Marla Caulk, Executive Director

Marla Caulk is a native Montanan who has returned to the state from Northern Virginia to lead the shelter as Executive Director. She most recently served

As Chief Operations Officer at the YWCA, a national organization, where she oversaw strategies in communications, administration and fundraising. She has also been in leadership capacities at the Catholic Charities and Montana Rescue Mission. She holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Management. Caulk is relocating to Bozeman with her husband, Carl and two dogs, Bailey and Suzy.

Email Marla at ed@heartofthevalleyshelter.org, or call 388-9399, ext. 203

Marla and dogs

Sharon Burnett, Operations Director

Sharon moved to Bozeman from Shaftsbury, Vermont where she worked for eight years for the Second Chance Animal Shelter. During her last four years with the shelter, Sharon was the Shelter Manager and responsible for overseeing animal care, adoptions, Spay-Neuter clinics, veterinary services and facilities and volunteer activities. Sharon’s family includes her husband Chris and her three dogs (Quinn, Mattie and Betty) and two cats (FreakyLoverLee and Papasan).

Email Sharon at sharon@heartofthevalleyshelter.org, or call 388-9399, ext. 220

Sharon and cat


Emily Burkhardt, Volunteer and Education Manager

Emily comes to Bozeman from Laramie, Wyoming where she worked as the Project Coordinator with Upward Bound at the University of Wyoming.  In that role, Emily coordinated volunteer opportunities for students, recruited speakers and instructors from the community, collaborated with other non-profit organizations and taught a class in volunteerism and civic engagement.  Emily and her husband Andy have a collie/lab mix named Baron.

Email Emily at emilyb@heartofthevalleyshelter.org, or call 388-9399, ext. 223

Emily B. and cat

Ben Donoghue, Canine Behavior Consultant

In his younger years, growing up in the small New Hampshire town of Mason, Ben filled his days with exploring the outdoors and being with animals.  Ben stayed in the Granite State to complete 5 years at the University of New Hampshire.  After years on the East Coast, Ben made his way to the Gallatin Valley and where he adopted his first dog Annay (Alaskan Husky) at the Gallatin Valley Humane Society (now Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter).  Ben teaches our training classes, and says,  “The feeling you get after watching the process of an animal arrive with no hope in their eyes, then begin to trust, and become confident, and then look into that adopters heart to find mutual understanding is priceless.”

Ben resides with his wife Kristen Wolf, a son Ezekiel Wolf Donoghue, daughter Elin, three dogs Oly, Jedi, and Raven and cat Syrius.

Email Ben at k9behavior@heartofthevalleyshelter.org , or call 388-9399, ext. 207

2013-10 HOV Ben (25 of 25)

Rebecca Escobedo, Behavior Assistant

Beth Harper, Animal Care Manager

Beth enjoyed a childhood of living in many states and in Europe since her father was in the military. She attended college in Michigan and received a degree in Criminal Justice. After college Beth participated in a couple AmeriCorps programs: the National Civilian Community Corps where she served in the southeast, and the Montana Conservation Corps where she was based out of Great Falls. Beth moved to Montana in 2005 and considering this is the longest she has ever lived in one state, it is beginning to feel like home. Beth joined HOV in March 2008 and during that time has worked as a Kennel Technician, Canine Supervisor, and now Animal Care Manager.

Beth loves living in Bozeman and enjoys the opportunity to explore so close to home. She enjoys hiking, camping, skiing, cooking, and traveling. Beth’s furry companion is Kaya, adopted from the Great Falls shelter and loved dearly.

Email Beth at beth@heartofthevalleyshelter.org, or call 388-9399, ext. 204

Marie Spain, Development Associate

Marie grew up on a farm in South Central Montana. She moved to Bozeman in 2006 to attend Montana State University and graduated with a degree in Marketing. She worked in the banking world for several years before coming to Heart of the Valley in 2015.

Marie lives in Belgrade with her husband, Nick, and HOV alumni, Emmie. She enjoys going on outdoor adventures with her little family and loves baking during the long cold winter months.

Email Marie at marie@heartofthevalleyshelter.org, or call 388-9399 ext. 222


Blaine Lorkiewicz, Kennel Supervisor


Molly Cayer, Veterinary Technician

Molly has been an animal lover since the day she was born! She grew up in New Hampshire always having at least three animals in her home. She attended a boarding high school in beautiful Maine, then off to college in New Brunswick, Canada, and to another college in Oklahoma. Molly didn’t feel content where she was, so she decided she needed a change. She drove up to Montana to visit her brother, and like so many other Bozeman residents, Molly just couldn’t leave! She was employed by Heart of the Valley and was so excited. “Finally, I can put my love of animals to work!” She worked at the old shelter, trying to make the best of it for the animals in those poor living conditions. “It’s such a relief that now our dogs don’t have to sleep outside in our freezing winter nights.”

What Molly loves about Bozeman is the small town feel, breathtaking views, and all the wonderful hiking trails. She loves working at the shelter because “even though it can be emotionally difficult at times, it’s such a great feeling to see a dog or a cat get adopted into a new loving home.”

When not at work, Molly enjoys hiking, swimming, music, reading, biking, floating, and playing pool.

She resides in Bozeman with her best friend, Bart, a black lab she adopted from Heart of the Valley.


Megan Flamm, Customer Service

Megan was born and raised in Sheridan, Montana right in the heart of the Ruby Valley.  Growing up as an only child, horses, pigs, sheep, chickens, dogs, cats, fish and the occasional small fury creature were her companions.  After graduating from Sheridan High School, she moved to Bozeman to pursue a degree in History and Education.  After a short teaching stint in Tacoma Washington, Megan moved back to Bozeman where her heart has always been.  Lucky enough to get a job at Heart of the Valley in 2009, Megan spends her days with animals at work and her days off hiking the mountains in Madison and Gallatin County with her dog, Baylee.  In March of 2013, Megan welcomed her first baby; a little boy named Soren.  He is a 6th generation of the Thompson clan from in and around Virginia City Montana and Bozeman.

Email Megan at megan@heartofthevalleyshelter.org


Diane Browand, Feline Technician

Diane was born in St Louis, Mo in 1960, but grew up in Dallas, TX until moving to Oregon in the early 1980’s.  While in Oregon, Diane worked in the high tech business until moving to Montana in 2000.  She finally found the career position that matched her personality at Heart of the Valley Shelter.  Diane loves working with the animals.  She especially enjoys helping the animals find loving and caring homes and mentoring both new volunteers and staff.


Lauren, Feline Technician

Lauren is a native Montanan, born and raised in Bozeman and is the proud owner of two animals; Jaxyn a 7 year old female Jack Russell Terrier, and Howie a 2 year old Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix.  When she is not busy working or taking care of them, she enjoys spending time with family/friends, camping, softball, floating, crafts, and relaxing.

Lauren feels right at home at Heart of the Valley, and truly enjoys making a difference in the lives of the animals each and every day.


Kari Chiocchi, Veterinary Technician

Kari grew up in remote, rugged Grand Marais, Minnesota and then made her way to Bozeman.  From 2005 to 2007, she worked at the “old” shelter before our current facility was built; she returned to our staff in 2013 and now serves as our veterinary technician in our clinic, bringing a high level of care to our shelter pets.  Kari earned both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree from MSU, where she also worked in research.  Kari and her husband  Dustin have a shelter dog named Ellie.  They enjoy camping and being in the outdoors.

Email Kari at vettech@heartofthevalleyshelter.org or call 388-9399 ext 209





Scott Zimmerman, Feline Technician



Roberta Theriault, Feline Technician

Before joining the staff at Heart of the Valley, Robert volunteered for almost two years.  She grew up in Massachusetts with two cats and a shepherd mix best friend named Chickee.  Roberta fostered four month-old kittens — two of which became permanent residents, living alongside Shiloh, her Lab mix, adopted from our shelter.  Just this past December, she adopted Hurley (now Sammy) after fostering him for a whole two days! When not removing fur from her dark-colored clothing, Roberta loves hiking, camping, fly fishing, eating chocolate and working on two childrens’ books.


Jared Hogg, Kennel Coordinator

Jared grew up outside Columbus, Ohio and was a 4-H kid who always loved being around animals.  He moved to Bozeman in 2009 and found a job at our shelter. He currently works with both cats and dogs, loves sending animals to their forever homes and also enjoys the animal enrichment aspects of working at the shelter.  An avid outdoorsman, Jared fishes, hunts and camps.

Chris Sibr, Canine Technician

Kanella Conklin, Canine Technician

Dusti East, Canine Technician

Alex Nordstrom, Canine Technician

Callie Dahmen, Feline Technician

Kayla Kilbride, Feline Technician