March 1, 2019 by Marc Peralta, Sgt. Karl Bailey, Michele Figueroa, Teresa Johnson, Jose Ocano and Cheryl Schneider

Audience: Executive Leadership, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers

Video Length: 50:57

Save Rate: Upward Bound - Exceed the 50% Benchmark - panel

Does your community save less than 50% of its animals? Are you feeling lost and alone in how to start saving more animal lives? This lively panel discussion will shed light on the experiences of the expert leaders who brought their communities past a 50% live release rate. Learn from the experience of leaders who worked in communities like yours and leave with understanding what changes you can make to start saving more animals in your community! This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2019 American Pets Alive! Conference.

About Sgt. Karl Bailey

Sgt. Karl Bailey has been a police officer for over 30 years. In January of 2011, the City of Seagoville decided to move management of Animal Services from Code Enforcement to the Police Department and assigned Sgt. Bailey to manage the division. With no experience in shelter management, he took the animal shelter from a euthanize rate of 70 percent to a live release rate of over 97 percent in his first year. Sgt. Bailey has spoken at several animal welfare conferences in which he emphasizes the need to reduce shelter euthanasia and teaches canine encounters to police offers in an effort to reduce the number of animals shot by police.

About Michele Figueroa

Michele Figueroa is the operations manager at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) in Tucson, Arizona. At PACC, she manages the intake and placement of around 17,000 animals - achieving an annual save rate of around 90 percent. Michele has been with PACC for 13 years and one of her particular achievements is the PACC medical clinic that now serves every pet, regardless of the severity of their medical needs. Michele has served in a leadership capacity in almost every area of the shelter, including animal control (which is now animal protection), the medical clinic, adoptions, and admissions. Beyond her work to lead the internal operations team at PACC, though, Michele has also implemented community vaccine and microchipping efforts in underserved areas with the greatest needs.

About Teresa Johnson

Teresa Johnson is the oft-honored CEO and Chief Lifesaving Officer for Kansas City Pet Project in Kansas City, Missouri. After taking over operations of Kansas City's old municipal shelter in 2012, Teresa and her team used their "solutions - not excuses" approach to transform the shelter into a national leader in no-kill animal shelters in the United States by setting a lifesaving record of 95.7 percent. Prior to Kansas City Pet Project, the city's animal shelter had been euthanizing up to 70 percent of the animals in their facility. In 2018, Teresa received the Maddie's® Hero Award from Maddie's Fund for her work in advancing the welfare of companion animals in the United States and leading the way with innovative ideas, progressive thinking, and lifesaving actions. Prior to her work in animal welfare, Teresa was the vice president of risk management and control for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. She holds a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Missouri - Columbia.

About Jose Ocaño

Jose Ocaño started as a shelter technician at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC). During his tenure, Jose and his team focused on shifting the internal culture and implementing progressive adoption, rescue, community cat, and volunteer programs to increase live release outcomes and decrease intake, which has declined to 17,000 pets annually. This success led to Jose becoming the executive director of PACC which led to even more progressive and innovative changes. In 2017, Jose joined Best Friends Animal Society as the new Pacific regional director. In this role, he works with animal welfare groups in California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and Alaska to support them in implementing life-saving strategies, policies, and programs to achieve no-kill in their communities. Jose also leads the No Kill Los Angeles initiative, which focuses on bringing together passionate individuals, city shelters, and an entire coalition of animal welfare organizations to end the killing of homeless pets in L.A. city shelters.

About Marc Peralta

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).

About Cheryl Schneider

Cheryl holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management. A former nurse/paramedic for 32 years, Cheryl became interested in the city operated animal shelter in her community during her tenure as Emergency Medical Services director. Concerned for the welfare and outcome of the animals at the shelter, she formed the volunteer group Cause for Paws, Inc. whose mission was to assist with the shelter's operations and funding. Soon after, Animal Services was placed under her management. After retiring from the City of Lockhart in 2007, Cheryl went to work in Williamson County as the director for the newly built regional animal shelter, which intakes about 7,000 animals annually. During her tenure, the euthanasia rate has steadily decreased, and a save rate of over 90 percent has been achieved and kept since December 2010.