PEOPLE OF INTEREST
McInturff makes certain that every shelter animal feels loved, including
these kittens that await adoption.
Lives in: Port St. Lucie
Occupation: Executive director,
Humane Society of St. Lucie
Family: Recently engaged to a
local business owner, dog mom
and hospice foster
Education: High school, some
Hobbies: Photography, gardening, karaoke
Who inspires me: Fellow rescuers, the people at the shelter
Something most people don’t know about me: “I’m actually
a natural blonde.”
there and take photos of the dogs, fold the laundry and clean
the kennels,” she explained. “The animals didn’t judge me;
they needed me just as much as I needed them.”
Throughout the years and under the tutelage of Dagmara
Monsalve, founder of Rescue Adoption, McInturff learned
everything she needed to know about animal sheltering and
rescue. For many years, she was the face of its fundraising.
“Dagmara gave me my wings,” she exclaimed.
In 2019, McInturff found herself on the frontlines, rescuing
animals from the beleaguered Humane Society of St. Lucie
County on Glades Cut Off Road in Port St. Lucie. As things
slowly began to spiral out of control and funding was pulled
from the nonprofit organization, she seized on the opportunity
to help and put her skills to work. A transition slowly
began to occur.
“In September of 2019, I hosted a Stuff the Bus event and
secured a donation of a new washer and dryer from Jetson
Appliances, which they delivered during the event,” McInturff
said. “Board members were excited and encouraged me
to join the board. I did, knowing that I could do more from
the inside out than the outside in.”
The board elected McInturff as its chairman within a
month. Operating with only a skeleton crew, she and animal
behaviorist Cindy Riesgo worked diligently to keep the organization’s
“At that point, we relied on donations from the public and
whatever money was coming in from the thrift store,” she
explained. “With other rescue agencies and adoption specials,
we spent the next month emptying our Fort Pierce location
and turned it over to the City of Fort Pierce.”
In December of that year, a Save the Shelter fundraising
event yielded about $15,000, but, sadly, it wasn’t enough.
“Facing foreclosure and unable to meet payroll, we approached
the City of Port St. Lucie,” McInturff said. “Thank
God, they stepped up to the plate.”
In April 2020, McInturff also stepped up to the plate when
a new board of directors named her executive director.
Comprising the board are City Councilwoman Shannon
Martin, veterinarian Leonard Fox, longtime volunteer Jen Capano,
Cindy Riesgo, former board member Sandee Allen of
A&G Concrete Pools, Adrian O’ Campo, Mark Barnes, Azlina
Siegel, Bryan Lloyd, Port St. Lucie Animal Control administrator,
Marti Newport, Jamie Hannon and Dan Wire, the new
“I’m so grateful that they took a chance on me and in the
middle of a pandemic no less.”
McInturff is fortunate in that she is never lonely at the top.
“This amazing board has the passion and drive to work the
frontlines right beside me, and that is impactful.”
She also has a large bevy of people she refers to as “villagers,”
a term of endearment she coined for the supporters of
the humane society.
“When I started all this, it was just with me doing Facebook
live videos and posts,” she said. “That’s evolved into
popular Dine to Donate events with Tailgators, the St. Lucie
Draft House and Texas Roadhouse. Other villager-supported
events include a Halloween drive-through with A&G Pools,
an automobile raffle with Dyer Automotive, online Pampered
Chef parties and a joint venture with American Muscle
United car club.”
The executive director’s most conspicuous supporters are
the ones lucky enough to spend their days or nights with her.
They come in all shapes, sizes, and degrees of hairiness. Some
are boisterous, while others are skittish or timid.
Most live at the shelter, but five dogs ages 11-18, including
a 3.5-pound hospice pet named Peanut who is living out
his final days with dignity and love, greet McInturff each
evening when she returns home. Several shelter pets keep her
company and freely roam her office and its adjacent hallways,
away from the hub-bub of the noisy kennels.
“The energy is different up here,” she explained. “Some
animals need more interaction.
“The mere click of a pen may terrorize them, so, together
with my staff and volunteers, we work to alleviate that fear.”
It is these same staff members and volunteers that inspire
this dynamic executive director each day.
“You don’t earn millions of dollars working in an animal
shelter,” she said. “But yet, my people do backbreaking work
— cleaning up the poop, scrubbing the kennels.”
Leading by example, McInturff maintains an assemblage of
shelter clothing and shoes in her office and swings into action
in all capacities wherever and whenever necessary.
She is committed to restoring the landmark status and
clout of the Humane Society of St. Lucie County and feels
blessed with the opportunity.
“Not every person gets to take what they are utmost passionate
about and turn it into a job, and be lucky enough to
do so right in their own backyard.”