April 23, 2019

NYC “Heroes in Human Services” Honored for Their Dedication to Animals and People

The ASPCA recently honored 11 human-services professionals with our Heroes in Human Services Award. Each honoree was recognized 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. 

Over the years, we’ve worked with organizations like the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOH), Adult Protective Services (APS) and The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS).

Collaborating with organizations like these has changed the way the ASPCA delivers services to pet owners who need it most. 

To celebrate the dedicated people in these fields, the honorees attended a celebratory luncheon held at the ASPCA Adoption Center, where they were presented with their awards. Over the years, the work of people like those honored at this special event has 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 11 induviduals we honored have taken the initiative to collaborate with the ASPCA to provide comprehensive support and services to pet owners across New York City,” said Marika Azoff, ASPCA Community Engagement Coordinator. “They recognize that pets are a vital part of the community, and their dedication to people and their pets enhances the quality of life not just for these families, but for the entire community.”

The individuals honored at the luncheon were:

  • James Caldwell, 77th Precinct Community Council President, New York City Police Department Community Council
  • Kendra Caldwell, Caseworker, Adult Protective Services, Bronx 
  • Urania Castaneda, Director of Clinical & Forensic Services, Bronx Child Advocacy Center
  • Irene Comninel, Program Director, Jewish Association Serving the Aging, Queens
  • Gabriel DeJesus, 40th Precinct Community Council President, New York City Police Department Community Council 
  • Danielle Emery, Director, Urban Resource Institute's People and Animals Living Safely Program
  • Yaron Gans, Director of Social Services, The Chateau at Brooklyn Rehabilitation & Nursing Center
  • Franck Laboy, Heavy Duty Cleaning Liaison , Adult Protective Services, Bronx
  • Stephanie Moshier, Partnership & Outreach Manager, West Side Campaign Against Hunger
  • Karen Norden, Program Manager of Homelessness Prevention Services, The Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services
  • Robin Strashun, Outreach & Volunteer Coordinator, Search and Care

We thank these dedicated individuals for their contributions and look forward to our continued efforts helping pets and people.