Meet Our Team
Carlee Brion, Shelter Director
Carlee Brion began working for NCAL in 2012 after graduating college in New Hampshire and moving to Vermont. Carlee has spent a few years caring for dogs and cats as a Shelter Associate, caring for customers and animals alike as NCAL’s Customer Service Manager, and was promoted to Pet Adoption Center Manager in May of 2017. Carlee has recently been promoted to Shelter Director. Growing up, Carlee always had animals living in her home. She currently has two rescue pups and two cats. Carlee loves living in Vermont and exploring all that it has to offer. Carlee and her dogs, Winnie and Roscoe, enjoy hiking and running in the warmer months (although Winnie is secretly is a couch potato at heart).
Bianca Caputo, Animal Care Associate
After adopting Coral Reef, now Cora, from NCAL in the summer of 2017, Bianca experienced first hand how much of a positive impact adopting a dog can have on a person. She sought work at the shelter and recently joined the team that December, helping attend to the daily needs of the animals in our care. She plans to graduate from Sterling College in May of 2018 with a degree in Sustainable Food Systems. When not at NCAL, Bianca can be found planning next year’s garden, perfecting her sourdough starter, or foraging for mushrooms, usually with a dog by her side.
Meagan Ferris, Animal Care Associate
Animals have always been a big part of Meagan’s life, and she has considered each one of her adopted pets as family. Prior to joining NCAL in November 2016, Meagan’s worked at an SPCA veterinary clinic in Orlando, Florida, and before that at a daycare and boarding facility where she enjoyed interacting with the animals. When she is not busy with the animals, Meagan enjoys photography, painting, kickboxing, hiking, and taking part in any long outdoor adventures with her daughter, Ryker, and Labrador retriever, Endo.
Kevin Gallagher, Animal Care Associate
Kevin was unable to adopt his first dog until age 21, which may explain why now Kevin’s life now is so dog-centric. After spending “too many years” in the Banking and Insurance industry, Kevin found his perfect retirement job helping to care for the dogs at NCAL. At the shelter, Kevin provides care and nurturing to the dogs as they await their forever home.
Tracy Goldfine, Executive Director
Tracy grew up in Waitsfield, VT, where from a young age she was a passionate animal rescuer. She would regularly bring home barn cats, injured squirrels, and birds with broken wings, and luckily her parents fostered this passion. After graduating from the University of Vermont, Tracy moved to Wyoming with her dog, Kota, where she fulfilled her dream of becoming a cowgirl while working on ranches and managing the care of large herds of horses. Tracy’s professional career included working in public relations, publishing, and marketing in Utah, Wyoming, and California. She returned to Vermont in 2007, and became involved in the nonprofit field through grant writing and development work, and went on to earn her graduate certification in nonprofit management from Marlboro College.
Tracy was founding director of Hope Grows Community Farm, a nonprofit in Hyde Park dedicated to working with at-risk youth and horses. She later joined River Arts in Morrisville as development director and then executive director. Most recently she worked as communications director for Children’s Literacy Foundation.
Tracy is excited to combine her passion for nonprofit work with her deep belief in animal rescue, adoption, education, and spay/neuter. She lives in Stowe with her husband, two children, two dogs, cat, and pony.
Danielle Hoppe, Animal Care Associate
Originally from Maine, Danielle moved to Vermont to pursue a degree in Biology at Johnson State College. While at JSC she began at NCAL as an intern then soon after became employed. Being an animal lover from a young age Dani knew she always wanted to work in the field of animal care and NCAL was the perfect place for her. After graduating Dani decided to stay in Vermont to continue to work with the dogs at NCAL and loves caring for them until they can all find their furever homes. She has a soft spot for senior dogs and one day hopes to open her own senior dog sanctuary.
Bronwyn Mandigo, Animal Care and Adoptions Manager
Bronwyn started her work at NCAL in October 2016 as a Shelter Associate after spending a year working in another Vermont shelter. She has always been interested in animal care and received her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Captive Wildlife Care & Education from Unity College. She has experience working with all sorts of exotics and pocket pets as well as cats and dogs. Bronwyn was promoted to Feline Care Specialist in the spring of 2017 and oversaw all aspects of NCAL’s feline program including daily care, medical, intakes and adoptions. She has recently been promoted to Animal Care and Adoptions Manager.
Lusana Masrur, Office and Communications Manager
Lusana’s childhood memories include cows, chickens, ducks, bunnies, turkeys, a crane, and of course, cats and dogs, all of whom helped develop her passion for animal welfare. After college, she worked as the E-Coordinator for the SPCA of Erie County, in the State of New York. She has also worked as the Communication Coordinator for Obhoyaronno -Bangladesh Animal Welfare Foundation and continues to be invested in the animal welfare movement in her home country of Bangladesh. In addition, she has worked in youth development in Buffalo, NY and in the Disaster Management and Climate Change program for BRAC (the largest Non-Government Organization in the world) in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Work and education (and play) have taken her to Malaysia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Thailand among other places, but she now calls Vermont her home. Lusana hopes to contribute to NCAL’s diverse pool of talents with her non-profit, development and communication background. Her love for animals also inspires her to follow a plant-based lifestyle and be a conscious consumer.
Jess McLeon, Animal Care & Adoptions Associate
Jess began working at NCAL in 2012. As a Shelter Associate, Jess helps care for the daily needs of both dogs and cats. From a very young age, she has had a love for animals and has always hoped to find a career that would allow her to work with them. At NCAL, she enjoys caring for the dogs and cats and playing a part in their second chance at life. Jess also serves as NCAL’s staff photographer, capturing the beauty in every animal and helping market each one which improves their chances at finding forever homes.
Connie Riggs, DVM – Veterinarian
This year marks the 30thanniversary of Connie’s entry into the practice of small animal veterinary medicine and surgery. After graduating from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine she sought out an additional year of advanced training by completing a small animal internship in medicine and surgery at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Returning to her roots in the Northeast, she then took a job in Derry, New Hampshire at an internal medicine referral practice receiving ongoing learning and clinical training from three board certified medicine specialists. Connie moved to Vermont after the birth of her first son and joined and became a co-owner of one of the largest veterinary practices in Central Vermont, where she remained for eleven years. After her second child, she founded and ran a small full-service MASH unit vet hospital in rural Worcester, VT for 10 years.
Having been owned by animals her whole life, Connie has a thorough understanding of the nuances of animal health, behavior, and nursing care. She enjoys using her knowledge and training to help the shelter animals that come through NCAL, while also helping to maximize financial efficiency in veterinary care, allowing NCAL’s resources to reach more animals in need.
Kaylyn Rood – Animal Care and Adoptions
Not your conventional business student, Kaylyn juggles school and her work as a dancer for the Vermont Bucks as well as her time with NCAL. She cannot remember ever living in a home that had less than five cats. That being said, it is easy to guess that Kaylyn is quite the cat whisperer. She has trained cats and worked on behavioral issues and continues to contribute to NCAL’s journey in many more ways than just working on feline matchmaking! Kaylyn also hopes to travel and educate people on animal welfare, alongside creating more opportunities for her career as a dancer.
Shelby Schwartz – Canine Behaviorist and Trainer
With a degree in Psychology and Field Biology, Shelby originally moved to Vermont to teach snowboarding. That being said, she has worked with animals her whole life, from rats to horses, and even great apes! Eventually however, she discovered her true calling with dogs and started her canine career in 2009 with doggy daycares, organizing play groups and doing informal training with the regulars. Shelby has also worked with a team of Siberian huskies giving dog sled tours which made her an obvious choice for NCAL’s Canine Supervisor. Now as the Canine Behaviorist and Trainer, she helps NCAL’s rescue dogs increase socialization skills and manners during their time in the shelter environment. With three rescue dogs of her own (one being from NCAL), her love and passion for dog’s could not be more evident!
A natural dog whisperer, Shelby believes that with time, patience and practice, anyone can understand canine behavior and learn to work with it. In the Positive Reinforcement Training classes she provides, she has seen first-hand how the method can strengthen the bond between owner and dog. Positive Reinforcement Training uses praise and or treats to reward your dog for doing something you want him/her to do because the reward makes your dog more likely to repeat the behavior.
Schae Wolff, Medical Care Coordinator
With a passion for helping animals and becoming familiar with the different personalities in each animal that comes through the door, Schae’s work is driven by seeing the great changes in each animal’s health and disposition while at NCAL as they await their forever home. Schae oversees the daily medical care for both the dogs and cats at NCAL, and assists our veterinarian with all surgeries and exams. Schae began working at NCAL in 2013.