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Staff 8

Leslie Dalzell

Interim Chief Executive Officer

Leslie joined the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County as Chief Financial Officer in 2018, bringing 20+ years of experience in executive leadership, financial and budget management, and strategy development from the business sector.  Leslie graduated with her undergraduate degree in Accounting and Management Information Systems, obtained her CPA license in 2006, and then her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in International Finance.

After years of leadership in the business sector, Leslie has dedicated her skills to her passion for animals with a focus on the community.  Since joining the shelter, Leslie has guided and overseen several departments and programs, including the shelter’s community and pet support efforts and the Humane Education program.

Leslie shares her home with her partner and their Bernese Mountain Dog, Arthur Fonzerelli (aka The Fonz).


Staff 9

Jennifer Bennett

Interim Medical Director (Consultant)

Dr. Jennifer Bennett graduated in 2002 from the University of Washington, with an MS in Behavioral Neuroscience and in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin with her DVM.  She started in small animal general and emergency practice and then moved into the field of Shelter Medicine and HQHVSN where she has worked since 2013. Dr. Bennett served on the House of Delegates for the California VMA before relocating to Washington state, where she has been an active member of the WSVMA since 2015.  She has worked with a variety of municipal and private organizations in California and the PNW, developing shelter medicine and surgery programs, participating in community outreach clinics, and working with humane law enforcement.

In 2019, Dr. Bennett formed SAVeSS (Seattle Area Veterinarians in Shelter Services) and was elected to her first term in the WSVMA Board of Directors, served two years as Secretary and one year as President and is currently serving a second term as a board member. After 5 years as the Medical Director at the Seattle Animal Shelter, she recently returned to the research sector and works as a Research Scientist and Clinical Veterinarian at the University of Washington – Seattle. Dr. Bennett lives in Woodinville with her husband, Leo, and children, Liam and Lorelei, along with their furry family of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.


Staff 5

Marla Finnestad

Director of Human Resources

Marla joined the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County in June of 2022 and brings 15 years of experience in Human Resources to her role as the Director of Human Resources. As a local to the Pacific Northwest area, Marla enjoys being involved in the community, including being a part of the Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) awareness efforts within Tacoma and helping to contribute to CHD Awareness Week. As an animal lover, Marla was drawn to joining the shelter’s mission and supporting our organization’s team of dedicated and passionate staff.


Staff 4

Ashley Taulbee

Chief Philanthropy Officer 

Ashley Taulbee joined the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County in November of 2017 and brings over a decade of nonprofit fundraising experience to her role as the Chief Philanthropy Officer. In this role, Ashley is responsible for the strategic direction and overall management of all fundraising, communications, and relationship management. This work builds on her previous experience as the organization’s Development Manager—leading fundraising activities to drive support and awareness of the organization’s mission.

Ashley’s passion has always been to make a lasting and meaningful impact for the pets in her community where she grew up. She garnered experience working with nonprofit organizations throughout Tacoma, including Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainer Region, the Point Defiance Zoological Society, and the Museum of Glass. Ashley enjoys spending her free time taking her dog, Apollo, on a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style walks around the eastside of Tacoma.


Staff 3

Leah Turner

Chief Operating Officer

For nearly 20 years, Leah has been a noteworthy leader in the human resources field, spending most of her career in the for-profit environment.  She joined the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County in 2017 as the organization’s first human resources professional, the Director of Human Resources. Drawn to a desire to work closer with the animal services team and provide a more direct impact on the shelter animals and our mission, Leah accepted the position as Chief Operating Officer in January 2021.

Since joining the shelter, Leah has taken on the titles of “Cat Mom” and “Dog Mom” and in her spare time, is very involved in her community, volunteering as a recreational housing community Board Chairman, as well as with other local charitable foundations.

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