Meet the Staff


Animal Care Director: Lenore Braford

Lenore Braford is the Founder, interim Executive Director, and Animal Care Director at the Refuge. Her drive to advocate for populations in need began in middle school when she began worked with children with disabilities. That work continues today, but her circle of compassion was widened to include farm animals when she began to question how our society views and treats them during her studies at Oberlin College. Since that time she has been steadily working to advocate for farm animals while educating the general public about the truths behind their treatment and their worth as individuals. Lenore has been vegan since 2007 and enjoys playing music, being outdoors and spending time with her cat Sipsie. 





Lead Animal Caregiver: Shannon Ducrest


Originally from the DC area, Shannon relocated to North Carolina from
Richmond, VA in the spring of 2014. Seeking an escape from the city and
a new career in animal welfare, she landed outside of Chapel Hill. She
got involved in cat and dog rescue and worked in that field for the
following 5 years. Shannon began volunteering at the Refuge in 2018 and
immediately fell in love with the residents and their caregivers. A
lifelong animal-lover, vegetarian since 1994 and vegan since 2004, she
finally feels like she has found her flock and the perfect place to
carry on her mission of ‘leaving things better than you found them’.
When she’s not at the Refuge, you can find her doing projects with her
partner, Ross, working in her garden, and cuddling with her pets: Ike
the dog, cats Pita and Boozy.




Design Director: Michael Hoerger


Michael became the Design Director for Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge in the summer of 2020, after working for 2 years as the Administrative and Marketing Coordinator. Before coming to the Refuge, Michael managed marketing for Monroe County Public Library in Indiana and Democracy Now! in New York City. He has been vegan for over 25 years and has been fighting to abolish cages—holding animals and humans—for nearly as long.

When he’s not in the Refuge office or taking photos of the residents, you can find Michael tinkering with analog synthesizers and hanging out with his partner Mia and their rescued pitbull, Pony.





Administrative Director: Danielle Thibault


Danielle was hired as the Administrative Director in the summer of 2020. She first joined the Refuge as an animal care volunteer in August of 2016 and served on the Board of Directors in 2019. After spending several years slowly transitioning to vegan, Danielle went fully vegan a few months after starting to volunteer and spending more time learning about animal agriculture. Danielle has volunteered in many roles over the years, including animal care, workdays, special events, and barn cleaning.

In her free time, Danielle enjoys reading Stephen King, collecting horror movies on VHS, and hiking at the Eno. She and her husband Matthew live in downtown Durham with their two cats, Steve and Steve.




Facilities Director: Lizzy Trickey

Originally based in Oregon, Lizzy Trickey (she/they) first came to the Refuge in 2018 as an Artist in Residence, along with their partner, Lindsay. Since then, they continued to stop and help out with a variety of projects for a few months every year as their work and travels led them around the country.

Lizzy enjoys tinkering, continually learning, and living their values. As facilities director they intertwine the three. They are currently mildly fixing up a derelict house next door with Lindsay and their old dog Oso. He doesn’t do much to help out but it’s nice to have him around.