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Mass Animal Fund - Who We Are

The Mass Animal Fund is staffed under the Department of Agricultural Resources. An Advisory committee assists the Department of Agricultural Resources in establishing procedures for the disbursement of funds from the Mass Animal Fund.




Sheri Gustafson

Program Coordinator for the Mass Animal Fund. Former Acting Program Coordinator & Spay/Neuter Community Liaison for the Mass Animal Fund. Former Volunteer Coordinator at Lowell Humane Society. Previously worked for Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) Nevins Farm, Humane Society University, and Central Animal Hospital. Active volunteer technician for spay/neuter clinics at Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society (MRFRS), Commonwealth Cats, Animal Rescue League of Boston, and MSPCA Shalit-Glazer Clinic.

Contact Sheri: sheri.gustafson@state.ma.us


Kyle Baron

Kyle Baron

Community Liaison for the Mass Animal Fund. Previously worked for Mass Audubon and the Boston Museum of Science as a STEM & outdoor educator. Graduated from UMass Amherst with a MS in Environmental Conservation and a BS in Animal Science. Has worked with both domestic animals and wildlife for several years. Loves dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles, and birds.

Contact Kyle: kyle.baron@mass.gov




Advisory Committee Members are appointed by the Governor. It is required by statute that all members must have an active interest in educating residents relative to the benefits of pet population control.

To learn more about the law pertaining to the formation of the advisory committee, click here.

The next meeting of the advisory committee will be held on June16th, 2022, from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM  on  ZOOM. You can find the agenda for this meeting here. You can view the minutes from the previous advisory committee meetings here. 1/23/19  4/9/19 6/13/19 10/8/19 1/14/20 4/14/20 6/23/20 9/1/20 9/17/20 11/10/2020 2/10/2021 4/6/2021 6/29/2021 11/16/2021, 3/2/2022


Kara Holmquist

Director of advocacy for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). Lobbies for stronger animal protection laws in the state legislature. Graduate of Suffolk University Law School. On the board of the Massachusetts Animal Coalition. Founder of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Animal Law Practice Group.


Laura E. Marwill

Currently the CEO of a busy household, Laura has actively participated in both the private and public sectors.  Before retiring to raise her family, she was Vice President of Fixed Income Sales in the BankBoston Capital Markets group.  More recently, she completed a 6-year appointment to the Town of Hingham Advisory Committee.  She graduated with a BA from the College of the Holy Cross.  In 2015, Laura’s family adopted 2 kittens from a local shelter.


Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore

Veterinarian experienced in animal welfare, animal shelter medicine, high volume spay/neuter, and animal cruelty investigations. Adjunct professor at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and a Fellow at the Center for Animals and Public Policy at Tufts University Cummings Veterinary School. President of a private animal cruelty investigation consulting firm, Forensic Veterinary Investigations, LLC.


Ray West

District Manager of Central New England for PetSmart since 2001. Committed to not selling dogs or cats in-store and donating space to local adoption groups in every branch location. District Manager of CVS Pharmacy for 20 years. Graduate of Winthrop High School and Suffolk University. Has two daughters and a grandson, two Chihuahuas, a Cocker Spaniel, and a Bichon.

Deanna Gualtieri

Deanna Gualtieri

Animal control officer for the city of Waltham. Mass licensed wildlife rehabilitator since 2006. Has worked with animals, wild and domestic, since her first job at an animal hospital at 15 yr old. Graduate of UMass Amherst with a BS in animal science, co-founder and president of Northeast Wildlife Animal Rehabilitation Coalition (NEW ARC) and Mom to several dogs, cats, and ferrets.



David Feldman

Former Mass Animal Fund Advisory Committee Member. Lawyer, mediator, teacher, negotiator and businessman for over 30 years. Passionate animal lover. Therapeutic riding with special needs children and adults. Training therapy dogs to visit nursing homes. Directly working for and supporting local and national animal shelters. Certified small animal (dogs and cats) massage therapist since 2011. Graduate of the Bancroft School in Worcester, Massachusetts.