Our team

Carol Burgess, founder

Carol became a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in 1986, in Plano, Texas. She founded Tennessee's Harmony Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in 1992. Carol is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator with the State of Tennessee and a member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

In her own words:

One of the most memorable events in all my years as a wildlife rehabilitator was when I had a litter of gray fox kits—five I think—and I was letting them run loose in the animal room for some play time.  I had forgotten that the floor registers were being cleaned and had a piece of cardboard laying over them.  When I went in to check on the kits, they were nowhere to be found.  After quite some time looking for them, I finally noticed the cardboard was moved and all five kits were having a big time running through our AC ducts.  It took a lot of patience and treats to catch them all.  

Laurie Campbell, animal care director

Laurie began working with wildlife in 2009 as a volunteer with Walden's Puddle and immediately fell in love with wildlife rehabilitation. After many years there as an Animal Care Supervisor, she made the move to Harmony in March 2022. Laurie  is a Certified Tennessee Naturalist, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator with the State of Tennessee and a member of National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

In her own words:

It seems like every day is full of memorable moments when working with wildlife, but one that will always be special to me is a very recent one. After several snags in releasing a group of juvenile raccoons we hand-raised since infancy, we were so excited when their release day finally arrived. We packed them all up with plenty of snacks, made the drive to the property and arrived at the most beautiful, perfect raccoon habitat we could have imagined. As always, the raccoons immediately began interacting with their environment - all of them joyfully romping, climbing and foraging together. Eventually, they made it down to the gently-flowing river and one by one, began paddling and swimming with their fluffy tails afloat like they had been doing it their whole lives. Of course, they always had a kiddie pool, but to see them confidently take to the water like that was incredible! Some just let the current carry them, others paddled all the way across to see what adventures were awaiting them on the other side. All releases are special and make the hard work worth it, but these little paddlers made this release one of my all-time favorites!

Katie Conklin, DVM

Dr. Conklin is a 2017 graduate of The University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Though her area of expertise is companion animals, Dr. Conklin began working with another local rescue approximately two years ago.  She fell in love with wildlife medicine almost instantly.  


Dr. Conklin particularly enjoys working with birds of prey and raccoons, but she loves them all!  She has a dog, two cats and two fish at home, along with her two wonderful kids! 


LinkedIn profile: Dr. Katie Conklin | LinkedIn 


In her own words: 

I absolutely delight in all manner of animals on this planet.  When I explore someplace new, I look for the local creatures.  I get excited at the sight of a wild animal in any context, even if it is during a walk in the woods and I spy chipmunk.  In my eyes, animals are the most fascinating thing about our universe.  I am beyond honored to be able to help them in their moment of need.

Anastasia Kudrez, executive director

Stasia started working with wildlife in 2000 as a volunteer for Harmony in Fairview,  Tenn. Fast forward 22 years and she spearheaded an effort to reopen Harmony in Nashville. Stasia is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator with the State of Tennessee and a member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and Bat Conservation International.

When she is not at Harmony supporting the animal care team, she's working away on her computer doing Internet marketing things, teaching indoor cycling at the YMCA, and chilling out with her ridiculously misbehaved miniature schnauzer.

In her own words:

After my daughter left for college, I felt overwhelmed by the question: "if not now, when?" I had never given up on the idea that Carol's beautiful creation—Harmony Wildlife—could resume its work helping wild animals.  I took a leap of faith and pushed to reopen Harmony, hoping that other people would recognize the value of this work and support it. It's my privilege to help, in this small way, to protect animals and contribute to Tennessee's conservation efforts.

Peggy Reiling, volunteer director

Peggy’s love of animals and nature began at a young age with dreams of being a wildlife photographer for National Geographic or perhaps a veterinarian. However, when she stepped into the world of volunteering at Willowbrook Wildlife in 2009, she discovered her true calling was in the hands-on care and rehabilitation of wildlife.

Following her experience at Willowbrook, she extended her dedication to wildlife at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. There, she worked with injured raptors, reptiles, and amphibians, while also tending to the needs of 75+ educational and non-releasable animals. Her commitment and passion continues at Harmony as a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in the State of Tennessee and a member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association.

In her own words:

For me, the most satisfying aspect of wildlife rehabilitation is the process of aiding an injured animal and being a part of its successful return to the wild. I also really enjoy the educational aspect of rehabilitation.  I believe helping people understand wildlife and the importance of living alongside our wild neighbors is vital to a healthy natural environment. For instance, being able to turn a fearful reaction to having a fox or snake near one's home, into one of understanding and appreciation, is very rewarding for everyone; including the animals. 

Melody Ryan, facilities director

Melody is a Tennessee native and has always had a passion for animals and the outdoors. She earned a degree in Animal Biology from MTSU in 2008 and completed an internship at the Nashville Zoo where she cared for the primates, porcupines, and meerkats. After graduating, Melody began working with domestics as a veterinary technician and started volunteering at Walden’s Puddle where she found her calling in wildlife rehabilitation. Melody worked as an animal care supervisor and lead vet tech at Walden’s Puddle for two years before parting ways and creating Music City Wildlife Center, a nonprofit focused on building a new wildlife rehab center in Middle TN. During that time, Melody met “Harmony,” and the two organizations merged.

Melody is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator with the State of Tennessee and a member of the TN Ornithological Society, TN Bat Working Group, and National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

In her own words:

One of my most memorable moments in wildlife rehab was releasing a black vulture after caring for it for two months after he had been hit by a car. He came in on Christmas morning, and I bonded with him right away and spent a lot of extra time with him during his recovery. When he was ready for release, I took him back to where he was originally found, hoping to reunite him with his family. Only moments after he hopped out of the carrier and flew off into some trees, other black vultures started flying in from all directions towards the trees he was in. He flew up to meet them, and they all circled directly above me a few times before flying away together. It was such a beautiful and rewarding moment!

Kady Sullivan, education director

Kady Sullivan is a licensed wildlife rehabber and educator. She seamlessly transitioned her background in early childhood education and passion for teaching into the world of wildlife conservation.

As a Nashville native, Kady has always been drawn to the beauty of nature in her surroundings. Her journey into wildlife rehabilitation began as a natural extension of her love for animals and a desire to make a positive impact on local wildlife. One could say she fancies herself Frodo the opossum's best friend, as she has formed a unique bond with Harmony Wildlife's remarkable educational ambassador.

In addition to her role as a wildlife rehabber, Kady is a proud mother of two wonderful children, as well as three dogs and a cat. She believes in instilling a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world in her own family and the broader community.

When she is not spending time with Frodo:

Kady finds joy in the great outdoors. Her adventurous spirit fuels her commitment to wildlife conservation, inspiring others to connect with nature and work towards creating a harmonious balance between humans and wildlife.