We are extremely proud of the work we do for the animals of Harford County. Our staff is dedicated to providing the best care for the animals we serve, committed to providing exceptional customer service and devoted to finding forever homes for our animals.


Jen Swanson
Executive Director
Jen joined the HSHC team as executive director on August 3, 2015. Prior to coming to HSHC, she served as the executive director of the Baltimore Humane Society, in Reisterstown, MD. She is the current Vice President of the Professional Animal Workers of Maryland (PAWS), and serves on the Baltimore City Mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission and the Shelter Advisory Board for Maryland Votes for Animals. In 2015, she was named one of “Harford’s Most Innovative Women” by Harford Magazine, and in 2016 graduated from the Harford Leadership Academy. In 2019, she was voted onto the Board of Directors at Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding. “I love to help people, one animal at a time!” she says. “I get great satisfaction from serving and working with the community, watching folks meet their new furry family members, and providing comfort and compassion to pet parents who may be in a bad spot in their life. I am so grateful for all of our staff, volunteers, fosters, and the rescue community…their dedication and good humor make every day a joy!” In her personal time, she loves camping and traveling, vegan cooking, photography, terrible reality TV, and enjoying time with her partner, Trent, and her dogs, Apes and Neil, two adopted Boston Terriers.
Lauren Frommeyer
Animal Care
Lauren actually started her career at HSHC when she was 12 years old – as a volunteer! Later, she worked at another shelter and is now back as a member of our team. When she’s not providing excellent care to the animals, Lauren enjoys reading; riding her 19-year-old Arabian mare; playing with her cats, Australian shepherd/Boxer mix and Coonhound; spending time with her family and playing video games.
David Juchniewicz David Juchniewicz
Animal Care
Since September of 2013, David has been faithfully keeping the animals’ cages and kennels spick and span. He enjoys “working with all the animals and making a difference for the homeless animals of the county.” David adopted a cat he named Doc from the shelter. In his spare time, David enjoys any activity that allows him to be outdoors, including his favorite hobby, metal detecting.
 Cat Kelly Cat Kelly
Shelter Operations Director
In October 2015 Cat joined HSHC to help oversee the shelter’s vast operations. She comes to us from Baltimore County Animal Services where she served as Shelter Supervisor and was instrumental in facilitating many new protocols and programs, and helped strengthen community partnerships. Cat’s animal companion is her cat, Finn, and she says she’ll be “fostering dogs until I find one I can’t give back!” She is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps.
 Jill Laporta Jill LaPorta
Animal Care
Since the summer of 2015 Jill has been one of the friendly faces at the front desk, but she’s now transitioned to our Animal Care department. She is directly involved in the care and comfort of the shelter animals while they are staying with us. You might also see Jill leading group classes, giving free behavioral consultations and doing CGC evaluations for our partner in training, Mutt Magic Training Services. She studied with and graduated from the Animal Behavior College and has over 5 years of experience working with veterinarians and rescues. Jill’s best friend is Cecilia, her rescue pit bull terrier.
Erin Long
Marketing Coordinator
Erin has been employed at the HSHC since November 2006. She has several cats and dogs adopted from the shelter and several cats who were found as strays near her home and became part of the family. Senior dogs, especially hound-types, are her weakness! Erin absolutely could not imagine working anywhere else. Plus she gets to work with and meet so many amazing people who share her love for animals. Erin also works part-time at the front desk at Pleasantville Animal Hospital. She has been married to her husband, John, for over 13 years. Erin holds a BA in Communications from Elizabethtown College with dual minors in Business Administration and Visual Arts.
Kitana Mercado
Animal Care
Kitana’s 3 years working at a doggy daycare prepared her well for transitioning into animal care at the shelter. She says she met all different types of pups: big, small, crazy, calm, and everything in between! “It was a great experience and taught me so much,” she explains. “My dream is to run a rescue of my own one day and this is a step in the right direction.” Like all of her co-workers, Kitana says she loves helping the animals who need it most and giving back to the community. Outside of the shelter Kitana likes to get lost, literally. “I love exploring random towns and hole-in-the-wall restaurants with amazing food. It’s unbeatable!” Her 2 Chihuahuas are named Suzee (brown one) and Lexee (black one).
  Nicky Myers
Assistant Shelter Operations Director
Since childhood, Nicky has raised and fostered animals, so it was inevitable that she would become a veterinary technician, a job she’s been doing for over 7 years.”I love that our jobs make a difference in our community and the animals of Harford County,” she says. “I have the pleasure of working with some of the most passionate people around!” Outside of work, Nicky enjoys crafting, camping, horseback riding, and playing sports with her two young boys. “I love camping and experiencing everything with my family, both furry and human!” Her furry family includes Kayla, a 9-year-old Siberian Husky; Jax, a long-haired dachshund who’s 6; Rocket, a 3-year-old Chihuahua/Dachshund mix; Karu, a 3-year-old cat; and Ducky, a bearded dragon who’s 6.
  Kelly O’Connor
Adoptions Manager
Kelly joined our team in the fall of 2017 and enjoys helping the pets and people that come through the front doors. “I have grown up with pets my entire life,” she says. “From the time I was a very small child, I gush every time I see a cute critter!” It’s only fitting that animals have played a pivotal role in Kelly’s professional life. She’s worked as a pet portrait photographer, at a doggy daycare facility in Portland, Oregon, and at Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS). At BARCS Kelly was an animal care attendant for 2 years, a customer service rep for another 2 years and most recently was the resource coordinator. She also graduated from massage school. “I love to use those same relaxation techniques with dogs and cats in the shelter,” she says. Outside of work Kelly enjoys swimming, photography, camping, tattoos, listening to music, cooking and going out to new restaurants. Her 4-legged family includes 3 cats named Agent, Bishop and Archer; Rambler, a Newfoundland; and a mutt named Hobbs.
Angela Perrera
Adoptions Counselor
Ang is back! After a brief hiatus, Ang has returned to her role as an adoptions counselor to help animals and their people. “I grew up with animals,” she explains. “Being able to work with them only seemed natural to me!” Ang says she has many reasons why she loves working at HSHC, but what she treasures the most is processing an adoption. “I love being part of helping these precious animals find their new forever homes!” When she’s not making matches, Ang enjoys spending time with family and friends, taking trips and spending time with her dogs, all adopted from the shelter: Marlee, a poodle mix; Raegan, a pit bull mix; Millie, a shih tzu mix; and Boh, a spaniel mix.
  Megan Phillabaum
Animal Care
Megan joined our team in the fall of 2017 and helps to provide for the basic care needs of the animals. Prior to coming to our shelter, Megan earned her Associates degree in criminal justice, but decided to pursue a career with animals. “I worked at a doggy daycare to get my foot in the door,” she says. “In February 2017 I became an animal caretaker at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, DC and fell in love with the job. I like working with people that have the same goal: to ensure every animal in our care is loved until they find their forever home!” Megan’s own 4-legged family includes Miley, a 9-year-old German shepherd, and Bandit, a 5-year-old pit bull. Outside of work, Megan enjoys movies, bowling, horseback riding, hiking and visiting her happy place – Disney World!
Andrew Piccirillo
Adoptions Counselor
Andrew joined our team in the fall of 2018 and comes to HSHC after working at the Maryland SPCA for several years in their admissions and veterinary departments. “I love hearing happy adoption stories,” he says. “It’s very rewarding seeing the animals we take in grow and flourish and find good homes.” Outside of work, Andrew enjoys hiking, fishing, catching a new movie or going to concerts. He also admits that he’s a big ice hockey fan. Ultimately, Andrew says, “It’s my dream to travel to all the national parks!”
Erika Ponsiek
Administrative Assistant
Erika began her career with HSHC in April 2019 after a long stint as a volunteer. “I started volunteering in 2010 after trying to find the owner of a stray cat,” she says. “I soon discovered just how many stray cats there are and wanted to help.” Her own family of three cats are named Special Agent Jack Bauer, Dr. House, and Kelly Katpowski. “I also have a newt named Tron that I got as a college freshman because it was the only pet we could have in the dorms. He’s now 18 and would be a freshman himself!” Erika says she enjoys the camaraderie among the staff and volunteers at the shelter. “I love the positivity of everyone and working together to save lives and reunite families.” Outside of work, Erika loves photography and music and therefore goes to as many shows and takes as many photos as she can!
Raquel Rice
Vet Tech
Raquel joined the veterinary team at HSHC in August 2018. She got her tech certification in 2017 and brings her vast experience at small and large animal emergency hospitals with her. In fact, Raquel still works part-time at New Bolton Center, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s 700 acre campus in Kennett Square, PA. “I love making a difference,” she says. In her spare time, Raquel enjoys hiking and eventing with her thoroughbred horse. She also has 3 dogs, 3 cats and 2 sheep. “One of my sheep has learned high five and can spin!”
  Clarke Schuyler
Maintenance Manager
Clarke joined HSHC in the spring of 2017 to maintain and repair the shelter’s buildings, grounds, equipment, and vehicles. “I am excited to take over the care of the building so the furry kids and their caregivers have an enjoyable place to be,” he says. Clarke has prior experience working on horse racing farms, and he’s a huge animal lover. “I have a little white Maltese named Iggie Pop Rocks and a wild and crazy cat I named Thumper Trump because when he runs, he sounds like an old Triumph motorcycle. In his spare time, Clarke enjoys spending time with his family and friends, riding his motorcycle and working on Harleys and Triumphs.
jess-simmons Jessica Simmons
Volunteer & Foster Program Manager
Jessi joined the HSHC team in October 2016 and brings a wealth of first-hand experience in the rescue community. “I started a small scale rabbit rescue 2 years ago when I found there were limited resources for former 4-H bunnies, meat rabbits and of course Easter bunnies that needed rescue, care and placement,” she explains. “Rather quickly, that also started to include chinchillas, and litter upon litter of kittens, as well as school horses in need of suitable retirement options to keep them safe from New Holland [auction].” Jessi is working her way through vet tech school and in her spare time you can find her riding one of her horses or hanging out with her daughter who hopes to become a veterinarian one day. “Being able to say that I work full-time at HSHC is by far one of my most proud moments, and I am honored to be here, doing what I love the most!”
Carla Sparrow Carla Sparrow
Carla joined our team in late 2016 as HSHC’s part-time bookkeeper and payroll specialist. She is a member of the Harford County Chamber of Commerce where she serves on the Legislative Committee, Executive Assistant to the Route 40 Business Association, VP for the Havre de Grace Rotary Club, Hospitality Ambassador for the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce and newly appointed to the Board of Directors for the Chesapeake Professional Women’s Network. Carla was born in New York City and relocated to Maryland in 1983 and became a student at Coppin State College. She majored in Criminal Justice but decided accounting best suited her. She enjoys outdoor activities, the arts and food.
Maria Troutman
Animal Care
Maria joined the HSHC family in July 2012. Her own pet family consists of 4 cats, 2 fish tanks, 4 snakes and 1 lizard! Maria has volunteered at the Baltimore Zoo and she loves playing video games and hanging out with family and friends. Obviously Maria is an animal lover and she says she likes working at HSHC because it “feels like I’m making a difference in the lives of all the animals.”
Monica Weber Monica Weber
Animal Care
Since March of 2015 Monica has been helping to take care of all the animals here at HSHC and ensure that their environment is clean and tidy. Monica says that her job fulfills a passion that she’s had her whole life.  “Growing up in the hills of Tennessee, our family always had many different animals to take care of.  We had a raccoon and a razorback pig as pets.” Monica’s own pets include a long-haired guinea pig she calls Hippy Jim!
Elizabeth Westbrook
Vet Tech
Elizabeth is wild about horses (and really, anything with 4 legs) and loves knowing that she’s a part of helping animals find great homes. “I grew up in a multi-pet household with dogs and cats that my siblings and I talked our parents into adopting,” she says. “My first dog, Cubby, a little terrier mix that we adopted when he was 17, lived to be over 22 years old!” In addition to caring for Harford’s homeless animals, Elizabeth also works for a veterinarian in Cecil County. Prior to that, she worked summers on the racetrack with Thoroughbred racehorses. “Outside of work, I spend a lot of time working with my horses and riding other people’s horses to help them along. I am also an avid reader, and can often be found curled up with my cat, reading a book!” Elizabeth’s own 4-legged family includes dogs Ringo Starr and Keeper; cat Mistress Ching; horses Riot, Sinner and Skittles; a bearded dragon named Desert Rose; and a gerbil named Pale Skunk.