Director of Shenandoah Valley Animal Services Center
My passion for animals began at a very early age. I was raised on a farm in rural VA and spent much of my childhood caring for a wide variety of animals. I started my career in the Health and Human Services field while volunteering with several animal rescue groups in my area. These experiences helped me realize my true calling in life, loving and caring for animals.
My career as an animal welfare professional began in 2013 with the opportunity to become the Assistant Director of SVASC. SVASC opened in 2011 after 3 municipalities separated from the local SPCA. The SPCA held the contract with animal control and functioned as a private shelter for 20 years. In 2011 the Augusta Regional SPCA’s euthanasia rate was 60%. Upon opening, SVASC was predicted to have a euthanasia rate of 85%. Much to the surprise of everyone, in 2012, SVASC had euthanized just 33% of the animals in its care, beating expectations by more than half. In 2014, I became Director of SVASC and was able to share my life saving mission. That year, SVASC saved 95% of the animals that walked through our doors. In 2016, SVASC saved more lives than ever, despite the highest intake level in shelter history. We adopted, transferred, or reconnected 97% of the animals in our care. We have limited resources but strive for a higher quality of care through sustainable lifesaving programs.
In February of this year I completed the Adult Dog Foster Program apprenticeship, hosted by Austin Animal Center and sponsored by Maddie’s Fund. I was recently selected to serve as a Board Member of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies. My hope is with these opportunities I can be a part of helping the State of Virginia become a No Kill State.