The Humane Society of Washington County exists to promote the welfare of companion and domestic animals through educational programs and initiatives that reduce pet overpopulation, endorse fostering, enrich adoptions, and encourage responsible pet guardianship.
The Humane Society of Washington County’s vision is to be the area’s leading resource for animal related issues. Through strong community partnerships, we enhance and protect the lives of all animals by advocating responsible, compassionate relationships between people and animals while providing shelter, humane education, spay/neuter programs and adoptions (2006).
The Humane Society of Washington County was established in November 1921 by Ms. Daisy Derby Whipple. She operated in a one-room building on South Boulevard (now Wilson Boulevard) and began with twelve animals in her care. In April 1938, the HSWC moved to its current location on Maugansville Road. The organization grew and moved into a 13,200 square foot building in December 2001, and in 2015, the HSWC expanded its facility to include a 6,800 square foot Adoption Center and Veterinary Center. What started in a one-room building in 1921 has grown into a progressive animal welfare organization that offers a plethora of services to the community.
2020 Annual Report
The year 2020 was full of surprises, yet HSWC had an incredibly successful year of saving lives. We invite you to view our Annual Report below to learn more.
Colin A. Berry, M.S., Executive Director
Ms. Berry has been in the animal welfare field for close to 20 years. She came to HSWC as Development Director in March 2016 and served as Interim Co-Executive Director from April to September 2019.
Prior to this, she spent the last 12 years working for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), where she gained valuable experience in project development and management, communications and marketing, fundraising, and policy/legislation.
Colin started as program coordinator of the Northern Rockies Regional Office and then
as Colorado state coordinator. She also served in multiple leadership roles at HSUS’s headquarters, including Director of Innovations, Deputy Director of Wildlife Innovations and Response, Humane Wildlife Services’ Communications and Commercial Service Manager, and Wild Neighbors Program Manager.
In addition, Colin worked in the field and responded to Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Katrina, puppy mill seizures, and a high profile dog fighting seizure, and also participated in high-volume spay/neuter clinics and humane education programs on Native American reservations throughout the west. Trained in the remote delivery of wildlife immunocontraception, she co-managed a season of the white-tailed deer PZP program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Colin attributes her intense commitment to animal welfare and love of animal sheltering to her time spent working at the Memphis Humane Society, where she worked as a kennel technician, adoption counselor and then foster coordinator. She also worked at a veterinary clinic and interned for an animal assistance and therapy group.
Colin earned her Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology from the Honors Program at Guilford College and her Master of Science in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. Her Master’s Thesis, Long-Term Outcomes in Animal Hoarding Cases, was published by the peer-reviewed journal, Animal Law Review.
Passionate about the importance of integrated fundraising and communications programs, Colin believes deeply in the power of organizational storytelling.
Officer Crystal Mowery, Field Services Director
Crystal Mowery has a combined experience of 12 years in law enforcement and animal welfare. Crystal began to volunteer with Little Wonders Animal Rescue in 2005 as the Adoption and Foster Coordinator, where she personally guided several hundred
animals into their forever homes.
Her love of the law and respect for law enforcement led Crystal to serve as a Police Communications Operator with the Maryland State Police in 2008. She continued to work with Little Wonders during this time and became a certified Master Wildlife Rehabilitator and a Federally Licensed Rehabilitator through US Fish and Wildlife for Waterfowl.
Crystal’s passion for both the law and animals came together as she joined the Humane Society of Washington County in 2013 as a Field Services Officer. She founded and currently runs the Large Animal Program that helps to provide veterinary care, food, housing and successful adoption placements to farm animals coming from cruelty situations. Crystal helps to successfully prosecute animal cruelty cases. She also assists with the Helping Hands Program to provide valuable education to pet owners in the community. Crystal is a strong advocate for animals with special needs and is eager to help with the most vulnerable animals in the shelter.
Since starting as a Field Services Officer, Crystal has completed numerous trainings, including National Animal Control Academy Level 3, Missouri Law Institute Animal Cruelty Investigator Level 2, New England Academy of Animal Control (all levels), Days End Farm Equine Cruelty Investigator, and has completed her National Animal Control Officer certification through NACHO. She now serves as Field Services Director.
Kimberly Jones, Director of Canine Operations
Kimberly Jones has been an animal rescuer her entire life. From wounded birds to stray cats, life growing up in Southern California was always interesting! However, other than a brief stint at a veterinary hospital, Kim has only been working in animal welfare for six years.
She started with the Humane Society of Washington County in March of 2011 as an administrative assistant. Kim’s tenaciousness paid off as she quickly worked her way up the ranks to become the Volunteer Coordinator, though the shelter only had about 60
volunteers at the time. After attending Animal Care Expo in New Orleans, Kim organized and strengthened the volunteer program which now averages 320 volunteers at any given time, doing everything from dog walking to animal enrichment and anything in between.
With a passion for dog training, behavior and canine communication, Kim began to learn more about training through a volunteer and Certified Dog Trainer. She has worked with shelter dogs in desperate need of behavior modification and the training has resulted in adoptions for these once unadoptable dogs.
Kim has advocated for years on the release of captive orcas in an unofficial capacity and in 2016, she was chosen to represent the HSWC in Annapolis for Lobby Day regarding animal rights.
Her willingness to assist wherever she is needed and her passion for animal advocacy and adoption earned Kim the title of Director of Canine Operations. She now oversees Customer Service, Animal Care, Receiving Clinic, Health and Behavior, Volunteers and the Foster Care Program alongside of the Director of Feline Operations.
Sonia Nicholson, Director of Feline Operations
Sonia Nicholson, affectionately known by staff as Momma, began her career at HSWC as a volunteer with her daughter in 2011. Sonia loved helping at the shelter so much that she applied for a job with Customer Service and was hired as a perfect fit.
While serving as a Customer Service Representative, Sonia helped launch a weekend offsite adoption event at PetSmart that’s been running successfully for over 4 years.
In 2013, the HSWC recognized the need for better housing options for kittens and animals that require more time in care before being adopted. Sonia was asked to develop a Foster Care program in her new role as Foster Care Coordinator. With her guidance and insight, the Foster Care program now houses an average of 300 animals per month which more than doubles the shelter’s humane hold capacity.
To better connect foster animals with permanent homes, Sonia and her foster families collaborated to create the Traveling Fosters in 2015. The Traveling Fosters host their own adoption events so that animals in their care don’t have to return to the shelter. Now a nationally recognized initiative, the Traveling Fosters have been featured by the ASPCA® and awarded several grants to help further the program.
Sonia created a webinar for the ASPCA® Adoption Ambassador program to help other shelters start their own foster/adoption program.
In 2016, Sonia received a scholarship from the ASPCA® to attend the HSUS® Expo in Las Vegas.
Sonia continues to excel in the field of animal welfare. She now oversees HSWC’s Resource Center, Animal Care, Receiving Clinic, and Foster Care Program as Feline Director of Operations.
Teressa Preston, Business Director
Teressa Preston has been in the administrative management field for 23 years and began working in animal welfare when she joined HSWC in 2008. She is currently the Business Director, merging both her experience with administrative
management and her passion for animal welfare.
Teressa’s fantastic negotiation skills with vendors have helped to save thousands of dollars in operational costs. In turn, this has aided HSWC in allocating more funds toward programs specifically geared to improving the lives of animals in its care. Teressa possesses both an aptitude for and interest in financial accounting. Her diligence supports HSWC’s goals of financial responsibility with regard to Board of Directors’ policies, government regulations, and stewardship of donor funds.
A long standing contributor to her community, Teressa is a volunteer at local fire departments in the county. Teressa currently resides in Williamsport with her husband, daughter, grandsons and family pets.
Kelli Lichtenberg, Accountant
Kelli Lichtenberg is a Hagerstown native who began her accounting career in 1999 after graduating from Shepherd University. She had spent her entire accounting career in the healthcare industry and found herself ready for a change when the Accountant position with HSWC
became available. It seemed like a good fit because of her love of animals and also for the ability to stay in a non-profit setting.
In her free time, Kelli enjoys working on her own business, Sweet Rose’s Soap. Kelli lives in Hagerstown with her husband, Mike and their two dogs, Anna & Steele.
Dr. Karen Nelson, DVM
Dr. Karen Nelson came to HSWC full time in 2018 after 30 years in private small animal practice. She is a Georgia native and attended the University of Georgia for both undergraduate (microbiology) and veterinary school.
While still in private practice in the Hagerstown area in 2014, Dr. Nelson began assisting HSWC’s Field Services in some animal cruelty and neglect cases, including testifying in court. This led to an interest in veterinary forensic medicine. Dr. Nelson began taking advanced classes at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary
Medicine and earned her Master’s degree in Veterinary Forensics in December of 2020. This has given her a much more thorough education in how to investigate and successfully prosecute those who mistreat animals.
Although it can be very difficult to see these types of situations, Dr. Nelson feels that it is both her duty and an honor to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
In addition to forensics, Dr. Nelson performs dozens of surgeries every week and also oversees the shelter’s medical protocols. Keeping large numbers of cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and other animals healthy in a shelter setting is very different from seeing single patients in private practice, but it is so rewarding to see them find loving homes!
Dr. Nelson is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. She shares her home with 2 adopted dogs and 3 cats. In her free time she enjoys gardening, music, reading and knitting.
Dr. Felicia Dryburg, DVM
Dr. Felicia Dryburg, a native of West Virginia, has been practicing companion animal medicine and surgery in the region for over 14 years. In 2001, she received her Biology degree from Shepherd College, West Virginia. She received her Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University in Alabama.
Dr. Dryburg is an active member of the
American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the American Association of Veterinary Medicine (AVMA).
Her special interests are feline medicine, surgery, and elimination disorders. In her spare time, Dr. Dryburg enjoys reading, crocheting, and spending time with her family.
Board of Directors
President: Kelly Tracey
Vice President: Jill Reddecliff
Treasurer: Erin Clark
Secretary: Jessica Horn
Directors: Aaron Peteranecz, Julie Draper, Steve Quantock, Paulie Ward, Shannon Cianelli, Ashley Mills, Krystle O'Brien