Video Length: 61 minutes
How do we instill a positive, no-kill culture in our shelters, rescues, and service centers? In this panel discussion, animal welfare leaders share their expertise and answer questions from the audience. This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2019 American Pets Alive! Conference.
Rebecca Guinn left behind a successful law career after visiting a county shelter where the majority of animals had been euthanized. Thinking there had to be a better way for a community to address its homeless pet population, she founded LifeLine Animal Project in 2002 and implemented a long-term strategy to redefine metro Atlanta's practices and philosophies regarding caring for companion animals. In 2013, LifeLine was awarded the management contracts for Atlanta's Fulton and DeKalb County animal shelters, where the organization has more than doubled lifesaving rates and positioned Atlanta to become a no-kill community.
Tawny has more than 30 years of experience in the public service arena, creating and implementing programs and services for people and their pets, working effectively with appointed and elected officials, creating and leading teams focused on professional excellence and lifesaving best practices. Tawny currently leads Best Friends' leadership advancement initiatives with a focus on strengthening existing leader's skill sets for the goal of ending the killing of shelter pets in their communities. She hopes to add an additional focus to the program which will consist of developing programs to assist seasoned leadership from other fields and disciplines interested in making the transition into animal welfare and services leadership. Tawny has a proven track record of success, serving for more than 25 years in municipal government in Fairfax County, Virginia. Tawny is also the former chief of animal services for the city of Austin, Texas. Under Tawny's leadership, Austin and Travis County, Texas, reached a new milestone in 2017, achieving live outcomes for 98 percent of the more than 17,000 animals who came through the doors.
As the senior director of national mission advancement, Marc Peralta brings together Best Friends' newest initiatives and aligns them with all things related to developing the knowledge and capabilities of individuals and organizations involved in lifesaving in order to empower them to achieve no-kill in their own backyard. These initiatives include shelter outreach, mentorship, staff-embedding programs, community cat programs, no-kill leadership training, and emergency response training and operations. Prior to this position, Marc served in a variety of leadership positions with Best Friends, overseeing the foundation of building out and expanding strategy, partnerships and programming, as well as leadership of the No-Kill Los Angeles Coalition, which comprises more than 140 animal welfare organizations. Marc has also served as vice president and chief operating officer, as well as interim CEO, at the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA).
Shelly oversees all aspects of grant making for Maddie's Fund®, from legal compliance to management of grants budgeting, requests, payments and reporting. She works with the Executive Leadership Team and Senior Management Team to develop grant opportunities and encourage grant proposals that advance the Foundation's Strategic Goals and Mission. She also serves on the board of both Shelter Animals Count and Animal Grantmakers.
As the Mid-Atlantic regional director for Best Friends Animal Society, Makena works with coalitions and partners in North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia to establish lifesaving programs and policies to help them reach no-kill status by 2025. In her home state of Virginia, she is a board member for the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies and has been working toward a no-kill Virginia for many years. Before joining Best Friends, Makena was the executive director of the Lynchburg Humane Society and was recognized by Maddie's Fund as a recipient of the 2018 Maddie Hero Award.