Linda Jacobson BVSc MMedVet PhD – President, Treasurer
Linda received her veterinary degree in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1986 and subsequently completed a residency in small animal internal medicine and a PhD on the pathophysiology of virulent canine babesiosis. She completed the University of Florida Online Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine in 2015. She is part of the CVO Practice Advisory Panel and serves on the Humane Canada shelter accreditation standard committee . She joined the Toronto Humane Society in 2010, where she is currently Senior Manager: Shelter Medicine Advancement.
Shelley Hutchings DVM – Vice-President
Shelley graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2002 and worked full time in small animal practice until 2008. In 2006 she began working part time for the Ottawa Humane Society, and developed a keen interest in shelter medicine. In 2008, she joined the Ottawa Humane Society on a full time basis, and is now the Chief Veterinarian for this large progressive shelter. She has overseen the accreditation of the Ottawa Humane Society Animal Clinic, as well as the Ottawa Humane Society Mobile Spay Neuter Services mobile community program.
Shane Bateman DVM DVSc DACVECC – Secretary
Shane completed his veterinary degree at the University of Saskatchewan in 1991 and completed his residency in Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care at the Ontario Veterinary College in 1998. He is a boarded specialist in critical care. Shane is an Associate Professor at the Ontario Veterinary College at Guelph, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Guelph Humane Society. He also serves as co-Director of Community Veterinary Outreach.
Esther Attard DVM
Esther graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1991. She started her career as an equine practitioner, operating an equine mobile practice and even owned her own small animal clinic before deciding that shelter medicine and surgery was her passion! Esther has worked in animal shelters for over 20 years and appreciates the daily challenges and rewards! Currently she is Chief Veterinarian at Toronto Animal Services. Her favorite things are family (wonderful husband, two lovely daughters and a shelter dog of course!), horses and travelling.
Laura Balanoff DVM
Laura completed her veterinary degree at the University of Melbourne in 2012. She began her career working at the RSPCA small animal clinic and shelter in Newcastle, Australia. Originally from the U.S., she decided to move back to complete a shelter medicine internship at the University of Wisconsin in 2015. She worked at PAWS animal shelter in Chicago for two years and, in 2018, joined Toronto Humane Society as a staff shelter veterinarian.
Stephanie Black DVM
Stephanie graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2007. She worked in both general and emergency practice until she discovered her love of shelter medicine. She has since worked for the OSPCA, The Toronto Humane Society and her own mobile practice providing services to local animal shelters. She is currently a contract veterinarian for Toronto Animal Services and teaches veterinary assisting students at Seneca College. Stephanie graduated from the University of Florida with a Masters in Shelter Medicine as well as Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Forensics. Stephanie has a passion for animal sheltering as well as education and enjoys bringing the two together with the Ontario Shelter Medicine Association.
Hanna Booth DVM
Hanna graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2007 and has passionately pursued population control through spay and neuter ever since then. She spent a year volunteering with organizations throughout Central America sterilizing shelter and street animals. Upon returning to Canada she worked as a veterinarian at the Toronto Humane Society and then served on the Board of THS. She manages the volunteer organization Toronto Street Cats and is a founding member of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition. She currently works as a staff veterinarian for Toronto Animal Services focusing on the mobile spay neuter program SNYP.
Mary Pecarski RVT
Mary has been with the Ontario SPCA since July of 2014. As part of the Shelter Health and Wellness Department, Mary manages the newly created Registered Veterinary Technician Program. Mary graduated from St. Lawrence College in Kingston in 2003 with a diploma in Veterinary Technology and achieved her RVT designation shortly thereafter. With years of expertise and intelligence in emergency animal care and technique, she decided to pursue a career as an RVT in the shelter medicine world. Mary has since demonstrated knowledge and commitment in animal welfare practices and philosophies. Her current position with the Ontario SPCA sees no two days the same as her job is very dynamic and ever evolving. Mary provides continuing inclusive support and communication with animal centre managers and RVTs, which maintains engagement and staff focus on all fundamental Shelter Health and Wellness concepts. She is very proud to be leading the professionals in her program, who demonstrate the same passion and dedication to animal welfare as she does.
Communications: Linda Jacobson (chair), Esther Attard, Hanna Booth
Continuing Education: Steph Black (chair), Mary Pecarski
Fundraising: Laura Balanoff (chair), Linda Jacobson
Membership Services: Shelley Hutchings
Special Projects: Hanna Booth (chair), Shelley Hutchings
Founding Committee, Past Directors and Key Volunteers. Thank you so much for your outstanding contributions!
Dani Boes DVM
Ariel Brunn DVM
Darci Burtch RVT
Frances Cheslo RVT
Wendy Ing DVM
Lisa Jones DVM
Shalini Ramsubeik DVM
LeeAnn Sealey DVM
Karen Ward DVM