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Who we are 🤗

Our Mission

We rescue and protect companion animals by providing for their wellbeing, uniting them with loving homes, and advocating for a compassionate society.

Our Vision

We envision a society where all dogs and cats have a loving home and the bond between pets and people is celebrated.

Meet the Team 🙋🏻‍♂️

AAHS Staff Members

Cheryl McCormick, Ph.D.


Pronouns: she/hers/her

Cheryl McCormick is a nonprofit CEO with a passion for fund development, board relations and strategy development and execution. Her highest calling is generating excitement and momentum around an inspiring vision that strengthens organizational commitment and attracts donor investment.

Dr. McCormick is the CEO of the Athens Humane Society and Founder of Ascend Nonprofit Consulting & Executive Coaching, providing fundraising services, strategic planning, and board training to small and mid-sized nonprofits. She has served as Executive Director of several California-based NGOs, including AIM Youth Mental Health (Carmel), Lindsay Wildlife Experience (Walnut Creek), YWCA Monterey County (Salinas), and the American Cetacean Society (Los Angeles). She also served as Director of Conservation at the Santa Lucia Conservancy (Carmel).

Dr. McCormick received a BA in Environmental Science from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, MA in Geography (GIS & Remote Sensing) from the University of Georgia, and Ph.D. in Ecology from the Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia. In 2018, she received an appointment as Visiting Research Scientist at the Center for Geospatial Research at the University of Georgia, directing graduate research investigating anthropogenic impacts in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon.

In 2019, Dr. McCormick received a Certificate in Fund Raising Management (CFRM) from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. She was certified in 2012 as an executive coach through the International Coach Federation. She is an active member of the Grant Professionals Association (GPA) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Dr. McCormick is a co-author of Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants on Florida’s Natural Areas (2nd Edition), and has published numerous literature reviews, statewide invasive species management plans and research articles. She has served on a number of nonprofit boards, most recently the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Monterey Bay Chapter and BlueVoice.org. In her personal time, Dr. McCormick enjoys long distance trail running and creating unforgettable artisanal buffalo milk gelato.

Jed Kaylor

Program Director

Pronouns: he/him/his

Jed began his professional career with animals in the year 2000 at Bowdon Animal Hospital in his hometown, Bowdon, Georgia. He has always had an affinity for all animals, owning several family pets and farm animals. A particular favorite of his is the humble goat, for their quirky personalities and their cute appearances. Jed would work there until graduation in 2004 before moving to Athens, GA and landing his next job in the veterinary field at South Athens Animal Clinic. He would where he worked until 2014, before becoming a part of the AAHS family in August of 2014 as the Kennel Manager of what used to be just a cat shelter. He would go on to implement a dog rescue program, our widely known food bowl program, a foster/volunteer program, a transport program, and so much more. With his guiding hand and heart, AAHS put itself on the map as Athens' favorite animal rescue. It wasn't long before he was working his way through the ranks and earning himself the title of Shelter Director with 6800 + pets adoptions under his belt and with so many more lives to save. Even as an administrator, he still finds himself amongst the day-to-day action, like personally driving our transport vehicle across state lines for the sake of disaster pet rescue relief during hurricane season. Jed Kaylor now serves as our Program Director, where he hopes to impact more lives and extend our reach even further.

Kendall Hoyt

Director of Finance and Operations

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Joining the Athens Area Humane Society team in May 2020 with a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia, we have one of our brightest and best, Kendall Hoyt. She holds a BSBA in Marketing from Western Carolina University in December 2015. Kendall has a lifelong affinity for animal welfare, convincing her parents to adopt many stray companion animals as a child. When the opportunity to join a team to help AAHS grow and bring awareness to a cause she holds dear to her heart, she jumped at it. When she’s not working, Kendall enjoys crafting and baking for her friends and family and attending UGA football games. She lives in Athens with her boyfriend and their mischievous, lovable pup, Cooper.

Cronweld Leon

Marketing & Communications Manager

Pronouns: he/him/his

Cronweld was born in Los Angeles, California but was practically raised right here in Georgia. He grew up with one loyal, family dog and several cats throughout his childhood. He knew from an early age that philanthropic work was definitely his professional interest, but working for the betterment of underserved animals did not dawn on him until he began volunteering here at AAHS during his undergraduate career in college. Cronweld graduated in 2015 with a degree in Mass Media Arts from the University of Georgia. He began his professional career right here at Athens Area Humane Society as our Clinic Receptionist a week after graduating. He would go on to become our Clinic Coordinator, helping organize nearly 5,000 altering surgeries every year amongst families, rescues, and our own shelter pets. In August 2018 he would go on to serve as our Social Media Coordinator using his voice to bring a new personality to our digital presence. In May 2020 he came on board our leadership team as our Marketing & Communications Director hoping to extend our reach even further through the power of the internet.

Erin Turner

Associate Director of Donor Stewardship

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Born and raised in Georgia, Erin attended the University of Georgia, graduating in 2017 with degrees in Psychology and Communication Studies. She spent a few years trying different things and fell in love with non-profit work. While spending two years in Development at the Clarke County Mentor Program, Erin began a part-time position with us as our Donor Relations & Stewardship Coordinator. When the opportunity arose for Erin to dig deeper into fundraising, she couldn’t wait! As of July 2021, Erin is our Associate Director of Donor Relations and helping build relationships with the folks who make our program what it is.

While growing up with pets, Erin didn’t fall in love with animals until adopting Cali, a tortie, from the Athens Area Humane Society in 2015. Erin currently resides on a few acres in Oglethorpe County, with her husband, two cats (Cali & Archie), dog (Brooks- AAHS Alum too!), five chickens, and one rooster (Peggy!).

Cook English, DVM

Associate Veterinarian

Pronouns: he/him/his

Dr. English is a Class of 2020 graduate of the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, and he wears the title of “Dawgtor” with pride and panache. Dr. English grew up just down the road in Macon and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Furman University in the upstate metropolis of Greenville, SC . After a brief stint in private practice in Arizona, he is thankful to have the opportunity to return to Athens and is extremely excited to serve the Northeast Georgia community. Dr. English particularly enjoys diagnostic imaging and surgery in the clinic. Outside of work you can find him hiking, kayaking, or enjoying a local beer and a board game.
Fun fact: Dr. English owns approximately 50 succulents!

Stephen Zantinga

Shelter Manager

Pronouns: he/him/his

Stephen was born in Barcelona, Spain, and spent his early years with his family in Friesland, Netherlands. He moved with his family to America at the age of 7 and has resided in Georgia since then. He grew up around animal care his entire life with heavy influences to join the animal industry professionally, like his grandfather--veterinarian and patent holder of the influenza vaccine for pigs. Stephen graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor's Degree of Science and Biology with a Pre-Vet Pathway in 2017. Stephen has had numerous jobs in the animal care field spanning eight years, from Reptile and Small Animal Specialist at Petco to Kennel Technician at Clairmont Animal Hospital. He started volunteering at the Athens Area Humane Society in 2015 in the spay/neuter clinic and with our adoptable pets. He enjoys taking his dog, Tally, to the skatepark to run down the ramps and follow him around the park in his free time. One of his favorite moments in the world is going to the dog park and seeing animals he's adopted out--living their best life. He also enjoys creating music and spending time with close friends. Stephen has helped adopted out approximately 1,500 - 2,000 animals since his time working for the AAHS and can't wait to impact more lives, both furry and hooman!

Cooper Dooley-Hoyt

Chief Morale Officer

Pronouns: good boy, doggo

While still a puppy, he has vast experience in morale management as he accompanies his mom, Kendall, to work. Cooper was found in a cardboard box on the Oconee Connector. After his stray hold was up, he was transferred to AAHS and immediately fostered by a couple that would soon officially become his parents. When he’s not napping on his mom’s desk or serving as a paper shredder, he can be found running joyfully around the office. While he will not willingly give anyone his prized squeaker toys, he will gladly show them off to whoever is around. Cooper enjoys jumping into unsuspecting laps, giving slobbery kisses, and most importantly, bringing smiles to everyone’s faces!

AAHS Board Members

Christina J. Moore - President
Tracy Mathews - Treasurer
Carol Bitner: At Large
Jason Leonard: At Large
Dawn Porter: At Large
Allison E. McCarthy, Esq.: At Large
Joseph Quirk: At Large
Allyson B. Hester - Vice President
Monica Figueiredo, DVM, Ph.D. - Secretary
Tom Spencer: At Large
Lindsey B. Woodard: At Large
Lindsay Lucas McConnell: At Large
Dana Skelton: At Large
Luke Rabun: At Large

Job Opportunities With AAHS

Visit our careers page for more information.