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Staff & Leadership

Our Staff


Hannah Armstrong

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: video games, anything and everything cute

Could Easily Live Without: frogs, corn


Karen Aseltine

Sanctuary Feline Wellness Specialist

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.

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Edie Bonneville

Helpline Manager

Best things in life: Family, big smiles, nature and all its miracles, books, a good belly laugh and the unconditional love of animals

Could easily live without: TV, bills, traffic jams and lima beans


Lucas Brozyna

Canine Team Assistant Manager - Behavior Cottages

Best things in life: spending time outdoors, bike rides, and disc golf

Could easily live without: bad drivers, cold weather, and poor grammar


Michelle Christensen

Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

Best things in life: Family, all animals and nature, Fall and Winter, chocolate

Could easily live without: Hot and humid weather, spiders, mosquitos, fireworks




Toni DeLorenzo

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: Family, friends, dogs, old Jeeps, my motorcycle, being outside, being able to help others, ice cream, and baking delicious snacks.

Could Easily Live Without: Narcissism, hot and humid weather


Erika Duplessis

Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

Best Things in Life: Family and friends, animals and plants, art and music, ocean and the woods, humor and optimism, and enjoying good food!!

Could Easily Live Without: War, corruption, toxic people, harmful expectations, and definitely commercials.


Deb Fox

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver


Ailis Frost

Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

Best Things in Life: Friends. A really good book. And a full day to yourself.

Could Easily Live Without: Student loans!


Caroline Gaetano

Veterinary Program Manager

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

Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

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

Could Easily Live Without: Spiders and tuition expenses.

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Mark Heinrich

Chief Financial Officer

Best things in life: Family and friends at Lake Sunapee, NH. Anything outside. Any sporting event: anywhere – anytime!

Could easily live without: Commercials and taxes.


Paul Johnson

Office Manager

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

Could Easily Live Without: Sports


Marie Joyner

Canine Behavior Manager

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

Could Easily Live Without: Social Media


Miles Lindell

Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

Best Things in Life: Animals, nature, video games, and music

Could Easily Live Without: Hot weather and traffic


Susan B. Linker

Chief Executive Officer

Best Things in Life: Soft cat fur, Summer, and Home.

Could Easily Live Without: Country Music


Krystal Makowski

Canine Wellness Specialist &

Assistant Team Manager – Volunteer Cottages

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

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


Beth Merow

Community Cat Program Coordinator

Best Things in Life: Pets, all things nature and wildlife, repurposing stuff into other neater stuff, nerding out on popular science books, and true crime podcasts.

Could Easily Live Without: Poison ivy, sunburn, and mayonnaise.

Our Companions Program Director, Stephanie Montermerlo cuddling a ferret during a visit to FACT

Stephanie Montemerlo

Executive Director of Programs

Best Things in Life:  Family, home, pasta, reading, traveling, and animals of course!

Could Easily Live Without: Cold weather, driving

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Caitlin Moses

Adoption and Helpline Program Assistant

Best Things in Life: the amazing flora and fauna of this earth! Being by a body of water, and any form of cooked potato

Could Easily Live Without: a little less anxiety would be nice, confusing highways, meanness

Deanna & Moe1

Deanna Nickels

Canine College Program Manager

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.


Jill Nugent

Canine Team Manager - Volunteer Cottages

Best Things in Life: Bicycle rides, dogs, fall, winter, and Christmas!

Could Easily Live Without: Humidity


Alayna O'Callaghan-Chausse

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: a good movie with a dog on your lap, coffee with chocolate

Could Easily Live Without: commercials, raisins in food that shouldn't have raisins


Alyssa Oppelt

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: wrapped up in warm blankets on a rainy day, sunsets & sunrises, puppy kisses and love

Could Easily Live Without: traffic jams, anxiety & stress, bills, & close minded people

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Lindsey Pellino

Sanctuary Feline Team Assistant Manager

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

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

Katie P.

Katie Popiela

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: driving with the windows down on warm nights, iced lattes, watching dogs remember/find out what snow is

Could Easily Live Without: people who ONLY drive with their highbeams on


Jon Phillips

Sanctuary Director

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

Could Easily Live Without: Reality TV


Josie Redding

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: music, art, movies, animals, family and friends, the ocean

Could Easily Live Without: holes in socks, cold pizza, raw tomatoes

Courtney S.

Courtney Schramm

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best things in life: dogs, chocolate, vegan restaurants, tea, fuzzy socks, a fire in the fireplace, and Christmas music

Could easily live without: filling up my car with gas


Odera Smart

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best things in life: animals, rugby, the gym,  mortal kombat, traveling, art/history museums, family and friends, and summertime

Could easily live without: asparagus, bugs, being yelled at, Bartholomew the spider that lives in LS, traffic, and being hungry


Jennifer Strong

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

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, and Christmas movies!

Could Easily Live Without: Snakes and Spiders.


Kiana Torres

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: Anything Chocolate, Music, Animals, Heated Blankets, Traveling

Could Easily Live Without: Bills, Snow, Traffic, Pineapple Pizza


Kelsie Viel

Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

Best Things in Life: Spending time with my dogs, thunderstorms, sleeping in, traveling, movies, being at home, sunsets

Could Easily Live Without: Large crowds of people, pickles, spiders, heights


Montana Voisine

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: All animals, nature, spending time with my fur babies, and Green Tea!

Could Easily Live Without: the cold, anxiety and college tuition


Alissia Vroom

Sanctuary Canine Behavior Assistant

Best Things in Life: Disney, Harry Potter, crafting, and being outdoors

Could Easily Live Without: Tuna fish, running, and cooking


Janice Wehner

Community Outreach Coordinator

Best Things in Life: Love of my family and pets, dark chocolate, purple, horses, dragonflies, movies, musicals, concerts, dancing, and uncontrollable laughter

Could Easily Live Without: Ticks, winter, wet socks, and reckless drivers.

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Heather Wildman

Adoption Program & Social Media Manager

Best Things in Life: Mountain adventures, purple hair dye, Indian food, sunbathing with some furry friends, front row at a concert, and laughing until your stomach hurts

Could Easily Live Without: Stubbing your toe and the feeling of having something stuck in your teeth


Heidi Van Flatern

Feline Team Manager

Best Things in Life: A glass of wine, Michael's cooking and a cat in my lap

Could Easily Live Without: Cleaning the bathroom, driving in a snow storm, and mosquitoes


Peyton Winter

Director of Canine Behavior Programs

Best Things in Life: Trees, Nice Views, Cool Rocks, Dogs, Stevie Nicks, and Iced Oat Milk Lattes

Could Easily Live Without: Traffic, Styrofoam, and Laundry


It is our pleasure to welcome our Board of Directors. While this diverse group of individuals offers a myriad of skills and expertise, they share a common bond: a deep commitment to the mission of Our Companions Domestic Animal Sanctuary. We look forward to many accomplishments through the dedication of our new leadership.


Maria das Neves - Board Chair
Jennifer Coffey, Esq. - Secretary
Maneesh Shanbhag, CFA - Treasurer


James Dolce - Willington, CT

Pat Foley - West Hartford, CT
Valerie Friedman - Washington Depot, CT
Frank Gaetano, CPA (Licensed in MA, CT, NY, and NJ) - Grafton, MA
Marie Joyner - Union, CT

Mitchell H. Linker - Bloomfield, CT
Susan B. Linker - Bloomfield, CT
Kerry Mansberg- Ashford, CT

Tony Menchaca - Westport, CT
George Trumbull - West Simsbury


Janet Bailey - Farmington, CT
Colleen Bridgeman - Willington, CT
Risa Davidson, M.S- West Hartford, CT
Diana Garfield, Esq. – Acton, MA
Linda Hatten - Farmington, CT
Anne Llewellyn - Enfield, CT
Lauren Mascola, D.V.M. - West Hartford, CT
Joleen Nevers – Storrs, CT
Barbara Ruben - Middletown, CT
Chris Shivery - Avon, CT
Kathy Sullivan - Bloomfield, CT

Kim Zimmermann - Farmington, CT