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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


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.

Scott Eastman

Facilities Caretaker


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.


Dawn Hallam

Canine Team Manager - Behavior Cottages

Best Things in Life: Best things in life: Dogs, ice cream, and Star Wars

Could Easily Live Without: Hot & humid weather

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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


Katelyn Kauffman

Sanctuary Canine Caregiver

Best Things in Life: Wind in my hair with the sun in face and bare feet in the grass, the trust and love of all furry creatures especially my fur baby, selfless people, live music, peaceful mornings, traveling and learning other cultures

Could Easily Live Without: Bad attitudes, Stubbing your toe, alarm clocks, being hangry, filing my nails, smelly sponges

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Briana Keating

Sanctuary Feline Caregiver

Best Things in Life: fries, autumn, concerts, stephen king, ben & jerry's, and road trips.

Could Easily Live Without: bugs, football, needles, chocolate, country music, and traffic.

Pic Ang

Caitlin Kelly

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


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

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:

Could Easily Live Without:


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 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