Karen Terpstra

Director of Shelter Operations


Karen Terpstra joined the HSVC team in March 2023. Her career in animal welfare began at Pasadena Humane Society, where she served as Assistant Executive Director for eight years. She has since worked in shelters in Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and New Jersey. Most recently, Karen was the Director of Operations at Santa Barbara Humane. Karen was in the first group of Certified Animal Welfare Administrators and served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement for seven years. She has also been a board member of the Michigan Partnership for Animal Welfare and the HSUS Companion Animal Advisory Council. She has consulted for several shelters and rescues and performed shelter evaluations for HSUS.

Karen has made measurable positive impact on animal outcomes at every organization she’s worked at through expanding spay/neuter programs, behavior enrichment and education, robust foster and adoption programs, and decreasing the animals’ length of stay at the shelter. Karen has fostered more than 700 orphaned kittens (and several puppies and dogs, too!) She shares her home with Mini, an English Bulldog adopted from HSVC, and four cats who were former fosters.



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