Senior Staff

Samuel Wolbert
President and CEO

Sam joined AWLA as the President & CEO in September 2017. Since then, AWLA has improved its lifesaving through more adoptions and increased transferred-in animals from under-resourced communities. Prior to his time with AWLA, Sam held roles as an Executive Director for a shelter in Kentucky, a District Leader with the Humane Society of the United States, and an animal rights legislative attorney. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Sam is an Arlington resident and shares his home with a senior pit-mix named Meemaw and two black cats, Leila and Wayne. A native Michigander, Sam loves the fall when it finally cools off and he can spend time outside without mosquitos or humidity.

Amy Schindler

Chief Operating Officer

Amy Schindler an affiliate member of the IAABC Shelter division and certified pet dog trainer (CPDT-KA) is an expert in animal behavior. Amy has evaluated animals for HSUS cruelty cases. She has completed numerous specialized trainings for both canines and felines. Amy has presented twice at HSUS expo, the largest national animal sheltering conference in the United States.  She has also trained and mentored various shelter staff, volunteers and pet owners on behavior, training and enrichment practices. Amy has written published articles for the IAABC Journal and as well as other publications. Previous to joining the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, she was the Operations Manager at the Jacksonville Humane Society where she oversaw the behavior, shelter medical and animal care departments. During this time she also managed the animal behavior staff for Animal Care and Protective Services, the area’s municipal partner shelter as well as supervising a temporary shelter for dogs with behavior challenges. Over the course of her career. Amy has also taught group classes and private lessons using reward based training methods.  Amy lives with her husband Chris and their six adopted senior dogs.

Ronny Shafer

Director of Finance and Administration

Ronny has worked at the League for more than 20 years starting as an Animal Care Technician. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Business Management. Over the years, she has shared her home with dogs, cats, and a hamster. Currently, her home is ruled by a cat and a dog.

Jennifer Katac, CVA

Director of Community Programs

Jennifer provides humane education lessons to schools and community groups, summer kids’ month programs, and shelter tours. She manages several League programs, including the League’s volunteer, humane education, and community services programs. Jennifer is a 1998 graduate of West Virginia University, where she majored in Biology. She served as a Peace Corps Agriculture/Forestry volunteer in Panama from 1999-2001 and is fluent in Spanish. Jennifer has been with the League since 2003. She is a lifelong lover of all animals but is partial to dogs and birds. Jennifer passed the Certification for Volunteer Administration in April 2016 (exp 2021) and also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Professional Humane Educators, serving as their Treasurer from 2016-2018 and currently serves as their volunteer coordinator.



Kat Williams

Director of Development

Kat started at AWLA in 2014 as a Front Desk and Special Events Volunteer and in 2015 joined the staff as Community Programs Specialist. She later moved to the Development Department where she managed the League’s annual giving program and special events. Kat comes to animal welfare by way of the arts with a BA in French from the College of William & Mary and an MA in the History of American Decorative Arts from Parsons School of Design. She lives in Arlington with two large cats and a small dog – all rescues.

Charnita Fox

Director of Animal Care & Facilities

While born in Georgia, Charnita has been a DC resident since the age of 5. She has always been surrounded by animals as she was raised by a family full of animal lovers. Naturally, she has a genuine concern for all creatures and can’t ever remember not being an advocate for animals. Following high school she had her mind set on becoming a Registered Nurse, but took a different path and became a Certified Veterinary Assistant and has been working in veterinary offices and animal welfare organizations (the Washington Humane Society and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington) ever since.  While employed with WHS now Washington Animal Rescue Alliance she started as an Animal Caretaker and then moved on to manage the Front Desk/Dispatch for DC Animal Control. Previously employed with AWLA she started as an Animal Care Technician, a short stay in the Adoptions department as an Adoption Counselor, and then returning to the kennels as the Manager of Animal Care. Though she has left the animal world a few times she always returns.

Jennifer Toussaint

Chief of Animal Control

Jennifer Toussaint is the Chief of Animal Control in Arlington County, Virginia at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Jennifer joined the Animal Control team in early 2012 as a Deputy and worked her way up to the Chief position in 2016. Since becoming Chief, Jennifer has implemented a local ordinance in relation to exotic animal care and ownership. She has also expanded the Animal Control Departments outreach efforts in providing additional support to pet owners to enable high owner pet retention in the community. She specializes nationally in Humane Urban Wildlife Management practices and has been published multiple times on the topic and presented at the 2017 Humane Society of the United States Expo as well as the National Animal Control Association Conference. Jennifer is the 2017 recipient of the Virginia Animal Control Association Dr. Kent Roberts Animal Control Officer of the Year and received a commendation from the VA General Assembly.  She is a graduate of Moravian College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Spanish. Jennifer shares her home with two dogs- an AWLA alum American Staffordshire terrier mix named Tank and a Boston terrier named Rheagan.