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.
Photo of staff member with cat

Toni Bianchi - Shelter Director

(Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed
(Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed)
(Certified Dog Behavior Consultant)
Shelter Behavior Affiliate
Toni has been Shelter Director for four years, and volunteered at the shelter for several years before that.  As Director, Toni monitors, evaluates and improves services provided by the Animal Shelter and Animal Control. She is responsible for developing, implementing and assessing long range/strategic planning and policies and staying abreast of current animal welfare issues and sheltering standards. What she likes most about her job is helping to ensure that homeless animals have a safe place to stay until their forever home can be found.

Photo of staff member with kitten

Darrin Biggs - Assistant Shelter Director

Darrin provides daily supervision of the Porter County Animal Shelter and our staff. He reviews and updates Shelter procedures and guidelines, and assures that they are properly implemented. He also assures that our animal care programs are administered humanely. Darrin has been at the Shelter for over 6 years, helping sick animals heal is his greatest satisfaction.
Photo of staff member with dog

Dawn Harbaugh - Intake & Adoption Coordinator

Dawn manages all intakes and adoptions at the Shelter, which includes answering all adoption and intake phone and email inquiries, maintaining the pet inventory data base, arranging spay/neuter and veterinary appointments, assisting potential adopters with the adoption process plus various administrative duties. She has been at the Shelter for over 10 years, including 2 years as a volunteer and 8 years as a staff member. Dawn's favorite part of her job is hearing from adopters about how well their new furry family member is doing in their new home, especially when the animal was a long term resident of the shelter and/or came to us in poor shape.
Calli Empey

Calli Empey, CPDT-KA, SBA - Behavior & Rescue Coordinator

As the Behavior Coordinator, it is Calli's job to work with the dogs that need behavior modification in order to be the best dog they can be! Calli recently received certification from the CCPDT as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. As Rescue Coordinator, it is her job to find placement for the animals that need a calmer environment that what the shelter can offer. Calli's favorite part of her job is building bonds with each of the animals she works with in order to find them the perfect forever family. She loves putting together behavior plans to ensure these animals get the enrichment and training they deserve.
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 overwhelming gratified by helping to positively change the lives of our animals and their families.