About Us...

Judy McKonly

Judy McKonly had long been a compassionate animal lover. Her dream was to build the best cat shelter in the country here in Columbia, Pa. After her passing in August of 2017, her family set out to fullfil her dream of building the best animal shelter in the country. The Vigilant Fire Hall was purchased to be repurposed as the new Columbia Animal Shelter, a state of the art adoption and low cost clinic facility. Our goal is that visitors will come to our shelter and leave with a new best friend, while also being educated with the knowledge to care for their newest family member. Columbia Animal Shelter will be an adoption facility that will educate about the importance of spay/neuter with an on-site clinic, offer youth programs and host informational seminar series. Our dream is to honor Judy’s wishes….and make her dream come true.

Tammy Loughlin

Executive Director

Tammy Loughlin is the Executive Director at Columbia Animal Shelter, residing in Columbia, PA. She was born and raised in Indiana before moving to Rhode Island in 1993. She attended Three Rivers Community College in Connecticut. She has five grown children and one grandchild who are spread out throughout the country. She is also the owner of Fern, of the infamous Mornings with Fern posts. 

Courtney Sombers

Assistant Director

Courtney Sombers is the Assistant Director at Columbia Animal Shelter. She was born and raised in Ephrata, Pennsylvania.  After attending the University of Pittsburgh, she lived and traveled across the country.   She and her husband recently moved back to Pennsylvania where they purchased a home and now reside in York county with their numerous fur babies. 

Dr. Jennifer Johnston


Dr. Jennifer Johnston did her undergraduate work in Dairy and Animal Science at Penn State University and went on to graduate from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. Upon graduation, she completed an equine internship in Rochester, NY from 2000-2001. She then moved back to PA and worked for various small animal veterinary hospitals in the Harrisburg area. In 2011, she joined the York County SPCA as a staff shelter veterinarian and became their Veterinary Medical Director from 2015-2018. In the winter of 2018, Dr. Johnston joined the Columbia Animal Shelter as their staff veterinarian. Besides her work as a shelter veterinarian, she is an adjunct faculty instructor at the York Technical Institute for their Veterinary Technician program and is an active member of the Code 3 Associates technical animal rescue team.