Imagining the Future of Animal Welfare

February 2020 by Kristen Hassen-Auerbach, Rebecca Guinn and Marc Peralta

Audience: Executive Leadership, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Video Length: 54:45

Hear from some of the most influential voices in animal welfare as they imagine what the future holds for homeless pets. This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2020 American Pets Alive! Conference.

About Kristen Hassen-Aurbach (moderator)

Kristen is the Director of Pima Animal Care Center, Pima County's only open-admissions animal shelter which takes in 17,000 homeless, lost and abandoned pets annually and serves 15,000 animals through animal protection and outreach services. Under her direction, PACC is saving more than 90 percent of the cats and dogs who come to the shelter including orphaned puppies and kittens, pets recovering from illness and injuries, and animals who have been victims of cruelty or neglect. In 2017, she oversaw the opening of the newly-constructed state-of-the-art, animal services facility.

Kristen has received national recognition for her innovative, lifesaving programs. Her efforts have been featured in numerous national publications and websites, such as Animal Sheltering magazine, the Huffington Post, BarkPost, the Dodo and Buzzfeed, and on TV networks, including CNN, Fox and ABC. Kristen formerly served as the Deputy Director at Austin Animal Center in Austin, Texas as well as the Assistant Director at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Fairfax, Virginia.


About Rebecca Guinn

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. Rebecca is active in the animal law section of the state bar of Georgia and is a member of Best Friends Animal Society's No-Kill 2025 National Steering Committee.


About Marc Peralta

As the Senior Director of National No-Kill Advancement, Marc brings together Best Friends' newest initiatives and aligns 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.

Marc is the former Executive Director for Best Friend Animal Society's Los Angeles organization, where he directed program operations. Marc 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). In addition to his duties at the Pennsylvania SPCA, Marc also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Animal Care and Control Team of Philadelphia. Prior to the PSPCA, Marc worked in animal care manager roles at the Nevada Humane Society in Reno, NV and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs, CO.


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