The Manchester Animal Shelter is looking to recruit new community members to help with this important work. The shelter is looking for interested candidates with expertise in specific areas such as: legal, financial, fundraising, PR/marketing, facility management, human resources, and non-profit experience.
For more information click here to email!
Cassandra Gatsas, Co-President
Political activist and the proud wife of Ted Gatsas Executive Council. Cassandra has been a member of FMAS since its inception, as well as a member of the Board of Directors since 1995. Currently serves as Co-President. Proud owner of 2 cats King Scotty Kimba (Kimba) and Princess Aruba Ruby (Ruby). Also the owner of 5 cats that have gone to kitty heaven. CC, Cocoa, Cufki, Bosco, and Emma.
Journey Ewell, Co-President
Journey has been in the animal rescue field for over 20 years. She has been with FMAS since March 2003 and joined the board in March 2006. Journey’s passion has always been spay/neuter, the only way to end the over pet population. In 2009, she established two successful spay/neuter programs for FMAS; the Quick Fix Clinic and Fix-a-Pit. Over 7,000 cats have been fixed through the Quick Fix Program and over 1,000 pit bulls have been altered for free through the Fix-a-Pit program. Journey also implemented the Pet Food Pantry, Southern Dog Transport Program, Reading to Dogs Program and our newly established Humane Education Program.
In 2006, Journey was voted Volunteer of the Year by her peers. In 2013, she was named one of Union Leader’s ’40 Under 40′ and that same year received WZID’s 20 Outstanding Women’s award. She also received the The Spirit of New Hampshire Awards for her volunteerism in state of New Hampshire. She served as Vice President of both Animal Allies and Animal Rescue Veterinary Services.
Journey chairs the annual Wine and Chocolate Fundraiser. She shares her home with her two dogs, Cooper and Weston, both adopted from FMAS. Her beloved dog Glory, a rescued Pit Bull, and many cats who have all since passed away will always remain in her heart.
Shannon Katz, CPA, MSA, Treasurer
Shannon is a Senior Associate at LitmanGerson Associates, LLP, a public accounting firm. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Accountancy from Bentley University. She grew up in Rhode Island and moved to New Hampshire with her husband in 2016. Shannon joined FMAS in 2018 but has been a lover of animals her entire life. She lived on a horse farm in Florida and has owned various pets from bearded dragons and gerbils to a pittie and cats. Her most recent brood consists of two cats, Sita and Laci, who are both rescues from Florida, and Nova, a Great Pyrenees/Pitbull rescue from FMAS!
Casey Leach, Secretary
Casey Leach is the Director of Advancement at High Mowing School, a preK through grade 12 Waldorf School in Wilton, NH. Casey is a professional fundraiser and brings vast knowledge and skills based many years in the development world. She received her Masters in Public Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Management and her BA in Public Policy from the University at Albany. After finishing graduate school, she played professional volleyball in Denmark for one season. Casey and her husband live in Goffstown with their dog, Kingston.
Donna has been part of the Merchants Fleet’s senior leadership team for the past 20 years.. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from NHC (now known as SNHU). Joining the board in 2019, she brings to FMAS many years of operational discipline and financial proficiency. Donna and her family have a passion for animal welfare and have adopted several pets and taken in strays that have found their way to their homes. Donna currently lives in Hooksett with her rescue dog Charles (adopted from FMAS) and cat Ollie.
From guinea pigs to African tree frogs to cats, Kria Sakakeeny has always lived with an animal in her life and owes much of her daily joy to her pets. Kria Sakakeeny is a Boston native and moved to New Hampshire in 2005. She works as a broadcast news reporter for WMUR-TV where she also anchors the weekend evening newscasts. Kria became involved with the Friends of Manchester Animal Shelter by fostering litters of kittens and eventually adopted one of her foster cats, Lilly, who she adores. Kria eventually joined the FMAS Board of Directors in the winter of 2008.
Since moving to New Hampshire Kria earned her Master’s Degree in Community Economic Development from SNHU. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Boston University. Kria believes strongly in community service, she has worked with Literacy Volunteers of America and Emcee’s annual events for charitable organizations throughout New Hampshire. Her commitment to FMAS is largely in honor of her cat Eartha, who has passed away but whose love is ever-present.
Chris was born and raised in Manchester NH, born to parents that taught their children the importance of service to others. When Chris’s children were younger, she volunteered at school and sporting events. Roles included team mom, cheer coach, gymnastics mom, hockey mom, team mom, party planner, Hockey Board secretary – anything the children were involved with, Chris was too. Prior to volunteering with FMAS, Chris volunteered with two other non-profit organizations, Granite State Dog Recovery and more recently, with Peace and Paws Dog Rescue, serving two years as Secretary of the Board for that organization.
Chris has volunteered with FMAS since 2014. She spends countless hours as a member of our Special Needs Team socializing shy and scared cats and states that her proudest cat moment is when she gets word from an adopter with the news of how amazing a once shy and scared cat is doing in their home. She assists staff with cat adoptions and trapping and has fostered countless kittens over the years. Chris co-manages the shelter’s Facebook page, assists with lost/found cat reports, and advises folks on how to help bring their lost cat home.
Chris is a strong advocate of Trap-Neuter-Return for community cats, and since 2015, has trapped more than 200 cats and kittens in the small NH community in which she lives.
Chris and her husband, Jim, have two adult children and two beautiful granddaughters. They share their home with three rescue cats, Trouble and Brittany, both adopted from FMAS, and Stray Boy, a once feral neighborhood rescue. Chris earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Paralegal Sciences from Notre Dame College and has worked as a Litigation Paralegal with Wadleigh, Starr & Peters in Manchester for more than 25 years.