The Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary team consists of a group of primarily volunteer workers who donate their time, energy, money, and love to keep CCFS up and running. We have only two paid employees--our two farm caretakers. None of the board members draw a salary. Our team is rounded out by veterinarian Dr. Joe Guevara. Though he is officially considered an independent contractor and not a staff member, Dr. Joe has worked with CCFS from the very beginning and works closely with the sanctuary to advise on all manner of health issues. Whether it's walking the fields to remove potentially harmful plants or showing up on a Sunday (and his wedding anniversary) for a sick pig, Dr. Joe has always been there for us.
Erin Amerman, Founder, President
Erin founded Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary with three rescued cows in 2016, and is currently president of the Board of Directors. You can read her bio and story here.
Chris Amerman, Co-Founder, Treasurer
Chris met Erin at the University of West Florida in 1995 and they married in 1997. Always an animal lover, he gave up animal products shortly after they married when he ran out of arguments against it. While in medical school, they began volunteering for a no-kill animal shelter and rescuing cats and dogs, which has continued to this day. Through the years, Chris has usually tried to be the voice of reason about their rescues, but Erin generally isn't very good at listening. At CCFS, Chris is Treasurer of the Board of Directors and takes care of most of the administrative tasks and much of the hands-on animal care. He has also developed something of a donkey problem. In this case, Erin tries to be the voice of reason, but Chris generally isn't very good at listening, either.
Atticus was rescued from the high-kill Levy County Animal Services after Erin thought he looked sad in an online post. His pastimes are being super helpful, loving everyone, and looking really cute.
Jamie Woodrum, Vice President/Secretary
Jamie is the Vice President and Secretary of the Critter Creek Board of Directors. She joined the team in January of 2019 as Critter Creek's social media director. Her vegan journey started a year and a half ago when she decided to stand up for ALL animals and not just the ones that society has deemed important. Previously a volunteer at an animal shelter in high school, she was asked to sell hamburgers and hotdogs to raise funds for dogs and cats at one of their big events. It was at this point she finally realized that it’s hypocritical to kill one animal to benefit another, especially since they are all sentient beings with unique personalities.
Running the social media accounts of Critter Creek has fueled her fire and inspired her to be the best animal activist that she can be. She is a graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology. Jamie hopes to get a graduate degree in nutritional biochemistry. With a long history of volunteering, she believes that actions at the local level can cause radical changes. What better way to do that than playing with rescued farm animals at Critter Creek!?
Manuela Woodrum, Marketing Director
Manuela, who goes by Mannie, grew up in Germany and was sadly a very heavy meat eater all her life as she never made that “connection." Her life changed drastically after her daughter set up an Instagram account for her in 2016, which led to her seeing horrific video clips of animals being slaughtered. She began doing more research and searching for more videos of that nature. She was in shock, feeling sick to her stomach that she had contributed to this industry for 50 years. As a result, she gave up animal products, and a weight was lifted from her conscience and her health improved. After she met Andrea, who introduced her to Erin, Chris, and the lovely innocent animals of CCFS, her life changed forever. She promised these beautiful animals that she would never eat any of them ever again and she would do everything in her power to help educate people about how many animals die every day due to slaughter, abuse, or research. The fact is, eating animals is not good for us and for the planet and every animal wants to live just like we do. She feels very sorry for every animal that had to die because of her cravings, but feels that if she can do it, then anyone can!
Sheena Drost, Communications Director
Sheena’s vegan journey began January 1, 2017. She had long considered herself an animal lover, but one day it hit her, or as she says, she saw the “vegan light.” Why love some but eat others? Being vegan inspired her so much that she just knew she had to start volunteering with animals. Sheena joined the Critter Creek team in November 2019, after attending Oinktoberfest with her family. Her husband and daughter became regular volunteers a month later, making veganism and volunteering a family affair.
As Director of Communications, she assists with email and sponsor communications, as well as event planning and social media accounts. She loves being an educator and advocate for the animals. Since coming to Critter Creek, she has been inspired to make a career change and pursue a degree in veterinary medicine, hoping to one day work solely as a sanctuary veterinarian.
Elise Amerman, Social Media Assistant
As the daughter of Chris and Erin, Elise has grown up without ever consuming animal products. She has also grown up surrounded by animals. Indeed, handling animals from dogs, cats, rats, turtles, snakes, cows, and horses is simply second nature to her. As a younger kid, she developed a penchant for rescuing rats while also working with horses, taking karate, doing gymnastics, and going to school. Chris and Erin tried to be the voice of reason in this case, but like her parents, she's also not great at listening.
Being a teenager, social media is also second nature to her. So, she helps the sanctuary out on the social media front, and volunteers during events and tours.
When not surrounded by animals, Elise is a competitive gymnast and multi-instrumentalist who specializes in bass guitar. However, she can never really escape it--she is constantly pulling all variety of animal fur off her leotards and her acoustic guitar is filled with dog and cat hair.
Dave Pereyo, Critter Creek Caretaker
Dave has been with Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary since its inception, living in the Critter Creek farm house. A master mechanic for 40 years, Dave's ability to fix just about anything come in very handy on a farm, where things break down constantly. In addition to keeping everything up and running, Dave works on fencing repairs, mowing, farm house maintenance, and, most importantly, delivering animal care. Indeed, Dave is something like a mother hen, dutifully hovering over his flock and checking them over every day to monitor them for any changes in health or behavior.
Sam Maybury, Critter Hills Caretaker
Sam joined the team in December 2019. She found her way to Critter Creek a few months prior when she urgently needed to find a home for two heifers, Jingles and Bella. She bottle-raised Jingles and Bella at her previous job and knew that she had to save them when they were sent to market.
Sam stopped eating meat in 2016. She had been taking care of a friend’s cows for a few days and came to the sudden realization that cows are no different from horses, dogs, cats, or any other animal. Shortly after beginning work at Critter Hills, she also ditched dairy products.
Sam is a fourth year Animal Science and Plant Science double major at the University of Florida with a minor in Agricultural Law. Sam hopes to attend law school with the goal of working in agricultural policy to improve policies for farmed animals. When she isn’t working on the farm or studying, she enjoys spending time with her pet cow, Stanley, and horse, Bennett.
Cathy Young, Moral Support
As Erin's mom, Cathy has been surrounded by her continual rescue efforts for many years. She has also been inundated with her animal activism since 1991. But, as Cathy had always loved animals, she had to admit that Erin's arguments for not eating animals made sense. As a result, she gave up animal products a couple years after Erin.
Cathy has been involved in dog rescue for many years, and is particularly interested in German Shepherd rescue. Her last dog, Sasha, was a wonderful 9 year-old senior dog rescued from the pound in Jacksonville. Her current dog, Reina, was rescued from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Her primary role at CCFS is one of support and volunteering for events and tours. She also tries to be the voice of reason to Chris, Erin, and Elise, but as we've established, none of them are very good at listening.
Lourdes Norman-McKay, Fundraising Support
As Erin's writing partner and a long-time supporter of her rescue efforts and the sanctuary, Lourdes wanted to officially join the sanctuary team in an area she knows well: fundraising. Lourdes has a history of fundraising successes, including having raised several thousand dollars for a middle school dance. She has many future fundraisers planned for the sanctuary, including holiday citrus baskets.
Lourdes shares a birthday with the first calf born at the sanctuary to mama cow Bedelia. As a birthday present, she was invited to name the little cutie, choosing the name Astraea. She hopes Bedelia approves of her name choice.