Shafonda D. Allen – Executive Director
Shafonda has been in animal welfare for over 20 years. She formerly served on the Board of the North Carolina Animal Federation, currently serves on the DEI Leadership Committee for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, and is very active in the animal welfare community. Shafonda is a proud Durham native who was educated locally with the desire to one day work in animal welfare. This dream became a reality for her in 1998 when she took a position with the APS of Durham. Having worked many positions in the organization Shafonda took the helm of APS in 2008. Shafonda hopes that the work she is doing in animal welfare will improve the lives of animals in our community for many years to come.
Leah Santelli – Director of Lifesaving Programs
Leah started at the Animal Protection Society of Durham in 2005 and has been with the organization for the last 16 years. She has held many positions within the shelter including Adoption Counselor, Front Desk Lead, Veterinary Technician and Assistant Shelter Manager. She currently works as the Shelter Operations Manager, overseeing the daily functions of the shelter as well as central programs including Adoptions, Redemptions, Community Spaying & Neutering, Microchipping, Safety Net and Outreach.
Kay Bishop, DVM – Medical Director
Dr. Bishop has been the veterinarian for APS since 2012. She originally worked with APS as a Rescue Placement Partner and occasional consulting private practice veterinarian prior to her employment with the organization. Dr. Bishop is responsible for oversight of all medical services at APS, which includes preventive and wellness care, care of sick and injured animals, and infectious disease control. Prior to coming to APS, she worked in private practice for 12 years, and she has experience working in animal rescue for the past 20 years. Dr. Bishop holds a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from NCSU in 1995, and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from NCSU College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999.
Kevin ‘Skipp’ Morgan – Director of Facilities and Animal Husbandry
Skipp came to APS 19 years ago, making a career transition after 12 years of professional truck driving led him to desire a career where he could make a difference in his community. He started as a Kennel Technician and worked his way up to Kennel Manager. In his current position, Skipp supervises all of the animal technicians who provide daily care and safe housing for the animals. He also serves as facility manager for the entire shelter.
Darlene Fiscus – Director of Development & Marketing
Darlene has served as Director of Development & Marketing at APS since August 2016, managing donor relations, community outreach, events, marketing, and communications efforts. Darlene holds a Master’s of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Arlington, and has served the community through nonprofit organizations in various capacities for more than 20 years – much of it in the area of social services. As a reformed social worker with a great love for animals, Darlene is thrilled to have the good fortune to have served in animal welfare as a development professional since 2014. Darlene is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. When not working, Darlene spends most of her time gardening, with her husband cooking, eating, reading, and exploring the farmer’s market, and with her three dogs of the herding variety playing frisbee, swimming and hiking.
Larissa Chantell – Foster Program & Volunteer Manager
Larissa joined our team in 2016 as an Adoption Counselor where she learned all of the details associated with the workings of the shelter, the complexity of working with pet owners in need, and the importance of providing community resources to keep pets in their homes. She also became very familiar with the various rescue organizations that also serve animals in need and how to expand that program. In 2019, Larissa was promoted to her current position. Larissa’s experience as an Adoption Counselor provided her the opportunity to get to know our current volunteers and they her. Now at APS she manages our 1,000+ active volunteers and facilitates our foster placement program to provide animals with the extra care they need to help them find new homes.
Megan Whitney – Behavior Manager
Megan has always been passionate about animal care and welfare. She joined the APS volunteer community in 2017, walking dogs, socializing cats, and helping with the behavior department. She transitioned to staff in 2019 as Behavior Assistant where she grew her passion for behavioral health and compassionate care in the shelter world. She currently manages all aspects of the behavior department at APS focusing on expanding our animal enrichment program and providing community support to adopters. Her work has directly translated to improving the mental and physical health of our shelter animals and helping pet owners and adopters who experience challenges with their pets. She enables pets to remain in their homes rather than being surrendered because of solvable issues.
Amanda Freeman – Medical Coordinator
Amanda has been always drawn to the power of the human animal bond. She has worked with APS since 2009, starting as a animal care technician before moving to customer service and eventually her current role. She coordinates the medical department in our shelter and our medical foster volunteer program, helping to ensure all our animals have the medical care they need to get ready for new homes. Amanda loves the being able to be a part of reuniting pets and finding just the right families for the animals in our care. She lives in Vance County with her 4 dogs.
Meet the Animal Protection Society of Durham
Board of Directors!
Allison Chan, Board Chair
Allison joined the Board of APS of Durham in January 2020, after volunteering with the shelter’s Tails at Twilight Gala Committee for two years. Allison believes that all animals deserve a loving home and proper care, and is dedicated to supporting the Durham community in this effort. She moved to Durham from the Midwest in 2015 and has embraced the local scene and culture. Allison is an immigration attorney by profession with a busy practice based in Raleigh. She is a foodie and a wanderlust, and an animal lover at heart, with a senior rescue pup, Mishka (pictured), and her two horses, Breyer and Conundrum. Allison and her husband just welcomed their first child last month.
Sara Abrons, Vice Chair
Sara, a 2018 addition to the APS Board, enjoys volunteering as a dog walker, as a member of the Behavior Team and to help represent APS at events (when they’re happening). She cares deeply about APS’s mission to build lifelong bonds between animals and people. Also a member of Rotary, Sara likes to volunteer as much as possible because it helps combat her existential anxiety. When not wondering about whether 42 is, in fact, the answer to the ultimate question of life, Sara is a marketer and writer, as well as the co-founder of a consulting company that helps e-commerce companies figure out their logistics. She lives with her boyfriend, Jacob, a mischievous German Shepard mix named Eve and a large, fluffy cat named Taco. They’re in search of an additional roommate, preferably another large, fluffy dog who is too lazy to chase after cats. A Carolina grad, Sara struggles daily to balance her love of Durham with her utter disdain for Duke.
Meredith Mayer-Salman, Treasurer
Meredith is a very new member of the APS board, joining in December 2020 after having recently joined the APS Finance Committee. Meredith is a CPA in Durham and has called Durham home for 11 years. Meredith also volunteers with STAR (Special Theatre Arts of Raleigh) and VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). Meredith is a proud owner to two cats, Squiggy and Robb. With Squiggy and Robb both being adoptees from the Wake County SPCA and Independent Animal Rescue, respectively, Meredith realizes the significance of local animal shelters and wants to use her talents to further the mission of the APS.
Robert joined the APS Board in 2021. Robert’s career as a Systems Engineer and Software Sales Consultant for IBM Corporation span 40+ years. In the fast-paced Software IT Industry, Robert has been instrumental in creating and developing key strategic customer and business partner initiatives in commercial and Public Sector territories. Some of Robert’s key roles have been business development, program management, partner recruitment, and technical training.
Having retired from IBM in 2016, Robert continues to share his skills through various business and nonprofit related opportunities. Robert joined the Executive Service Corp of the Triangle as a new Advisors in 2019 and has been involved in several internal projects at ESC including the recommendation of a cost-effective donor management system, presenter at ESC Boot Camps and serves as a Boot Camp Learning Partner.
Robert is pictured here with his daughter’s dog, Herb O’Ree, who now resides in Bentonville, AR.
Natalia joined the APS of Durham as a board member in January 2021, after volunteering on the Development Committee for a year. As a Donor Engagement Officer with Triangle Community Foundation, Natalia brings with her a background in fundraising and non-profit programming. After moving to Durham in 2015 from DC, Natalia fell in love with how dog-friendly the Bull City was and adopted two of her own: Pop and Brutus. When not playing or snuggling with her pups, Natalia participates in a book club, loves trying all the great food that Durham has to offer, and visiting her native New York.
Michael joined the APS of Durham Board of Directors in 2021. Michael has ten years of nonprofit finance and accounting experience and is currently pursuing an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler. Michael is the proud father of two large goofy rescues from New Orleans and can be found exploring the trails for Durham with them. When not wrestling with spreadsheets or his dogs, Michael enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants, and playing intermural sports.
Brooke is a Carolina native, spending much of her life hopping between North and South Carolina before landing in the Durham area in 2004. After graduating college with a degree in graphic design, Brooke pursued entrepreneurship through franchising. Her TWO MEN AND A TRUCK franchises in Raleigh and Durham have helped raise funds and awareness for APS through her Movers For Mutts campaign over the last several years. She has always been passionate about animal rescue and has learned a lot working with APS and other rescue centers before joining the APS board. Brooke has two rescue dogs of her own and 1 rambunctious cat rescued from APS. When she isn’t working to manage her network of businesses and volunteer initiatives, Brooke enjoys spending time outside with her pack by the pool, gardening, hiking, or traveling.