Adrienne SzamotulaAdrienne Szamotula, Health Care Specialist (Equine), has always been passionate about helping animals. She has been a vegan for about nine years, and loves that her job allows her to make a difference in the world.
Clare O’BrienClare O'Brien, Donor Relations Assistant, started as an intern who knew very little about the vegan community and animal advocacy. Now, as part of the staff, Clare is always eager to try new vegan recipes and read all things animal-related! Her favorite times at the Sanctuary are those spent in quiet moments with Micah the sheep and his Underfoot friends.
Colleen SchropferColleen Challenger Schropfer, Deputy Director, found her true calling when she started rescuing cats at age seven. Little did she know, she could actually save animals as an occupation! Colleen is back on the farm again, but now for completely different reasons, as she works to guide the Sanctuary into its next phase of growth — to be able to rescue even more animals and help even more people on their journey toward veganism. Colleen’s favorite time of the day is when the little horse Flea comes to her office window and whinnies so loud she can hear it through the glass.
Crystal GreenCrystal Green, Animal Caregiver, started as a volunteer with the Sanctuary in 2015, before she joined the team full time. It wasn't long before her experiences and connections at the Sanctuary inspired her to become vegan.
Dakota TadduniDakota Tadduni, Co-Head Caregiver/Volunteer Coordinator, has loved animals for as long as she can remember. In fact, they were her very first friends. From rats to cats, dogs to horses, chickens to pigs and turkeys to cows, she loves them all, and working at the Sanctuary has been a dream come true. Dakota wants to own her own sanctuary one day, and she’s honored to learn from our founder Kathy and work with an amazing team.
Dani AurettoDani Auretto, Donor Relations Manager, spent most Saturdays for 2.5 years mucking stalls as a volunteer in animal care before joining staff full time. Dani began her career in fundraising at a university before moving to corporate for 16 years in procurement. She is excited to be back in non-profit supporting a mission she strongly believes. Dani lives in Woodstock with her wife, Tracy, and two dogs, Eleanor and Holli.
Eileen CaronEileen Caron, Bookkeeper, admits her day-to-day tasks can be tedious, but knowing every penny saved helps our beautiful residents makes those tasks rewarding — not to mention the joy she feels viewing the horses and free-range goats and pigs outside her window.
Elana KirshenbaumElana Kirshenbaum, Adult Programs Manager, envisioned, developed and oversees New Leaf, our vegan mentor program, which provides individualized support to aspiring vegans worldwide. Elana is passionate about protecting non-human animals, advancing vegan ethics, and helping shift our culture of exploitation to one of reverence for all life. She relishes playing in nature, connecting with the furry and feathered, and watching the world wake up and choose vegan.
Hannah TruelsenHannah Truelsen, Co-Head Caregiver/Admin Assistant, has dedicated her life to helping animals of all kinds. She became a vegan with the help of the Sanctuary team, after spending time with our animals and experiencing their unique and beautiful personalities.
Heather Decker went vegan after nine years of vegetarianism upon learning the truth about Animal Agriculture at a farm sanctuary in 2016. Heather, a vocal advocate for animals and body positivity, is thrilled to be doing fulfilling, life-saving work at one of her favorite places on Earth.
Jessica HannJessica Hann, Health Care Manager, once dreamed of healing animals, but instead of ducks recuperating in her bathtub, cats lounging on her bed or bears rehabilitating in her backyard, as she’d always envisioned, she ended up working as a vet in the very system that caused many animals harm. At the Sanctuary, she found her path home, and now she spends her days hugging goats, kissing sheep, scratching pigs and learning lessons only animals can teach, all while helping others find their own paths home.
Josh TienkenJosh Tienken, Buildings and Grounds Manager, is grateful to be a part of the Sanctuary family, where he keeps the staff, volunteers and animal residents entertained with his stand-up comedy and hilarious observations of life here. Josh’s great loves include his beautiful wife Erica, his spunky, compassionate little boy Tyler, and his best friend Cooper, the golden retriever.
Kaden MaguireKaden Maguire, Tour Programs Manager, started as an intern at the Sanctuary and couldn’t bear to leave. Now, they spend their days helping visitors fall in love with chickens and cows — though, admittedly, the rescued animals do most of the work.
Kanysha MaceKanysha is adventurous and always happier being outside or with non-human animals, put both together and she’s in heaven! She turned to veganism for the equality of all species and to make a stand against abuse and oppression. When not at the Sanctuary, you'll find her chasing mountains and trails with her companion Majuro alongside her.
Kathy StevensKathy Stevens, Founder, views the Sanctuary as the embodiment of her two greatest passions: animals and teaching. While Kathy speaks, writes and raises money in support of our work, her greatest joy is in connecting good-hearted people with the animals we love, then stepping back to watch as the animals work their magic and change human lives. Her second greatest joy? Kissing pigs.
Kelly MullinsKelly Mullins, Animal Care Director, envisions a world in which the lives of all beings are viewed and treated with compassion and respect, the emotional and physical needs of each individual matters, and non-human animals are no longer seen as expendable products. For Kelly, the Sanctuary is the start of that world, and she's profoundly grateful to be a part of the team.
Lauren BarbieriLauren Barbieri, Youth Programs Manager, first visited the Sanctuary in July 2015. This was also the first time she was able to connect with turkeys, goats, cows and other animals; this transformative experience led her to veganism and, in February 2017, to join the team. Today, with the goal of creating a kinder world for all beings, Lauren helps kids of all ages tap into their innate senses of compassion, fairness and justice.
Working at Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a dream come true for Lesley, who enjoys using her writing and research skills to help the most exploited animals on our planet. She is deeply passionate about this cause, as well as rescuing and caring for cats, and folding animal care laundry with a precision that has earned her the awe and admiration of her colleagues. Lesley's favorite Sanctuary resident to introduce to visitors is Bruce the Duck, who rivals any seasoned lap cat with the duration of his lap-time visits.