Staff

We are proud to be able to have a high staff to animal ratio to care for the animal residents in the sanctuary. Most of our animals are elderly and/or have special needs and it is important that they not only have their health care tended to but also that they have joy and enrichment. Our staff is a key component in the lives of our animals.

Heading up the daily management are Bonnie Reynolds, President, Dawn Hayman, Vice-President, and Margot Unkel, Treasurer. All three are on site 24/7/365 and assist with and manage all aspects of the administrative and daily operation of the farm.

Animal Sanctuary

Senior Animal Caretaker - Large Animals

Taylor Kruger

Senior Animal Caretaker - Large Animals

Taylor started working for us in 2014 as a Large Animal Caretaker. At the time, Taylor was totally new to horses, farm animals, and farm machinery. But Taylor’s nurturing way with the animals served him and the animals very well. Taylor’s work and dedication earned him his current position as Senior Animal Caretaker for Large Animals where he supervises the daily care of the animals as well as projects to be done around the farm.

We are happy to have Taylor as a part of our team.

Senior Animal Caretaker - Large Animals

Cate McGrath

Senior Animal Caretaker - Large Animals

Cate started working for us in 2016 as an Animal Caretaker for large animals. At the time, Cate was new to horses and farm work but she worked incredibly hard to learn all that she could. Cate’s abilities to work with the horses and other farm animals, as well as her people skills,  earned her a promotion to Senior Caretaker where she supervises the daily operation of the barn/farm.

Farm work is very demanding. There are constant projects to do and the animals need to be cared for no matter what day of the week or what weather conditions. Cate has learned an enormous amount in a relatively short time and we are very pleased to have her as an important part of our animal care team.

Senior Animal Caretaker - Small Animals

Jessica Vetter

Senior Animal Caretaker - Small Animals

Jessica started working for us in 2013 as a small animal caretaker. Her skills of working with the animals and people earned her a promotion to Senior Animal Caretaker where she supervises the daily operations in our small animal facility.

Jessica also came to us with a background in Graphic Arts and now also works several days a week in our office helping Director Dawn Hayman with special projects. We are thrilled to be able to tap into Jessica’s creative talents as well as her animal skills. We are very excited to have Jessica be an important part of our animal care and office team.

Senior Animal Caretaker - Small Animals

Elizabeth Lowe

Senior Animal Caretaker - Small Animals

Elizabeth started with us in 2013 as a small animal caretaker. Elizabeth has a great way with the animals and also with people. Her skills and experience brought her to the position of Senior Animal Caretaker where she supervises the daily operations in the small animal facility.

When Eloise, the pig, first came to the farm, she was put in the small animal facility for her to recover from her abuse/neglect situation. Elizabeth became a key person in Eloise’s recovery. And it is fair to say that Eloise and her 6 babies have become a place of peace and comfort for Elizabeth. Even though the pigs are now living down in the barn, Elizabeth is still involved in their daily care. She helps nurture them, they help nurture her. The perfect situation. We are very lucky to have Elizabeth as a vital part of our animal care team.

Directors & Founders

Treasurer, Director

Margot Unkel

Margot B. Unkel, Ph.D.

Treasurer, Director

Margot joined Bonnie and Dawn in the leadership of Spring Farm CARES in 1995. She taught recreation and park management at Texas A & M and Ithaca College, and was Assistant Research Professor at the University of Washington College of Forest Resources. She also put in time with IBM as a Systems Engineer, and with Boise Cascade as a Management Consultant. Along the way, she co-founded Service Dogs, Inc., in Oakland California, and Animals in Distress, a wildlife rehabilitation organization in Boise, Idaho. During an eight-year period she was a volunteer at the Idaho Humane Society, acting variously as treasurer, vice-President, and President, while also creating their computerized animal shelter management system, and writing important surveys. Spring Farm CARES lucked out when she joined our team.

Co-Founder, Vice-President

Dawn Hayman

Dawn E. Hayman

Co-Founder, Vice-President

Dawn is one of the pioneers in the field of Animal Communication. She and Bonnie worked in partnership as TT.E.A.M. practitioners and professional hypnotists before founding Spring Farm CARES in 1991. Dawn has a B.S. in Social Work. She is author of ANIMAL WISDOM FOR MANKIND, co-author of the Spring Farm CARES biography IF ONLY THEY COULD TALK: The Miracles of Spring Farm, and a contributing author in several other books and periodicals. Her work has been featured in many magazines such as Practical Horseman and Equus, as well as many other publications over the years. Dawn has been a professional animal communicator, doing consultations and teaching, since 1987. She has consulted with more than 50,000 animals and brings that vast knowledge and experience with her in her teaching and writing. You can find more information about Dawn, her consultations and workshops, and many of the messages given to her by our animals, on the Animal Communication page.

Co-Founder, President

Bonnie Jones Reynolds

Bonnie Jones Reynolds

Co-Founder, President

Raised on Spring Farm, Bonnie pursued successful careers in dancing, then modeling, then acting. She appeared on stage, including Broadway, and in TV shows like M*A*S*H. She is also the author of best selling novels THE TRUTH ABOUT UNICORNS and THE CONFETTI MAN, the yoga textbook BIKRAM’S BEGINNING YOGA CLASS, now in its 27th year in print, and co-author of the Spring Farm CARES biography IF ONLY THEY COULD TALK: The Miracles of Spring Farm, and The Magdalen.

Assistant Director

Robin Genovese-Kaminski

Robin Kaminski, LVT

Assistant Director

Robin started with Spring Farm CARES in 2010 as a Small Animal Care Technician and Licensed Veterinary Technician. Robin brings with her years of experience working in different veterinary clinic settings ranging from daytime practices to emergency medicine.Her skills and knowledge as an LVT serve our animals very well. Her decades of experience as a horse trainer also helps us improve the lives of our horses. All of this, coupled with her connection, love, deep understanding and respect for animals makes her an exceptional asset to this organization.

As our Assistant Director, Robin is in charge of the daily health, well-being, and enrichment of all of our animal residents. She also manages the entire small animal care staff and assists the Directors with all of our programs and daily operations. Robin is on call 24/7 for any animal emergencies that come up. The doors may close to the public at 5pm but the animals are always cared for around the clock every single day. We are thrilled and excited to have Robin working along with us and continuing moving forward with the journey of this organization. She truly understands and embodies the mission of Spring Farm CARES.

Nature Sanctuary

Naturalist

Natalie Parent

Natalie Parent

Naturalist

Natalie Parent started working at the nature sanctuary in 2014 and within a year she took on the role as the primary horticulturist. As an herbalist she has studied the medicinal uses of plants as well as the relationship that plants have to people and cultures around the world.

Natalie is currently exploring the relationship between insect pollinators and the flowers they co-evolved with. Natalie’s travels from Mexican deserts to the boreal forests of Canada have given her a wide range of experiences with North American plant species. Combining that knowledge with her green thumb, she has created Spring Farm CARES’ most diverse and compelling native wildflower garden. In this unique garden she has seamlessly integrated the rare with the common, and the most useful herbs with the most important nectar sources for native pollinators. A visit to Natalie’s garden could be likened to an expedition to an exotic paradise.

Naturalist

Tim Johnston

Tim Johnston

Naturalist

Tim Johnston has always been fascinated with nature. This likely stems from growing up with family members who shared their own love of nature with him and taught him the value of being awestruck by its beauty and complexity. Tim graduated from Ohio State University in 2007 with a degree in Biology. Since then he has taught at various environmental programs and camps. He has also worked closely with captive wild animals, gaining valuable husbandry experience, which he would like to use in the future for wildlife rehabilitation.

Throughout his life, Tim has spent his leisure time exploring and studying the natural world. He came to work for Spring Farm CARES in 2015, and is grateful for the opportunity to focus his talents on meaningful conservation projects that build habitat and assist wildlife.

Naturalist and Spring Farm CARES Conservation Director

Matt Perry

Matt Perry

Naturalist and Spring Farm CARES Conservation Director

Matt Perry is Spring Farm CARES’ Conservation Director and nature sanctuary manager. He is recognized throughout the region as an authority on wild birds, their habitat and behavior. Among his specialties are neo-tropical songbirds and Peregrine Falcons. He also has an extensive knowledge of beavers and the flora and fauna that inhabit the wetlands that beavers create.

At the nature sanctuary, Matt has been the Resident Naturalist since 1999. Since then he’s overseen habitat restoration projects including an ambitious reforestation project and a native wildflower/herb restoration project.

In recent years Matt has written dozens of articles about his experiences with wildlife at the nature sanctuary. These have been published in Mohawk Valley Living Magazine. Matt is also a regional editor of The Kingbird, which is a quarterly journal published by The New York State Ornithological Association. Matt is a popular speaker and presenter and has given many wildlife presentations to community organizations and schools throughout Central New York.

Office

Office Manager

Nancy Herrick

Nancy Herrick

Office Manager

Nancy is our newest member of our Management staff, joining our team in 2017. We are blessed to have found Nancy just as Karen, our office manager for the past 19 years, retired. Nancy says that finding Spring Farm CARES feels like coming home. We feel the same and are happy to welcome her home.

Nancy grew up on a Morgan horse farm in Hamilton and was surrounded by animals of all shapes and sizes. She has a BS in Equine Science from Colorado State University. She brings with her experience in both medical and veterinary offices and enjoys working with people and helping others solve problems.

Nancy spent the last 15 years managing the breeding activities as well as office duties for a large animal veterinary practice. She brings with her wonderful horse knowledge and skills as well as office skills and stepped into a new position here at Spring Farm that feels like she has been here for years. Nancy not only takes calls, emails, and answers mail among all her other tasks of keeping our office running smoothly, but she also helps out with the medical records and daily medical treatment sheets for our horses. We welcome Nancy and look forward to a lot of years ahead together.