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Owl Moon Raptor Center
Boyds, Maryland 20841

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Who We Are

Our Team

Four Great Horned Owls sitting on perch
  • Suzanne Shoemaker

    Suzanne Shoemaker: Executive Director and Founder
    Suzanne is a licensed Master Wildlife Rehabilitator (MD and USFWS) and licensed Master Falconer (MD and USFWS). She trained first as an Animal Scientist (AAS, University of New Hampshire 1975), and then as a Wildlife Biologist (BS, University of Massachusetts 1981, MS, Oregon State University 1986), and more recently as a Wildlife Rehabilitator (2002). Suzanne is an expert in animal behavior, ecology, and the adaptations of animals to their natural environment.

    Suzanne became involved in education through the Maryland home learning community. Concerned about the deteriorating health of our environment, she engaged herself and her two (now adult) children in volunteer activities to preserve wildlife and our environment, and began teaching environmental education classes to youth and families. Suzanne has taught nature and science classes for Friends of the National Zoo, Audubon Naturalist Society, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and independently since 1991.

    Suzanne and her husband, Jan Lewandrowski, share their home with two dogs, Luna and Puck, and whatever birds of prey are currently under her care. Her other hobbies include photography, hiking, horseback riding, whitewater kayaking, and backyard beekeeping.

  • Malia Hale

    Clinic Director and Board Member
    Malia Hale is a licensed Master Rehabilitator (MD & USFWS), licensed Apprentice Falconer (MD, USFWS) and Maryland Master Naturalist. Malia started volunteering at Owl Moon Raptor Center in 2016, joined the board in 2019 and became a staff member in 2022. Malia is a licensed attorney and previously spent 15 years working on wildlife policy and large scale ecosystem restoration for the National Wildlife Federation. Malia is originally from Honolulu, Hawaii and resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with her husband, two kids and dog.

  • AK

    Animal Care Manager
    AK is a licensed Apprentice Wildlife Rehabilitator (MD & USFWS), Maryland Master Naturalist. They began volunteering at Owl Moon in 2022, and became a staff member in 2024. They have a background in ecology, environmental biology, and equine science.

  • Jaci Rutiser

    Jaci Rutiser: Board Member
    has volunteered with Owl Moon Raptor since 2013. She joined Owl Moon's Board of Directors in 2015 and became a Master Rehabilitator (MD) in 2016. Jaci has had a lifelong love of nature and birds, both in the wild and as companion pets, Jaci's background is in software development and operations and she's brought her organizational skills to many projects for Owl Moon as the organization has grown.She currently resides in Gaithersburg, MD with her husband and dog.

  • Catharine Reeves

    Catharine Reeves: Board Member
    Catharine began volunteering for Owl Moon in the fall of 2021, and was asked to join its board of directors in 2022. She has always had a great interest in nature, and a love of birds in particular. Having recently retired after 30 years as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, volunteering at Owl Moon has allowed Catharine to fulfill her wish to give back to the natural world, and to learn more about the world of raptors and wildlife rehabilitation. A native of Montgomery County, Maryland, she resides with her husband and a very spoiled cat in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • Dr Rich Forfa

    Dr Rich Forfa: Veterinarian and Board Member
    Richard J Forfa DVM practiced Equine veterinary medicine and surgery for 42 years. He was a Diplomate of the American College a Veterinary Practitioners with a specialty in Equine practice. Dr Forfa was the founding partner of Monocacy Equine Veterinary Associates, a 4 veterinarian practice located in Frederick Md . He retired in 2021 after selling his half of the practice . He continues to be involved with horses currently being a veterinary delegate for the FEI (international Equestrian Federation). Dr Forfa works at international Equestrian events in the US ,Canada and the EU.

    Dr Forfa's interest in wildlife especially avian rehabilitation began during his high school days working with a waterfowl and shore bird animal rehabber then later in college where he worked as a research assistant for the Rutgers institute of animal behavior studying Laughing Gulls and Clapper Rails on the Brigantine National Wildlife refuge in New Jersey.

    Dr Forfa never lost his interest in wildlife medicine and always wondered if there was any availability of such care near his current home . Dr. Forfa learned about Owl Moon at a wildlife rehabilitation conference in 2017, and has been involved assisting with medical procedures ever since.

Our Impact This Year

  • Birds Admitted in 2023


  • Volunteer Hours Rescuing, Rehabilitating, and Releasing in 2023


Owl Moon Raptor Center
Owl Moon Raptor Center
Boyds, Maryland 20841