Our Staff

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Meet Our Shelter Staff!

In addition to the full time management team below, we are extremely grateful for the dedication of our part-time animal handlers who work hard every day improving the quality of lives for the homeless four legged friends in our care, and for our very committed volunteers who give of their time to help us achieve our mission.


Jen Schaafsma- Assistant Director 1Jen Schaafsma - Shelter Director

Jen Schaafsma commenced her remarkable journey with the Animal Control Department in October of 2019 and quickly established herself as an invaluable member of the team. Holding a degree in Criminal Justice, she possesses a profound empathy for both animals and people, embodying a rare combination of strength and compassion. Her exceptional ability to maintain a positive high energy level, complemented by a calm demeanor, has consistently enabled her to navigate challenging situations with remarkable poise and effectiveness. In November of 2023, she was promoted to Shelter Director, leading with dedication and expertise while overseeing the general operations of the shelter. Jen's fervent dedication, coupled with her unparalleled expertise, continues to make a meaningful impact on the shelter's mission and the lives of the animals it serves. Her steadfast leadership and unwavering commitment to both the animals and the community uphold the shelter's reputation as a beacon of hope for both animals in need and those seeking to provide them with a loving home.

Maxine Spencer- Medical Coordinator 1

Maxine Spencer - Assistant Director

Maxine Spencer is a remarkable and compassionate individual who has made a profound impact at the Porter County Animal Shelter since November 2019. Her journey began as a dog handler, a role in which her sincere love and empathy for animals shone through. In May 2021, she transitioned to the position of Medical Technician, where she demonstrated exceptional skill and dedication in examining, vaccinating, and tending to the health concerns of the animals with steadfast care and adherence to Fear Free protocols.

In November 2023, Maxine's dedication and passion led her to the role of Assistant Director, where she oversees the shelter's operations and provides exceptional guidance to our medical technicians. Alongside her medical and health coordination responsibilities, Maxine also takes great pride in managing the shelter's volunteer program, fostering community engagement and enriching the lives of the animals under her care.

Maxine's commitment to animal welfare, her gentle and nurturing approach, and her ability to inspire and lead both staff and volunteers make her an indispensable and inspirational figure at the shelter. Maxine's unwavering dedication, love for animals, and holistic approach to their well-being make her an invaluable asset and a symbol of hope for all the animals at the shelter.

Photo of staff member with dog

Dawn Harbaugh - Intake & Adoption Coordinator

A lifelong animal lover, Dawn has dedicated over 15 years to finding furry friends their forever homes. As the adoption coordinator at the Shelter, her days are filled with matching pets to parents - fielding inquiries, arranging vet care, and guiding families through the adoption process. With over a decade on staff plus two years as a volunteer, Dawn's commitment shines through. Her favorite moments are hearing back from new pet parents about their new adopted pet thriving in their new homes. Particularly special are the senior and special needs animals who blossom thanks to a second chance. When she's not busy finding pet families at work, Dawn continues her mission by providing senior dogs loving homes of their own through adoption.

Photo of staff member with dog

Danielle Lopez - Public Relations Coordinator

Danielle is often the first face you will see or voice you will hear when you visit or call the Shelter. In many ways, she is the liaison between our two legged visitors and our four legged guests. Danielle takes in the lost and stray animals, helps reunite them with there families, and works with the public to find forever homes for those who are not reunited. Danielle has been with the Shelter for over 5 years, and is overwhelmingly gratified by helping to positively change the lives of our animals and their families.
Jenna

Jenna Fitzpatrick- Medical Technician

Jenna began her journey at the Porter County Animal Shelter in October of 2022 as a dog handler where she quickly found her purpose among the shelter’s residents. Her deep love and compassion for animals however, started far before then. Raised in the countryside, animal-best friends have been no stranger to Jenna. From aiding sick or injured wildlife in her backyard, to raising her own livestock, and even rehabilitating strays that found their way to her own front door. Every animal encounter has provided her unforgettable memories, and taught even more valuable lessons. As one of our medical technicians here at the shelter, Jenna is responsible for intakes on any stray or lost animals brought through our doors. Always making an effort to establish trusting relationships with scared and sick animals while also monitoring their progress through treatments. Assuring that your future best friends are safe, healthy, and happy before they make their way onto the adoption floor. Jenna's favorite part about her job is serving a pivotal role in our mission here at PCAS, giving animals a second chance at life. No thanks is greater than that of an animal, who can only show you through their eyes and soul the appreciation they feel for you.

Lost Animals

Medical Technician