Meet our Staff

Kerry Hacecky - Executive Director

Originally from Utica, South Dakota, Kerry first began working with Heartland in September, 2011 and has been employed by nonprofit agencies since 2007. Kerry is a graduate of the University of South Dakota with a major in marketing, journalism, and English. In her spare time, Kerry enjoys helping on the family farm, fostering, camping, softball, volleyball, and travel.

You can email Kerry at

Melissa Noble- Customer Relations Supervisor / Volunteer Coordinator

A Nebraska gal, Melissa and her husband Robert currently reside near Hartington. Melissa has a passion for both people and animals and enjoys onboarding volunteers at HHS. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her two children and traveling.

You can email Melissa at

Dana Merrigan- Intake Coordinator

Dana and her family live in rural Vermillion where they farm. Before Heartland Humane Society, Dana worked as a veterinary technician alongside a team of veterinarians at Cedar County Veterinary Care.

You can email Dana at

Janette Kaddatz - Adoption Coordinator

Janette’s passion for animals began as a child growing up in North Dakota with pets and spending every summer on her grandparent’s farm. She dreamed of vet school but chose a different path and pursued a degree in family science and psychology. She is one of the founding volunteers of Heartland Humane Society and decided to become involved with the organization because of her passion for working with animals and the desire to be involved with placing unwanted animals into new, loving, forever homes. 

You can email Janette at

Hailey Welch - Kennel & Adoption Staff

Hailey was born and raised in South Dakota. During the week she is a full-time dog groomer (currently located at Countryside Bed & Biscuit in Yankton) and on weekends is an adoption counselor at HHS. Hailey enjoys spending most of her time working with animals; if not with animals, then she enjoys kayaking, hiking, and swimming at the lake as well as spending time with close friends and family.

Diane Johnson - Animal Care Assistant

Diane is a South Dakota native who enjoys being outdoors as much as possible during the summer months. She joined Heartland Humane Society in the summer of 2014. Her love for animals started at a young age from spending time on her grandparent's farm and helping with all of the chores. She resides in Yankton.

Stephanie Mead- Kennel Staff

Stephanie originates from the Black Hills but currently calls Vermillion home as she studies at the University of South Dakota. Stephanie is our "weekend warrior," taking care of the animals during closed hours.