Meet Our Team

Our Team at Bengal Rescue is led by longtime Bengal rescuers who have 20 years of experience rescuing and rehoming Bengal cats. We are a registered 501(c)(3) National volunteer-based rescue organization, dedicated to rescuing Bengal Cats and other hybrid domestic cats.

What We Do

Our Team works with a broad network of Fosters, Transporters, Adopters, and Veterinary professionals. We address all challenges head-on; there simply isn’t a challenge we haven’t faced and resolved for a Bengal cat and their owners. We’re here for each Bengal who needs us, as well as the humans who hope to understand them better.

Bengal cats are advertised as energetic cats who have a “wild look.” Unfortunately, many Bengal Cat owners are ill-prepared to meet their needs, so they often end up in rescue (see our page “Adopting Your First?“).

Education is Key

Our Team is committed to educating Bengal owners, so that the owners can keep their Bengal in their home. If the owners are unable to follow our supportive guidelines, we will match the cat with a more suitable family (see our page Rehome for more information).

Quite often, Bengals are in jeopardy of losing their homes, due to litter box avoidance. But the reality is, most of these cases are caused by human neglect / poor litter box maintenance. If you are experiencing litter box avoidance issues with your Bengal, please read our informative article Litter Box Issues.

Ultimately, it is our goal to ensure that no Bengal ends up in a Shelter. Bengals at shelters always end up being adopted out to the next unprepared family. As a result, this always repeats the cycle and re-traumatizes the cat.

Our Team Can Help

If you are facing a challenge with your Bengal – we’re the group to call. If you want to adopt a Bengal – we’ll “match you” with the right Bengal. Bengals are NOT one size fits all. Each Rescue Bengal has specific needs and wants. We work to learn about them so that when we match them to their forever family, they never return to Rescue again.

We hope to serve you as a lifelong resource for your Bengal. No challenge is insurmountable!

©Bengal Rescue 2024

Sharon Cantwell

Founder, President & Treasurer

Sharon got her start in rescuing Bengals in 2010, after leaving a successful Intellectual Property Licensing career in the Semiconductor Industry. She has 15 years of on-the-ground rescue experience, and has served on three Non-Profit boards, including a cat and dog rescue that had a $1M a year budget and large facilities. Sharon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Comparative Literature and Ancient Greek from the University of Irvine, California.

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Celia Child

Vice President, Co-Founder, Marketing Director

Celia’s motto is summed up best by Albert Einstein: “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Celia’s creative and business background focuses on building international brands, consulting, and she has had the honor of working with the top global advertising agencies in the world. She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Public Relations, studying international business in Asia with the Huntsman School of Business program and Fashion, Theater, Art with USU Arts program.

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Dani Weigand

Board Secretary, Social Media Director

Dani has been a Rescue Volunteer for over a decade. She served as a Board Member for 5 years, with Park City’s largest pet rescue. Her passion is in matchmaking, and ensuring that every cat receives the best medical, behavioral, and environmental support.

Recently Dani was recognized as one of Utah’s inaugural “40 Women Over 40.” It is a tremendous, and well-deserved honor.

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Sonya Schiffman

Director of Adoptions and Outreach

Sonya has always been an animal lover. As a child, she would bring home anything she found to try and help an animal in need. Her mom always telling her, “Please no more animals.” She has had cats, dogs, guinea pigs, horses and even rats as pets throughout her life.

She may be new to the Bengal Rescue organization, but she has been rescuing animals most of her life.

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Jade Heisey

Social Media Coordinator

Jade’s love and admiration for animals began as a young child which later manifested into an undying passion to rescue and rehabilitate those in need. She has been involved in the rescue community as a volunteer and as an employee for the past 19 years while becoming more involved in the health and welfare of felines entering the shelter system within the last 6 years. As a dedicated Veterinary Technician, Jade enjoys working with medically-unique cats along with those who require additional daily care.

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Dr. Carl Prior DVM

Veterinary Advisor

Growing up in a rural farming community, Carl Prior fell in love with animals.  After completing his undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University, he completed his DVM at Colorado State University’s renowned veterinary teaching hospital.

While working at a large veterinary practice in Salt Lake City, Dr. Prior, an avid athlete, swam laps too. And it was while swimming that his creative mind formulated his unique philosophy for his own practice.

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Annesha Ellen Weber

Contributing Photography Director

Annesha Weber is a contributing photographer for Bengal Rescue based in Texas who specializes in photographing animals. Working with animals for over a decade as a professional animal trainer she has a keen sense to get the “purrrrfect shot”  in her imagery and enjoys capturing those special moments with peoples beloved fur babies. She values the relationship between people and their pets and reflects each animal’s unique personality in her images. Annesha also serves with Bengal Rescue as a contributing photography director and post production editor for the organization.

Victoria Van Trees

Contributing Photographer, Southern California Coordinator

Victoria is a fine art photographer and Bengal cat enthusiast for over 15 years.   Victoria owns two female bengals rescued from breeders. Her Bengal girls love to run on their kitty treadmill, play fetch and learn new tricks. Victoria has traveled the world photographing big cats and hyenas. Follow Victoria on Instagram @vantreesphotography