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.

 

Bob Citrullo
Executive Director
As a 25-year Army veteran and with 15 years of experience in animal welfare, Bob has led animal shelters and humane societies throughout the country, including in Arizona, Tennessee, Georgia, and Iowa. During his six years as the executive director of the Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga, TN, Bob increased the organization’s budget from $875,000 to $2.2 million, increased revenue to allow for the building of a new facility, increased the live release rate to 93%, secured significant donations, and set up in-house spay and neuter for shelter animals. Originally from Philadelphia, Bob served in the Army, retiring honorably as an Army ER nurse. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from Liberty University, as well as a Nonprofit Management & Leadership Certificate from Arizona State University. Bob has four rescue dogs: Anabelle, Elvis, Quincy, and Oliver.
Nick Alevato
Animal Care
Like most of his co-workers, Nick’s love of animals began at an early age. As a teenager, he helped his mom foster 15+ dogs, and his family has always had dogs of their own. Currently Nick’s own pets include Raven, a 4-year-old black Lab mix adopted from HSHC, and Apollo, an 11-year-old pit bull mix. During his downtime away from the shelter, Nick enjoys watching NFL games & UFC matches, playing chess, working out and taking Raven for hikes.
Maddy Barranco
Animal Care
Maddy’s very first word as a toddler was “cat” and she’s been obsessed with them ever since! Like some of her co-workers, Maddy was in 4-H as a young adult and raised sheep and chickens. She’s also been a pet sitter for over 17 years! After graduation she worked as a park naturalist caring for snakes, turtles and other wildlife. “I like getting to know the cats here at the shelter,” Maddy says. “It’s a privilege making sure they are as comfortable and happy as possible during their time with us.” Maddy enjoys hanging out with family and friends, going on country drives and discovering new places to eat or shop, and travelling to national parks. Her own pets include 6 chickens and 3 cats named Big Boy, Bebe and Kelly.
Alex Bechtel
Adoptions Counselor
Wanna know why Alex makes a great member of our team? Because they believe that fuzzy friends make the best co-workers! Before they landed with us at HSHC, Alex worked at a boarding kennel and doggie daycare, and they also volunteered for other shelters and with therapy dogs. Alex shares their life with Rooney, a 7-year-old Basset hound mix. When not at work with their fuzzy co-workers, Alex plays Dungeons & Dragons with friends and enjoys relaxing with a craft beer while watching Dateline or Say Yes to the Dress.
Katie Blake
Animal Care
Like all her co-workers, Katie says she’s always loved animals and dreamed of one day becoming a veterinarian. Katie’s career actually started a few years ago when she volunteered here at our shelter, and from there, has worked at a boarding kennel, with a doggie daycare, at a grooming salon and at PetCo as a dog trainer before coming back to where it all began! “I love coming in every day and getting to work with the dogs,” she says. “Being surrounded by staff who are kind and love and care for the animals is great to see!” Katie’s own pack includes a Border Collie/German shepherd mix named Cooper, two ferrets named Flora and Sage, and a cat named Moose. When she’s not surrounded by dogs here at the shelter, Katie enjoys shopping, reading, drawing, going to concerts, and playing video games. “I love being outside and enjoy trips to the beach and camping.”
Laryssa Blanchard
Vet Tech
Meet Laryssa whose favorite thing in the whole world is her cat, Ron Furgundy! Laryssa fostered him a year ago – and failed – so now Ron is helping Laryssa and her partner raise a German Shepherd puppy named Ruby. “I grew up around animals, and I was always off with the dogs, cats, and other critters I could pet and play with,” she says. “I’ve volunteered at a shelter walking dogs and cuddling cats, and after college, I spent five years with the Maryland SPCA as a volunteer coordinator, foster coordinator and veterinary assistant.” Outside of shelter work, Laryssa enjoys trying new restaurants and going for walks. She’s also enrolled in a veterinary technician program and hopes to have her license within the next year or two.
Libby Brown
Adoptions Supervisor
Meet Libby, who says she enjoys the fast pace of the busy front desk and the variety of animals she encounters each day as an adoptions counselor. “It’s really rewarding to help people adopt animals into their loving homes,” she says. “Our family always had pets as I was growing up, so it’s fun helping people have the same experience as I did.” Previously Libby worked as a cat caretaker at Animal Rescue, Inc. and also as a baker. She says she knows a lot about French style baking and pastries (yum!). In her spare time, Libby enjoys the company of her long-haired tuxedo cat, Mason, watching movies, enjoying a hot beverage at coffee shops and napping.
Cheyenne Brush
Adoptions Counselor
When you visit the shelter, Cheyenne is one of the first people you’ll likely meet! “I enjoy meeting the new animals and people that come through the door,” she says. “Since I began working at HSHC I’ve been inspired to learn more about the needs of all animals. I adopted 2 cats here that are now named Onion and Enoki (formerly known as Sherman and Chaos). They are FIV positive and I love learning how I can improve their health and be a better pet parent!” Cheyenne loves to paint, cook (her favorite cooking show is Chopped), watch the sunset, and spend time with her friends.
Lauren Campbell
Animal Care & Behavior Manager
Lauren brings a wealth of experience to HSHC and we love her enthusiasm and passion for both animals and people! “My animal welfare journey officially began in 2016 when I fostered a dog named Bronco. I fell in love with fostering and with Bronco (who I adopted of course), and be-gan volunteering at the shelter. Quickly after I began volunteering I was offered a pay position! I have worked in shelters in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and now Maryland. My shel-ter background is very diverse and I have worked in foster, rescue, adoptions, behavior, shelter medical, marketing, and operations management.” HSHC’s strong values are what initially drew Lauren to our shelter. “The way each animal is cared for as an individual is a very special thing. All of the staff work together to provide the best environment possible while animals wait for homes and everyone is ready to jump in to assist each other.” When she’s not at work, Lau-ren loves running, exercising, and spending time with her son and pets at home.
Kelly Comerford
Vet Tech
Taking home and then eventually adopting one of the shelter pets is a pretty common occurrence among employees, and shortly after Kelly arrived she fostering, fell in love, and eventually adopted an orange tabby cat named Noisy! Kelly works in our busy veterinary department and says the best part of her job is “seeing the animals become confident and comfortable with themselves and with our team members. It’s really nice to see the progression and then of course seeing pets find their forever homes.” Before joining the HSHC team, Kelly worked on a horse farm, volunteered at a wildlife refuge in NJ, trained dogs, and worked as a vet tech at a private veterinary practice. When she’s not saving animals, she enjoys doing DIY home renovations, traveling, hanging out with friends, and collecting plants.
Kevin Curnoles
Assistant Maintenance Manager
Kevin’s back! After working on the shelter’s maintenance and cat teams briefly from 2018-19, Kevin felt the pull to come back and work where he’s happiest: among animals and animal-loving people. “Most of my working career was spent in computer & technology fields but I am happier doing what I am now,” he says. “It’s very rewarding to feel that the work we are all doing has such a huge impact on not only the animals but also the families and communities we serve. People here are kind and compassionate and that positive energy affects everyone that the shelter touches. When I am at the shelter it doesn’t feel like I am at work, and the staff and volunteers feel more like family than just coworkers.” Kevin also works as a delivery driver at a family owned sub shop in Baltimore County. His own pets include guinea pigs, Max and Roxanne, and 4 Welsummer chickens named T-Rex, Mango & Mongo, and Mikayla. “When I am home I like to spend time outside with my chickens and in the garage doing woodworking & carpentry projects. I built my guinea pigs a two-story bungalow, a hamster house, and a chicken coop. I try to shoot pool once a week, and I like going on road trips (the farthest north I’ve been is Ontario and the farthest west is Colorado). I also know how to fly single-engine airplanes!”
Mackenzie Densmore
Animal Care
Mackenzie loves cats! And so her job on the shelter cat team makes perfect sense. Mackenzie grew up on a farm helping her father take care of his cows, pigs and cats, both indoor and out. “I’ve always had a love for animals, even at a very young age,” she says. “It’s been a passion of mine to make every animal that walks through the shelter’s doors feel loved and cared for.” Mackenzie enjoys spending time with her own 3 cats – Matthew, Pinecone and Mila – traveling with her family, and horseback riding. And a little fun fact: prior to joining our team, Mackenzie taught pre-school!
Lisa Diffenbaugh
Adoptions Counselor
Lisa says she spent her childhood with almost every pet you could imagine, including dogs and cats, rabbits, frogs and even hermit crabs. That love of and respect for animals naturally led her to HSHC! “I love my co-workers and finally feel at home at a job I love,” she says. “Being able to interact with the animals each day is another major bonus to the job.” And of course, Lisa has her own three dogs at home including 11-year-old Spuds, who’s a Heeler/bully mix and Sparky, a 10-year-old Lab mix. Lisa says she spent a weekend driving to an overcrowded Alabama shelter to rescue both dogs before they ran out of time. She recently adopted 1-year-old Sky from HSHC and says that all three dogs are “spoiled brats!” Lisa and her husband love to travel and she says she’s been to 19 states in the last ten years, as well as the Bahamas and Bermuda. Lisa is currently studying to get her A.A. degree and eventually wants to get a vet tech license.
Diana Frederick
Animal Programs Director
Diana has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to caring for animals and introducing them to prospective new families. “My job experiences include many years of customer service-related jobs. I guess you could say I’m not only an animal lover but also a people person.” She once served as the operations manager at a tourist attraction in Lancaster, PA called The Amish Farm & House. She was in charge of caring for the farm animals there as well as giving German/bilingual tours of the Amish countryside and a whole host of other managerial duties. Most recently, she was with Furever Safe Rescue where she evaluated dogs, provided for their needs and interviewed potential adopters. “It’s become a passion of mine to help dogs and people live together in harmony and be the voice for animals in need.” Diana enjoys spending time outdoors with her children, dogs and fiancé, going on motorcycle rides, and hanging with friends. Her own pets include Geneva the perfect mutt, Brandy a red nose pit bull, and Ellie a Staffordshire terrier mix.
Mike Fritz
Animal Care
Fritz has an impressive background working with animals, but his future career path all began as a child. “I think I got my love of animals from my grandfather, who would hand-feed the wild animals around his home,” he says. “I began volunteering at The Humane Society in 1993 as a “Junior Volunteer” and would go on to volunteer at several local shelters over the years. Eventually my wife and I began fostering for BARCS, and we’ve lost count of the number of animals we’ve fostered, but it’s been more than 400 animals for many rescue organizations. I began working as a Shelter Attendant at the Baltimore County shelter and then spent 7 years as an Animal Services Officer.” When he’s not on the clock, Fritz enjoys video games, reading, hiking, traveling, and spending time with his family which includes a dog, several cats, 2 ferrets and an iguana. “Everyone at HSHC has been exceptionally nice and helpful, and treat the animals in the shelter as if they are their own.”
Michele Gargiulo
Administrative Assistant
Michele supports the administration team with critical tasks that keep the shelter running smoothly. Before joining HSHC, Michele was a veterinary receptionist for over 17 years, and she’s been an artist who specializes in pet portraits her whole life. She was named an emerging artist at the Mt. Gretna art show (a large juried fine art show) in 2018 and was chosen to illustrate the children’s book, Aladdin the Superhero, the story of an abused dog who became American Humane’s Hero Dog of the Year in 2017! Michele said that both of these achievements were “bucket list moments” for her personally. She is also very proud that since 2014, her art has raised over $37,000 for various animal charities and educational programs. At HSHC Michele says: “I enjoy watching everyone do their part to help. Each employee cares so much about the animals!” When she’s not on the clock at the shelter, Michele loves gardening, cooking, baking, and spending time with her dogs S’mores, Poppy & Jada (a tripod adopted from HSHC) and cats Toots, Pumpkin & Rupie.
Nadia Hoffman
Animal Care
Nadia is a member of our cat team, so she’s responsible for the daily needs of all our cats and small animals. It’s a big job, but Nadia and her co-workers have got this! “I enjoy working closely with my team, but everyone here plays a special role to help the animals and it’s such a wonderful thing to see,” she says. “My most favorite part of my job is seeing the animals every day, and it is such an awesome feeling when they find their forever home!” Outside of the shelter, Nadia says she loves spending time with her family and friends, playing video games and heading to the beach in the summertime. She has a Cairn Terrier named Peanut, and two cats named Junior and Boh.
Danielle Holbrook
Alternative Placement Manager
To say that Danielle has oodles of animal care experience is putting it mildly! And it all started as a child. “I grew up working with animals,” she says. “I competed in rodeos and trained horses all through school, and I also raised cattle, lambs and rabbits for showing at the fair.” Her list of former jobs is impressive as well with stints at the New Smyrna Beach Humane Society, the Humane Society of St. Thomas, the Central Florida Zoo, and Silver Springs Theme Park as the wildlife education coordinator and lead of the reptile/entertainment department. And if that wasn’t enough, she’s also fostered for many different rescue groups when she lived in Florida and Texas. When Danielle isn’t at work, she enjoys hiking and being outdoors in her garden; taking care of her 5 Poison Dart frogs, 2 Leopard geckos and veiled Chameleon; and cuddling on the couch with a good book and dogs Stewie and Roger. “My husband and I love to travel the world and see wildlife. We have traveled to Costa Rica, seen the elephants and tigers in Thailand, gone on safari in South Africa, snorkeled with the sea turtles in the British Virgin Islands, and trekked through the Amazon rainforest in Peru.”
Erin Long
Marketing & Development Manager
Erin has been employed at 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. She has been married to her husband, John, since 2006. Erin holds a BA in Communications from Elizabethtown College with dual minors in Business Administration and Visual Arts.
Emily Luhrs
Animal Care
As a child, Emily grew up around a menagerie of animals: cats, a dog, a hamster, fish, tadpoles/frogs, a leopard gecko, a corn snake, parakeets, and hissing cockroaches. So she knew from a young age that she wanted to focus on animals as a career. She volunteered then worked at animal shelters when she lived in Pennsylvania, and worked at Petco as their aquatics specialist for several years. “I came to HSHC because I want to grow and work with dogs and cats, learn more about behavior and training, and help find the animals their forever homes. I live to see updates from families who’ve adopted animals I have gotten to know and love!” Emily is an artist and focuses on pet portraits. She enjoys painting some of the shelter animals as well as doing commissions. “My hobbies also include hiking and enjoying time in nature & I love animation like cartoons, movies, and anime from various countries and time periods.” Emily’s own pets include her cat and a small fish tank with snails and a betta.
  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; Dunkin, a Golden Retriever; and a mutt named Hobbs.
Alexis O’Donnell
Animal Care
Yes, Lexi loves animals but she also loves plants! Lexi says that in her spare time she enjoys tending to her many, many plants, taking in live music performances and letting her creativity flow as a freelance designer. Before she joined our team, Lexi worked in animal care at Unleashed Baltimore. “I enjoy helping animals feel loved, comfortable, and safe while waiting for their forever homes,” she says. “The staff is full of wonderful passionate folks!” Lexi is pictured here with her 10-year-old Shih Tzu, Cassie.
Hollie Pisani
Animal Care
Hollie is thrilled to be a part of the shelter’s cat team, providing excellent care for the cats, kittens and exotics in our critter room. “This is my dream job, and I love it here,” Hollie says. “As a lifelong cat lover, I find it very rewarding to spend my day making sure they are all comfy, happy and healthy!” Hollie’s own four-legged family includes Hunter, a 5-year-old cat; Minnie, a 4-month-old kitten she adopted from the shelter; and Kona, her 5-month-old Syrian hamster. When she’s not cat cuddling, Hollie enjoys reading, playing Animal Crossing, going to the gym, creating art, and fueling her addiction to Starbucks.
Erika Ponsiek
Marketing & Development Coordinator
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!
  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.
Danna Walter
Human Resources Manager
Talk to Danna for just a few minutes and you’ll quickly learn that there are two things that are close to her heart: her family and her dogs! “My family and I love dogs,” she says. Danna and her husband have two Yorkies, 3-year-old Lexie and 7-year-old Gracie. In fact, Danna adopted Gracie from HSHC just a week before she started working here! “I love the passion and empathy shown everyday by our staff,” she says. “We have an amazing team!” Outside of work, Danna has 5 grandchildren who are the center of her world: Ryker, Rowan, Rex, Liam and Maria. She loves summertime, trips to the beach, and being in the pool as much as possible with the grandkids.
Dana Wenger
Community Outreach & Volunteer Manager
Dana recently retired as a supervisor with the Maryland State Police with 25 years of service where she spent a majority of her career in criminal investigations. She was a Nationally Registered Paramedic in Harford County for more than a decade before beginning her volunteer service in animal welfare. And Dana literally practices what she preaches: volunteering! She began her journey with us in 2011 when she became an official dog walking volunteer which soon led to fostering and volunteering in our veterinary department. She’s also volunteered with Pets For Vets, helping to start a local chapter, and volunteers on the Board with the Maryland Animal Cruelty & Animal Fighting Task Force where she currently serves as the Vice President. In addition, Dana has worked part-time as a veterinary technician at a local clinic in Harford County for the past six years. Dana is certified by the ASPCA in Field Response and Investigations and has also completed the Fear Free Shelter certification. Dana holds a special place in her heart for shelter animals and her 3 dogs were all rescues from HSHC!