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Our Amazing Staff

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Kerry Dobson

Executive Director

Kerry joined PAWS in December 2022. She comes with 30 years of experience in animal welfare and non- profit animal organizations.


Kerry enjoys quilting, sewing, and baking. She plans to spoil staff and volunteers with new cookie recipes. Her loving family consists of a husband, two daughters, and two rescue huskies.


Phone: (203) 750-9572 x 106  |  Email:

Barrie Sesmer

Feline Coordinator

Barrie Joined PAWS in January 2022 following 16 months as a PAWS volunteer on both the cat and dog sides. She has many years of experience fostering, transporting, socializing, and adopting out both cats and dogs.


When not a PAWS she can be found at home with her husband, 4 cats, 1 dog, and frequent fosters, all rescues! Her 3 non-furbabies have left the nest.

Phone: (203) 750-9572 x102  |  Email:

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Susan Gerstenmaier

Dog Team Leader

Susan joined PAWS as an official staff member in March 2023 after volunteering her time for eight years. She began her journey as a dog volunteer, walking the dogs and then progressed to working with those dogs who had behavioral challenges. Her passion has always been about giving a voice to the voiceless. She couldn’t think of a better place of employment than to work at PAWS.


When not at PAWS, you will find Susan either playing with her rescues Otis and Gracie Mae, cooking, reading, or enjoying time with her husband, family, and friends.

Phone: (203) 750-9572  |  Email:

Amy Buckman

Dog Adoption Coordinator

Amy joined Paws as the Dog Adoption Coordinator in March 2023 after volunteering as a dog walker and adoption counselor for almost 2 years. She fostered multiple dogs during the Covid pandemic and loves nothing more than matching the wonderful dogs who arrive at PAWS with their forever families. 


When not at PAWS, Amy can be found on the tennis or paddle courts. Her loving family consists of her husband and 3 children as well Otis, her 11-year-old bunny; Kenzie, her 10-year-old doodle; and her 2 rescues, Hazel the Havanese and Cannoli, the guinea pig. 

Phone: (203) 750-9572 x 109  Email:

Tori Haave

Medical Coordinator


Tori joined PAWS in 2016 as an animal care attendant and has now worked her way up to being our Medical Coordinator. She is a die hard animal lover, adopting a PAWS cat, dog, and even a PAWS turtle. She has spent the last few years learning from previous PAWS vet techs, veterinarians, and even spent some time working at a local veterinary hospital to further her skills. She takes pride in the fact that she loves all of our animals as much as she loves her own.


When not at PAWS, you can find her at home booking yet another trip to Disney World, or slaving away to her kitty, who is the king of the house.  

Phone: (203) 750-9572 x110  |   Email:

Lisa DiDonato

Volunteer Coordinator

Lisa has worked at PAWS as the Volunteer Coordinator for the past 12 years. She feels extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to combine her love for animals with her skills as a Masters level Social Worker. From the moment she assisted her mother, when she was setting up an Animal Assisted Therapy Program, Lisa knew she wanted to work with animals and people. Lisa believes she was always meant to be in a place where people and animals are intertwined in a deep respect for each other. She has found that in her work at PAWS, and is reminded of that, as each animal leaves the doors at PAWS with their new owners for their second chance at a better life.


Lisa keeps very busy at home as well with her husband, two sons, and three dogs which includes one she is currently fostering (all rescued from PAWS).


Phone: (203)750-9572 x103  |  Email: 

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