Denise Hayes

Denise is the Chief Executive Officer for the Roanoke Valley SPCA. She is responsible for the overall management of the organization. At home, Denise has a rescued dog, Polly, who also serves as an animal ambassador for the Roanoke Valley SPCA. Prior to working at the Roanoke Valley SPCA, Denise was a volunteer for our Foster Care program. She has a passion for helping animals in need within our community. To learn more about Denise, please visit her LinkedIn Profile.  Denise can be reached at 540-339-9500 or by email.

Doris Minnix

Doris is the Programs Assistant with the Roanoke Valley SPCA. In her role, Doris is often the first person you will see when visiting the Roanoke Valley SPCA.  She works the front desk helping visitors, answers calls and works with families, local food pantries and Meals on Wheels to assist with dog and cat food for those in our community who a struggling to make ends meet.  Doris started at the Roanoke Valley SPCA as a volunteer in 2009 and joined the staff in September 2010. Doris’s family includes her husband Pete and their Shih Tzu, Chang, and their cat, Scarface, who was adopted from the Roanoke Valley SPCA. Doris attended and graduated from Staunton River High School. Doris works at the Roanoke Valley SPCA because of her commitment to the welfare of animals. Doris can be reached at 540-339-9247 or by email.

Emily Fugate

Emily Fugate is the Canine Foster, Intake, and Enrichment Coordinator for the Roanoke Valley SPCA.  In this role, Emily coordinates and manages the enrichment of the dogs and helping them get ready for adoption by addressing any fear or behavioral problems.  She also coordinates the Canine Foster Program and facilitates the intake of new dogs into the shelter from open intake shelters and directly from members in our community who can no longer care for their pet.  At home, Emily’s family includes Harley, a 4 year old girl who came to her through a rescue.  Harley was relinquished because she was pregnant.  She is a smart and sweet girl who was very fearful.  Harley and Emily have had to work on a variety of behavior adjustments so that they can safely and happily live together.

Emily has a B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture from University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Prior to joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA staff in August 2020, Emily worked for 3 years for the Department of Agriculture as a Soil Conservationist.  Emily has always known she had the desire to help people and work with animals.  As a life-long supporter of shelters and volunteering, Emily is excited about being part of the team at the Roanoke Valley SPCA! Emily can be reached 540-339-9508 or email.

Erin Dams

Erin Dams is the Volunteer and Pet Retention Programs Coordinator with the Roanoke Valley SPCA. In this role, Erin coordinates all aspects of the volunteer, humane education, and community cat programs, and assists with pet retention programs. Erin holds a degree in Communications from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Before joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA in November 2021, Erin worked for six years at Trek Bicycle Company as a trainer for customer service and retail staff. Erin also was the Adoption Coordinator for Urban Cat Coalition, a Milwaukee-based cat rescue/community cat program, and the MidAtlantic Region Support Specialist for Best Friends Animal Society, helping advise shelters in six states on grant processes and establishing new programs.

Erin currently has two rescue pets: Thomas O’Malley, a brown tabby cat who loves dogs, but hates other cats, and Tito, a white cattle dog mix who loves all animals and is a great “mom” to foster kittens! Both were adopted from Wisconsin animal shelters. Erin joined the Roanoke Valley SPCA because she has a huge passion for pets (and their humans!) and continuous education. Erin can be contacted at 540-339-9503 or email. To learn more about Erin, please visit her LinkedIn Profile.

Dr. Jennifer McFarling

Dr. Jennifer McFarling is a Veterinarian and Medical Director for the Roanoke Valley SPCA. In this role, Dr. McFarling looks after, coordinates, manages, and leads a team providing all aspects of animal care including medical, surgical and behavioral car. Dr. McFarling received her BS in Zoology from the University of Maryland and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA staff in 2005, Dr. McFarling spent two years as a Veterinarian in private practice. Dr. McFarling’s animal family includes four Roanoke Valley SPCA adoptees: Gracie, a tri-pod Beagle mix, Harpo, a three year old cat, and Luke, Scott and George, 5 year old feline brothers. Dr. McFarling can be reached at 540-339-9509 or by email.

Julie Rickmond

Julie Rickmond is the Marketing and Communications Director with the Roanoke Valley SPCA. In this role, Julie manages all aspects of advertising and marketing including media appearances, website and social media communications, and print design. Prior to joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA, Julie spent over 15 years as an Art Director for a national outdoor advertising agency in addition to running her own freelance graphic design & fine art business. Julie joined the Roanoke Valley SPCA in July 2020 and she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Virginia Tech.

She lives at home with her husband and their five fabulous rescued cats and one very goofy and loveable rescued Rottweiler. Julie joined the Roanoke Valley SPCA because she loves all animals and is especially passionate about finding homes for the pets in our community. Julie can be contacted at 540-339-9513 or email. To learn more about Julie, please visit her LinkedIn Profile.

Katie Nichols

As the Feline Foster, Intake, and Enrichment Coordinator for the Roanoke Valley SPCA, Katie works with our feline pets to ensure they are happy and healthy during their stay at the shelter, manages the foster program for our very young and special needs cats, and counsels members of the community on alternatives to relinquishment.  Katie has Bachelor’s Degrees in Archaeology and Art History. 

Before joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA in December 2018, Katie worked as a vet assistant with exotic and local zoo animals, but her heart is with rescue and conservation. Her long term goal is to work with large cats in a sanctuary setting.

Katie lives with 2 miniature schnauzers, Finley and Ava.  Katie can be reached at 540-339-9505 or email.

Mary Carlin, CPA

Mary Carlin is the Finance Director at the Roanoke Valley SPCA. Mary is a CPA with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. Before joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA in 2012, Mary worked in public accounting for 24 years and began working for the Roanoke Valley SPCA in February, 2012. In addition to her husband and three sons, Mary has three dogs: Dougal, Boone, and Pippa. Dougal and Pippa are Roanoke Valley SPCA adoptees. To learn more about Mary, please visit her LinkedIn Profile. She can be reached at 540-339-9501 or by email.

Nicole Hunts, CPA

Nicole Hunts is the Finance Assistant for the Roanoke Valley SPCA.  Nicole is a CPE with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Virginia Tech.  Before joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA in 2019, Nicole worked in local government and public accounting for seven years.   At home Nicole’s family includes her husband, two children, and their Shih Tzu mix Bug.  

Ozzy Shively

Ozzy Shively is an Animal Care Technician who has been with the Roanoke Valley SPCA since May, 2015. He began his career here as an intern while attending William Byrd High School. Ozzy loves animals, and at home he has his best friend Bentley, an English Bulldog. Ozzy’s responsibilities include walking the dogs, cleaning their cages, feeding and watering them, and giving out lots of hugs and attention. In his off hours, Ozzy loves to travel and to spend time with family and friends. Ozzy can be reached by email.

Pete Minnix

Pete is a Facility Maintenance Technician and Animal Care Technician with the Roanoke Valley SPCA. In this role, Pete looks after all maintenance aspects of the facility and also helps with the care of the animals here at the shelter. Before joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA in 2013, Pete worked for 28 years repairing and installing dental equipment.  Pete graduated from Staunton River High School. Pete’s family includes his wife Doris and their Shih Tzu, Chang, and their cat, Scarface, who was adopted from the Roanoke Valley SPCA. Pete can be reached at 540-339-9247 or by email.

Polly

Polly is the perfect example of why it’s important to spay and neuter your pets. Her mom saw her and her siblings on a “Free to a Good Home” sign at the hairdressers. Polly is laid back and loves everyone she meets! So when her mom started working at the Roanoke Valley SPCA she did too…she became a Roanoke Valley SPCA Ambassador. In her role, she participates in a variety of Humane Education Programs and the Visiting Pet Program. Polly and her friend, and co-ambassador Sofia, are favorites of the residents they visit at the varies Assisted Living Facilities in the Valley. Polly’s love of food is well known by all the residents and they squirrel away special treats for her in their pockets. Polly also visits area schools with our Humane Education staff to teach kids about the importance of compassion towards animals and people. Schools, Birthday Parties, Summer Camp or Visiting Seniors, Polly knows they all have cookies to be found! Polly can be reached at 540-339-9500 or email her mom.

Rebecca Westbrook

Rebecca Westbrook is Animal Care Technician at the Roanoke Valley SPCA. She has been working at RVSPCA since August 17, 2015 and loves working at the RVSPCA to give all the animals extra love before they go into there forever home. Rebecca was a volunteer prior to joining the staff.  She has a Roanoke Valley SPCA alumni dog, a poodle mix named Lindsey. Rebecca can be reached by email.

Ruth Pierce

Ruth is the Program Manager with the Roanoke Valley SPCA. In this role, Ruth oversees the Adoption, Volunteer, Community Outreach and Humane Education programs. Before joining the Roanoke Valley SPCA, Ruth worked with the Chesapeake Public Library and Roanoke County Library systems. Ruth started as a volunteer for the Roanoke Valley SPCA in 2005 and joined the staff in April 2010. Ruth holds an Associates of Arts degree, certifications in Humane Education and Volunteer Management through the Humane Society of the United States. Ruth’s family includes four dogs, Gracie, Sofia, Lily Rose and Fiona Mae, 4 cats, Max, Clarice, Bitty Kitty and Clementine, and lots of chickens.  Ruth works at the Roanoke Valley SPCA because of her love of pets. Ruth can be reached at 540-339-9506 or by email.

Sofia

Sofia came to the Roanoke Valley SPCA in June of 2016.  It was quickly apparent, she was not the typical Chihuahua.  This girl loves everyone she meets!  Not surprising, she was adopted by a staff member.  It was not long after she found her forever home, she started working as a Roanoke Valley SPCA Ambassador and Alumni.  In her role, she participates in a variety of Humane Education Programs and the Visiting Pet Program.  Sofia and her friend, and co-ambassador Polly, are favorites of the residents they visit at the varies Assisted Living Facilities in the Valley.  Her portable size allows residents to hold her for the many kisses Sofia grants.  Sofia also visits area schools with our Humane Education staff to teach kids about the importance of compassion towards animals and people.  Schools, Birthday Parties, Summer Camp or Visiting Seniors, Sofia has never met a stranger.  Sofia can be reached at 540-339-9506 or email her mom.

Suzanne Cresswell

Suzanne is the Director of Philanthropy & Community Engagement with the Roanoke Valley SPCA. In this role, Suzanne oversees the organization’s overall community engagement strategy including community mobilization, philanthropy, outreach, marketing and public relations. Prior to joining the SPCA, Suzanne worked for a diverse range of non-profits in the Roanoke Valley, including Mill Mountain Theatre, Feeding America Southwest Virginia, and the Alzheimer’s Association. Suzanne joined RVSPCA in August 2019 and she holds a BA in Drama from UNC-Asheville.

Suzanne loves senior dogs and cats, and lives with two – Jesse, a lab mix, and Opie, an orange and white tabby. Contact Suzanne at 540-339-9520 or email or reach out via Linkedin.

Tammy Light, LVT

Tammy is a Licensed Veterinary Technician with the Roanoke Valley SPCA. In her role she leads the animal care team and oversees the health and cleanliness of our facility. In addition to her duties in our full service clinic. At home, Tammy has an energetic rescued chihuahua named Benny. To learn more about Tammy, please visit her LinkedIn Profile. She can be reached at 540-339-9507 or by email.