Ayres' day to day is run by an extremely devoted group of people who our animals know as their families and their hope! Our staff goes above and beyond to do everything in their power to provide our animals with commendable mental, physical and emotional support while they are in our care.
Meet our staff!
Claire Custer - Manager
Claire began working at Ayres in 1998, a young mother and devout animal lover! Claire went to Ayres to adopt a family dog, Zoey. During her time visiting - she inquired about a job posting. She was offered the manager position in 2002. Since then, she has done great with helping to fundraiser and create our very own, low cost, in-house spay and neuter clinic. She has also hired a great staff and helped to grow the number of animals that we take in and help find their own happily every afters. Claire does an incredible job helping adopters, improving the shelter and leading a staff full of heart!
Lorraine began volunteering at Ayres after retiring from teaching at Fort Plain Elementary School. She began working at Ayres in 2009. Lorraine is one of the most kind-hearted women you will ever meet! Before volunteering, she had adopted family dogs from us since Ayres was founded! Lorraine has helped so many people - lots of her previous students - get paired with new family members. She has also gone to local schools, nursing homes and senior clubs to talk about what we do at Ayres! Her education of the community has helped to raise so much awareness about what it is we do!
Marissa is the daughter of Ayres' Manager, Claire. Not only did Ayres become a part of her life at the early age of eight , but her daughter, Cassidy Christman is also being raised for a love of animals and volunteering at Ayres! Marissa does our social media, takes a lot of our pictures and has done such a great job helping grow our volunteer family and has helped to create a raise in the number of animals who find happily ever afters!
Rich Christman began volunteering in 2014 when he met Marissa - his now wife! Rich has opened a dog training business to help dogs before, during and after they come to Ayres. He has helped keep dogs in their homes when owners thought that they had no other choice but to re-home the family pet, when all they needed was a little guidance. He has helped dogs staying at Ayres become more suited for forever homes and being a happy, loving part of a family. Rich has also been a huge help in providing support and advice to new pet owners when they needed it with their new adopted dog! He has been such an intricate part of Ayres and has greatly raised the success rates of adoptions!
Carol Burns has been a dedicated volunteer at Ayres for years. In 2017, we were lucky enough to have her apply for the substitute position. A lifelong animal lover and an absolute life saver when it comes to days we need help.