it with huge integrity towards our goal to improve the lives of thousands of dogs globally.

Melissa Smith

Establishment team

After gaining her Masters degree in Organisational Psychology Melissa is currently a Registered Psychologist who is passionate about partnering with organisations to develop effective and robust strategies to identify, develop and retain their talent.

Melissa is currently working as an Organisational Development Consultant at FMG, specialising in working alongside teams to drive exceptional individual and team performance.

Growing up, dogs were always considered part of the family for Melissa, therefore, she is passionate about supporting the welfare of dogs who are less fortunate. Working alongside a group of like-minded individuals who aim to create a cultural change in the way dogs are treated is what drew Melissa to be a part of Dogs of the Globe.

Melissa brings a great deal of expertise to the future recruitment of our team and for all areas of HR for the DOG organisation.

Diane Burney

Establishment team

Diane’s dog rescue history goes back to when her family collected ‘Raffles’ from Battersea Dogs Home in London. From a precarious beginning, he went on to live a good long and happy life. As a teenager, years after emigrating to New Zealand, Diane was missing having a dog at home so went to the Wellington pound to ‘have a look’ and came home with ‘Skipper', a Keeshond-X who was on his second round of 10 days. They usually kept the dogs for 10 days but Skipper for some reason was given an extra chance. At the eleventh hour, Skipper managed to persuade Diane to take him home and he then went on to live 19 1/2 happy years with good food, walks and trips to the beach. Diane, like Leigh, would like to be able to help more dogs in need and sees Dogs of the Globe as being a great way to help the vast number of dog rescue organisations succeed in sterilising, caring for and rehoming as many dogs as possible. She sees this organisation as an opportunity to really make a difference and create many more Raffles and Skipper stories.

Diane has founded and managed businesses most of her life and brings a great deal of knowledge around running an organisation, in particular building a good culture. She’s currently running our design business and is able to provide assistance with brand and marketing.

Lynne Lane

Establishment team

Lynne Lane is a medical doctor who initially worked as a GP then specialised as a Public Health Physician. She is passionate about the rights of all people and animals to be treated fairly and with respect. She brings to the team experience in international advocacy and leading innovative service development in the private and public sector to achieve significant public benefit.

During her career Lynne has focused on leading teams to develop innovative solutions to complex problems that achieve widespread benefits. She has held statutory roles including the Mental Health Commissioner and the National Director of Public Health, and governance roles in entities undertaking research, international charity, professional training, and service delivery in health and in farming.

Lynne has joined the team establishing DOG because she believes that any society that ignores the rights of animals, and especially one that tolerates cruel treatment of dogs, will grow to tolerate abuse of its most vulnerable citizens. In some countries the shameful mistreatment of dogs is so common that local animal rights agencies are overwhelmed and need help. She can see that the DOG Foundation is developing an innovative global solution to work with local agencies to solve this problem. The DOG Foundation will enable them to rescue more dogs in need, and help them to create societies in which all dogs are treated well in the future.

Laura Humphreys

Establishment team

Laura Humphreys started working life as a secretary in an advertising agency. She went on to create her own award winning ad agency, which she built from scratch to billings in excess of $15 million and sold to the Ogilvy Group after just 9 years. Her next business, Pet Angels, grew to 150 employees across NZ and sold to a competitor after 6 years.

Now an author and business mentor, Laura spends her time helping other business owners create valuable, scalable and saleable businesses. Laura’s passion is seeing business owners move beyond owner dependency into valuable businesses that can really make a difference.

Laura is a passionate dog lover and has always championed for animals, at Red Rocks she provided on-going pro bono work for the SPCA and with Pet Angels she did regular fund raising and support for them. Laura was a personal benefactor and fund contributor to the successful creation of the new Wellington SPCA headquarters. Dogs have been a big part of her life since she was 7 years old and currently she has 2 dogs Winnie and Dot.

Laura brings many skills as an advisor to the DOG foundation covering business mentoring, strategic planning, creative marketing and copywriting.

Matt Tong

Establishment team

Matt is a chartered accountant and director of accounting firm Pocock Tong Trass (PTT).

Being a dog lover and owner of Alfie (who is also the office dog at PTT), when he found out about Dogs of the Globe, he did not hesitate to volunteer his and PTT’s services to help establish the organisation and provide accounting and financial expertise to the team.

Matt and PTT act for a large number of not-for-profit and charitable organisations so bring a wealth of expertise around the structure, governance and financial reporting compliance requirements in this area.

Being a small business owner himself and almost 20 years’ experience of advising other businesses, Matt is also keen to bring this knowledge to the team.

Dogs of the Globe FacebookDogs of the Globe Instagram