About Us

The Portsmouth Humane Society is a non-profit Virginia corporation. We depend upon charitable contributions to accomplish our work and on volunteer support to augment a very small paid staff. We were founded in 1889 and believe that we are the oldest continuously operating animal welfare organization in the Commonwealth of Virginia. PHS is dedicated to caring for homeless animals in the community by promoting their adoptions into loving, permanent homes. We also provide education and community outreach programs to help decrease the pet overpopulation problem.


Our Board of Directors

  • Ralph Mesisco – President
  • Julie Poellnitz – Vice President
  • Elizabeth Jochens – Secretary
  • John Moshier – Treasurer
  • Amy Broughman
  • Billy Butt
  • Shelly Compton
  • Kris Drewberry
  • Pat Hewitt
  • Mike Imprevento
  • Linda Long, M.D.
  • Erika Nestler
  • David Rourk
  • Mary Shields
  • Barbara Stark
  • Jim Stark, M.D.

Our Staff

  • Babs Zuhowski – Executive Director
  • James McLaughlin – External Affairs Director
  • Michele McLaughlin – Shelter Manager
  • Zach Flota – Shelter Manager
  • Mandy Mccluskey – Outreach Coordinator
  • Sherry – Front Office Supervisor
  • Amanda  – Senior Animal Care Technician
  • Brandi – Senior Animal Care Technician
  • Ali – Animal Care Technician
  • Alesia – Animal Care Technician
  • Alyssa – Animal Care Technician
  • Chapri – Animal Care Technician
  • Darren – Animal Care Technician
  • Deark – Animal Care Technician
  • Jessica – Animal Care Technician
  • Nicole – Animal Care Technician
  • Rachel – Animal Care Technician

Our Mission

To provide shelter, care, and treatment to homeless animals in the City of Portsmouth community through permanent adoptions, spay/neuter programs, and community education.