ASPCA Honors NYC “Heroes in Human Services” for Dedication to Providing Vital Services to Pet Owners and Their Animals

Thirteen honorees from city agencies and human services groups celebrated at ASPCA appreciation luncheon
April 25, 2018

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) recently honored 13 human services professionals who have helped bridge the gap between human and animal welfare services to make a greater impact for pets and their owners in communities across New York City.

The honorees attended a celebratory luncheon held at the ASPCA Adoption Center and were given Heroes in Human Services Awards for their critical roles in enabling and encouraging collaboration between various city agencies, human services groups, and nonprofit organizations to ensure that services are accessible to pet owners who need them most.

“The 13 men and women we are honoring today have helped engage their colleagues and fellow community members to provide more comprehensive support and services to pet owners across New York City,” said Colleen Doherty, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Community Engagement Program. “They recognize that pets are a vital part of our community and their dedication to pets and their owners enhances the quality of life for animals, people, and the entire community.”

The individuals honored at today’s luncheon were:

  • Bilal Ahsan, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Outreach Manager
  • Yajaira Brown, SelfHelp, Senior Community Worker
  • Amanda Burden, The Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program, Training and Outreach Supervisor
  • Kothilda Johnston, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Director of Marketing and Outreach
  • Ann Michitsch, Urban Resource Institute, PALS Coordinator
  • Dietrick Parrish, Adult Protective Services, Caseworker
  • Jose Perez, Adult Protective Services, Director
  • Carolina Mayoral Sanchez, NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Community Coordinator
  • Silva Sergenian, The Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program, SAFE Program and Volunteer Coordinator
  • Francisco Tezen, Food Bank for NYC, Vice President
  • Eileen Torres, BronxWorks, Executive Director
  • Kevin Walsh, NYC Administration for Children's Services, Investigative Consultant Supervisor
  • John Weed, BronxWorks, Assistant Executive Director

For more information on the ASPCA’s community engagement efforts, please visit