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Meet the Ethics Committee

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Kelly Johnson
Ethics Committee Chairperson

Kelly with BIS winner MarshmallowOur family lives in Eden, Wisconsin, and I am a full-time mom of two preschool children and a good bunch of gerbils. Prior to children, my background and career was in psychology and counseling. My focus has been primarily working with troubled youth in various capacities: group home, corrections, treatment foster care, clinical work, and in-home family therapy / social work.

I have usually had pets in my life. My favorites are dogs and gerbils. Currently, the only animals in our household are the gerbils, which keep me very occupied. My interest in gerbils started when I was eight years old, and my mom and I became unexpected gerbil mommies. We had acquired a pair of Agouti gerbils from extended family who were moving, which later turned into about 20 total Agouti gerbils!

Years later, in summer 2006, I decided to get gerbils again as family pets. First, I picked up a lonely looking Nutmeg gerbil, who was supposed to be a male, and my daughter (then two) named “him” Pickle. I did a lot of intense research online, and shortly later, decided to attempt breeding gerbils the “correct” way. This did not work very well, at first, because it took me awhile to figure out that Pickle, and my second gerbil, Honey, were both girls! I eventually got the hang of sexing gerbils, joined the AGS shortly later, and now have quite a few more gerbils!

I love every minute of hands on gerbil-related time that I can get and spend a lot of time keeping up to date or just chatting with others on-line about anything and everything having to do with gerbils. I have made a lot of friends through a common enthusiasm with these interesting little creatures. I also operate my own kennel website, Garden of Eden Gerbils.

My interest in showing gerbils started before the 2007 Virtual Show, which later led me to travel to the major AGS shows and win Best in Show for my gerbils, GEG’s Marshmallow, GEG’s Mb’s Adam, and GEG’s Morty, at three consecutive shows. Adam and GEG’s Frank Costanza have also earned AGS Championships. I recently became a Certified AGS Judge, completing the training and probationary judging over the past year.

I hope to promote the welfare of gerbils and the AGS ethical codes through my future involvement with the AGS and as the Ethics Committee Chair.

Katie McQueen
Committee Member

I have always loved animals and grew up with many critters. I got my first gerbil for Christmas when I was in the 2nd grade, and that turned into 10 gerbils a couple of weeks later.

I got back into gerbils in 2003 and began breeding. I attended my first Midwest Show in 2004 and have been able to go to every MW Show since then.

My love of animals and interest in medicine led me to pursue veterinary medicine, and I will receive my DVM in May 2009. I will be working as a veterinarian in Owasso, OK starting in May 2009.

Judi Poirier
Committee Member

I know that many of you already know me and my daughter Emily from the shows that we have attended, but you probably don't know much about me.

I work from home for a large corporation. I interface with a variety of the company's vendors and make sure that they are providing us with the type of service and support that we need. I also help the staff in our offices resolve any issues that they may have around processes and equipment. I also manage special projects for them to help resolve issues that we may have. I worked on the last Winter Olympics to make sure that all of the television network's circuits were all up to date with any changes so that they would not fail during the telecasts. I also manage various projects for them to make sure that they get completed in a timely manner.

Other organizations that Emily and I are involved with include the German Shepherd Rescue of New England. We work at the events that they have each year, such as their Walk And Wag in October and the auction that they hold each April. We make a special project for each auction. Last year, we made a quilt with each dog's picture, name, and year of adoption. This year, we are making a scrapbook with each dog's picture and stories about how they came to be at the rescue, the wonderful life that they now have as adopted dogs, or unfortunately, the sad stories of the dogs that came into our care and passed on before they found their forever home. Besides supporting these activities, I pick up their mail and sort through it, keeping a record of the checks that come into the rescue. I pull together all the notes that are also included and make sure that each piece of mail gets to the appropriate person.

As for the animals in our life, we have a diabetic cat that is now 15 years old. We also have seven chinchillas and seven gerbils. We had the misfortune of losing one of our gerbils at the NJ Show. She died after having two strokes and had seizures after the second one. We also lost Pistachio shortly after the show. We did, however, have two of our gerbils earn their Championships. Emily was very excited since she picked the boys out, and they were all wonderful boys.

Feel free to contact us if you have a question, concern or recommendation in regards to the ethical treatment of animals in an AGS member’s home, gerbil husbandry, or education.

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