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A strong organization requires strong leadership. Meet those who are leading the mission to Improve the Lives of Animals.

Board of Directors

We are accountable to a volunteer board of directors. The Board focuses on policy and governance, setting goals and strategies for the organization, and monitoring its performance. They provide independent and objective oversight of our operations, ensuring our best long-term interests. Please see our Governance page to learn more about our board of directors.

Leadership Staff

We are led across our organizations on a day to day basis by a committed team of staff at multiple levels throughout our organization, across different functional area’s. Below is a short list of some of our many individuals who ensure that our mission is moving forward each and every day.

Dr. Jacques Messier, DVM, MBA
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Karen Ward, DVM
Chief Veterinary Officer

Phil Nichols, CAWA, RVT
Chief Operations Officer

Tegan Buckingham, CFRE, MSA
Director, Integrated Marketing and Development

Carol Boulding, CHRL
Director, Human Resources

Catherine Anne MacDonald

Jacklyn Ellis, MRes, PhD, CAAB
Director, Behaviour

Greg Ratelle
Senior Manager, Client Care and Partnerships

As an organization, we are working to overcome many challenges standing in the way of a more humane community. In order to best combat the issues and improve the lives of animals we take a multi-disciplinary approach to ensure we are moving our mission forward. Below you will meet our leaders who are dedicated to achieving this mission and leading our team of volunteers, foster parents and staff forward.

Melissa Shupak, CPDT – Division Manager, Shelter Programs
Lauren McIntyre, RVT – Assistant Manager, Shelter Veterinary Care
Christopher Sadowsky – Assistant Manager, Shelter Animal Care
Joy OBrien – Assistant Manager, Admissions and Rehoming

Lauralee Dorst, RVT – Division Manager, Public Veterinary Services
Alison Campbell, RVT – Assistant Manager, Public Veterinary Services

Larisa Nagelberg, PMP – Division Manager, Community and Animal Transport
Dillon Dodson, MSW – Coordinator, Urgent Care Programs

Linda Jacobson BVSc, MMedVet(Med), PhD, Senior Manager, Shelter Medicine Advancement

Kerry Gibson – Division Manager, Fundraising
Alisha Uglow – Assistant Manager, Fundraising
Jessica Harwood – Assistant Manager, Marketing 

Azeem Haider – Senior Manager, IT
Mathew Casullo – Manager, Facilities
Jose Rodriguez – Manager, Procurement and Logistics

Brittney Stratuik – Coordinator, Human Resources

Shubham Maini  – DEI Coordinator

Dillon Dodson, (credentials), Senior Manager, Social Work

Since childhood, Dillon has been passionate about the healing power of animals. She has always sought opportunities to bring people and animals together, whether through animal-assisted therapy or equine-facilitated therapy.

Dillon’s educational background in Social Work includes a Master’s degree from University of Toronto and a Bachelor’s degree from McMaster University. She has also obtained certifications relevant to her field of specialization, including the Clinical Traumatologist designation from the Traumatology Institute Training Curriculum, the Supervisors/Managers Certificate from the Hostels Training Centre, and the Understanding and Managing Aggressive Behaviour certification.

Dillon is a compassionate member of the Toronto Humane Society team who brings a unique perspective to her role as the Urgent Care Program Manager. With over a decade of experience as a professional social worker, Dillon is committed to providing the best possible care for animals in need. Her extensive background in supporting marginalized communities has been instrumental in the development of the Urgent Care program and the associated training manual. Dillon approaches her work through a resilience framework, employing trauma-informed practices and leading with recovery-oriented treatment. Her commitment to animal welfare and her professional expertise make her an invaluable member of Toronto Humane Society’s skilled team.