Penny Ellison
Penny Ellison, Esq.

Executive Director

Penny Ellison has been the Executive Director of Hand2Paw since 2012. Penny is an Adjunct Professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School teaching Animal Law and Ethics. Penny also supervises the Animal Law Project, a student run group that performs pro bono services for nonprofits serving the interests of animals and serves as Co-Chair of the Board of the Pennsylvania SPCA.  She is also an attorney and mediator.

Magda Kornacka
Magdalena Kornacka, MFT

Program Director

Magda joined Hand2Paw as a volunteer during her undergraduate work at Temple University and continued working with our youth while completing her graduate work at Thomas Jefferson University. She currently holds a Masters degree in Couple and Family Therapy and is working on her dog training certification through the  Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. With extensive experience in counseling youth, she designs our programming to maximize assistance to our youth and the animals we work with. 

Magda Kornacka

Megan Hannah, MA

Director of Operations

Megan is a certified School Counselor who received her graduate degree from Eastern University. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Megan has worked with our city’s youth in various capacities throughout her career, and connected with H2P through a partnership she formed while working in an educational setting specifically for youth involved in the foster care system.

Magda Kornacka

Patrece Dixon

Program Facilitator

Patrece is a graduate of the Hand2Paw internship program.  She uses her natural empathy to care for our animals and to guide our current participants as they work their way through a challenging curriculum of life and work skills. Patrece loves to cook vegan food and initiated our potluck dinner tradition.

Alexis Walsh

Alexis Walsh, DSW, LSW

Social Work Research Support

Alexis received her doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Clinical Social Work program, where her studies focussed on furthering the evidence-base of the human-animal bond, and the Hand2Paw program, in particular. She is also a Licensed Social Worker and currently works on Child Study Team for a New Jersey school district.


Covenant House
Doggie Style Pets
The Monkey and the Elephant
Youth Build Philly Charter School
Central Bark Philadelphia
Tuck Barre & Yoga
ACCT Philly
Morris Animal Refuge
Philadelphia No Kill Coalition
Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society
Philadelphia SPCA
Humane Education Coalition