Our Companions Animal Rescue

Our Companions Animal Rescue is a Connecticut based organization that promises to always do the right thing for animals, regardless of the challenge or cost.

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Our Companions Staff


Karen Aseltine

Novice master chef: specializing in cuisine featuring the finest cat hairs

Karen Aseltine
Sanctuary Feline Behavior Manager and Care

In addition to providing daily loving care for the cats at the Sanctuary, Karen also helps promote our cats for adoption and organizes the medical records and animal care data for all the Sanctuary cats. Karen is a Certified Cat Behavior Counselor and serves as our resident “kitty psychologist”.

Best Things in Life: bicycles, scented candles, gummy bears, warm summer nights

Could Easily Live Without: snow days, paper cuts, family members who complain about my cooking

Jen Dalo

Organizer of Canine Treats and Toys

Jen Dalo
Canine Cottage & Sanctuary Volunteer Manager

Jen is the manager of the Sanctuary canine cottage, Henree House, and is in charge of scheduling, training and managing the awesome volunteers who provide daily care, enrichment and exercise for the dogs at the Sanctuary. She also is our expert organizer and insists on tidiness and order! When people compliment that the dog cottages are so organized and uncluttered, we have only Jen to thank for keeping us careless humans in line.

Best Things in Life: exploring the great outdoors with my wife and dogs, finding great used book stores, WoW

Could Easily Live Without: trollers

Caroline Gaetano
Happiest in the Woods-woman

Caroline Gaetano
Manager of Community Programs

When not in the woods, Caroline manages our Animal Helpline, rehoming cases, “Sterile Feral” TNR program, veterinary assistance programs and other community programs.

Best Things in Life: Fresh mountain air, hiking with dogs, my vacuum cleaner and chocolate

Could Easily Live Without: Glitter, bananas and snakes

Sara Geriak

Professional Cat Concierge


Sara Geriak
Feline Sanctuary Caregiver

Sara is especially well trained (by the cats, of course) to provide personalized loving care including special activities and meaningful routines for all cats at the Sanctuary.

Best Things in Life: My dog Sam, Autumn, books, music, strawberries

Could Easily Live Without: Spiders, and tuition expenses

Ariana Walsh

Nature Enthusiast

Ariana Walsh
Feline & Canine Sanctuary Caregiver

Ariana’s experience working with various species of animals (domestic and wild) has given her a true appreciation for the grace and absolute authority of the feline as well as the exuberance, energy and wit of the canine. She is an expert in switching up her dog and cat “hats” each day to make sure that all the animals at the Sanctuary receive the highest quality care they so deserve.

Best Things in Life: outdoor adventures, animals of every kind, family, friends, and celebrations

Could Easily Live Without: TV, shopping, poison ivy, clowns, and balloons

Paul Johnson

Carrier of heavy things at the
Program Center

Paul Johnson
Office Manager

Paul is our “Point man, Go-to-guy, Mr. Get’er Done”. He organizes the office operations and makes sure that all business runs smoothly at Our Companions.

Best Things in Life: Classical music, craft beer, cartoons

Could Easily Live Without: Sports

Marie Joyner

Was definitely a dog in a past life

Marie Joyner
Canine Operations Director

Marie oversees “all things canine” at both the Ashford Sanctuary and our Valerie Friedman Program Center.

Best Things in Life: In the woods with the dogs, The Maine Cabin, Hound Hugs

Could Easily Live Without: Social Media

Susan B. Linker

Rampant Typo Maker, Daydreamer and the next Food Network Star

Susan B. Linker
Chief Executive Officer

Susan is responsible for the oversight of Our Companions Animal Rescue and meeting the organization’s financial and operational goals. Like all CEOs, Susan is the proud recipient of all the public adulation and complaints. Thankfully the awesome staff at OC makes her job very easy.

Best Things in Life: Soft fur, summer, Home

Could Easily Live Without: Country Music

Krystal Makowski

Famous Decorator for the Furry and Captain of Canine Cuteness.


Krystal Makowski
Canine Cottage & Sanctuary Facilities Manager

Krystal is the Manager of one of the canine cottages (Chelsea House). She also oversees the Sanctuary’s 43-acre campus and takes special care to create special artful touches to the Sanctuary’s facilities, both inside and out!

Best Things in Life: All things sparkly, Photography, Mac and Cheese, shopping

Could Easily Live Without: Hitting my funny bone -the irony is too much

Mary Moffitt
Dog Snuggler

Mary Moffitt
Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

In addition to feeding, cleaning, walking , playing and delivering the dog specific treatment plans for each dog at the Sanctuary, Mary’s specialty is hugs, kisses, snuggling and all things that make the dogs feel warm and gooey inside like fresh baked cookies!

Best Things in Life: Unconditional love!
Could Easily Live Without: Anxiety, stress and tons of shepherd hair

Stephanie Montemerlo
Can solve anything with a spreadsheet and a cat in her lap.


Stephanie Montemerlo
Director of Programs

Stephanie is responsible for the oversight and development of all Our Companions' rescue, adoption and educational programs, yet still finds time to perfectly coordinate her purple and pink attire.

Best Things in Life: Home, pasta, good books, travelling

Could Easily Live Without: Snow and cold weather

Rebecca MortonRebecca
Time Traveling Feline Housekeeper

Rebecca Morton
Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

Rebecca provides the daily care and loving attention to our feline guests at the Sanctuary. Offering food, treats, gentle brushing and interactive play are among her specialties, and tasks Rebecca considers a privilege to provide to our deserving cats.

Best Things in Life: Disney, reading fantasy novels, dragons, pirates, my fur (and scaly) babies

Could Easily Live Without: Spiders and paying bills

Deanna Nickels
Coach of canines, clients and those who train them

Deanna Nickels
Canine College Program Manager

Deanna runs Our Companion’s Canine College program which provides exceptional dog training classes offered by Our Companions volunteer dog trainers. Deanna also oversees our Adopt-a-Shelter Program which provides dog behavior and training services to local Animal Control facilities in our fine state.

Best Things in Life: hot fudge sundaes, teaching dogs new tricks, sunshine, gardening, family and friends

Could Easily Live Without: snakes, cold weather and bad coffee

Lindsey Pellino
Professional Cat Lady

Lindsey Pellino
Sanctuary Feline Care and Volunteer Manager

Lindsey takes care of the cats at Sebastian House, and manages, trains, and oversees the volunteers who give all our feline guests much needed TLC.

Best Things in Life: bike rides, hot sauce, lipstick, reading on a hammock

Could Easily Live Without: mosquitos, cold weather, my own clumsiness

Henry Petrofsky
Internal Controls Freak

Henry Petrofsky
Director of Finance

Henry is our official “Bean Counter” who meticulously oversees the daily, monthly, yearly and long-term financial operations of Our Companions.

Best Things in Life: My wife, cats, my iPad and a good cigar

Could Easily Live Without: Network news

Jon Phillips
Dog Butler/Chauffeur

Jon Phillips
Sanctuary Director

When it comes to our beautiful Sanctuary in Ashford, CT, Jon is the Top Dog, the Head Cat, the Big Cheese! Or, more simply put, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Sanctuary, and all the people who make this lovely refuge possible for the animals we serve.

Best Things in Life: Watching TV on the couch with my wife and assorted furballs, all things musical

Could Easily Live Without: Reality TV


Megan Rock
OC’s Token Extrovert

Megan Rock
Adoption Program Manager

Megan oversees the Adoption Program at Our Companions. She spends her days getting super excited about fun marketing campaigns, successful adoptions, and pretty much everything else in life, and holds down the fort as the token extrovert at the Program Center.

Best Things in Life: Good company, good food, pit bulls, tiny humans, and my dog, Buster

Could Easily Live Without: Needles, mayonnaise, and mosquitos


Jennifer Strong
Jennifer Strong
Dog’s Best Friend

Jennifer Strong
Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Jennifer works at the Sanctuary’s Canine Cottages providing loving care, exercise, nutritious food and downright spoiling every single dog at the sanctuary. She is also our unofficial Canine Defense Legal Counsel advocating and defending all dog behavior (naughty and nice). Torn up doggie bed? Your fault not Buster's- case closed!

Best Things in Life: Disney World, Halloween, The Drive-in Movies (yes they still exist!), Dogs (of course), Spending time with my husband and our fur kids, Christmas movies!

Could Easily Live Without: Snakes and Spider

Mandy Wieting
Mandy and Leo
Feline Handmaiden by day, Photoshop Queen by night

Mandy Wieting
Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

By day, Mandy is responsible for providing nutritious food, keeping a pristine environment, lavishing TLC and pretty much serving as the house-staff our deserving cats require at the Sanctuary. By night Mandy is a talented graphic designer who creates all the beautiful materials produced by OC.

Best Things in Life: Vermont, walking in the woods, essential oils

Could Easily Live Without: professional sports, driving in the snow, olives