Dakin Humane Society's Humane Awards

Thanks to everyone who submitted nominations for the 2020 Dakin Humane Awards!   We appreciate hearing about those in our community who make life better for animals as well as the people who love them.

We announced the winners of the 2020 Dakin Humane Awards during our Barks & Brews at Home virtual event experience on October 4, 2020.  Each of them is making a difference in our community through their dedication and hard work, and we are proud to honor them.

There will be more information about the 2021 Dakin Humane Awards soon, so keep an eye on this page.  

In the meantime, we salute the winners of the 2020 Dakin Humane Awards...read about them below!

2020 Humane Award Winners

Richard and Nathalie Woodbury Philanthropy Award - Liz Collins

This award recognizes people who secure Dakin’s future by sharing time, talent and financial resources to improve the lives of animals and the people who love them.  Liz has been an outspoken advocate for animals for several years.  She was honored for her incredible work serving as the Secretary of the Board of Directors, volunteering as a greeter at Dakin’s Springfield location, and helping with the Diamonds in the Ruff Thrift Shoppe.

Honorary Mention – Marianne & Jim Gambaro

The Gambaros not only serve as active and dedicated volunteers by helping in Dakin’s kitten intensive care unit, but recently assisted with Dakin’s Curbside Pet Food Aid Program event.  They are committee members who are vested in Dakin’s future with a deep commitment to animals that goes well beyond their generosity and extends into our community as ambassadors and role models.


Frances M. Wells Award - Meg Delaney

This award, named for the Greenfield Animal Shelter’s benefactor, is given to individuals recognized for notable contributions to the health and welfare of animals.  Meg has been a veterinary technician at Dakin Humane Society for seven years and was cited for her selfless compassion and her dedication to the care and rescue of animals, particularly vulnerable neonatal kittens.  She often brings at-risk kittens into her home to provide foster care, and has created her own social media pages to advocate for them.

Honorary Mention – Kelly Doktor

Kelly volunteers for several organizations including the Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue, Safe Haven Humane Society for Cats, and the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge.  She is a constant advocate for animals and, as a teacher, encourages her second-grade classroom to help animals too – with supply drives and other fun school projects.


Youth Award - Ryker Bauer

This award honors a hero, 16 or younger, who displays extraordinary care and compassion in making a difference in the lives of animals, and making the world a better place.  Ryker is being honored for his innovative project Pawesome Box Adventure.   He fills boxes with blankets, treats and toys and delivers them to over 100 different animal organizations in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.  He also volunteers his time collecting trash in his community to help keep both wild and companion animals safe.

Honorary Mention – Isabella Parsons

Isabella was saluted for her lifetime love of animals, as well as her volunteer duties on behalf of places like Mutt Rescue and Second Chance.  She also makes homemade toys or treats to deliver to shelters.


The Champion Award - Allison Strong

This award honors a public servant who faithfully served and made life better for tens of thousands of animals and people in western Massachusetts.  Allison was commended for her work, both as an animal control officer and veterinary technician.  She is known to be compassionate in the toughest of circumstances, and to provide guidance for the proper care of animals.  Allison embodies the Dakin belief that people are good and will make good decisions for animals when they are treated with kindness and understanding.

Honorary Mention – Ann Hurlburt

Ann was praised for her longtime commitment to fostering at-risk shelter dogs and providing enrichment and behavior training.  Her dedication has saved the lives of dogs who need extraordinary care prior to being placed for adoption.  She has single handedly made Dakin’s Snip Trip program possible with her countless drives to pick up animals for clinic appointments whose people have no access to transportation.