March 2019 by Michael Bricker, Jay Garrett, Jr., Steven Greene, Paula Powell, Ed Jamison and Dr. Michael White

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

Video Length: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Learn from animal welfare experts about how Texas is getting to no-kill status. This presentation was recorded by Maddie's Fund® at the 2019 American Pets Alive! Conference.

About Michael Bricker

New Jersey native Michael Bricker started working for Camden County Animal Shelter (CCAS) in 2014. One of Michael's first initiatives as Director of Operations there was to re-write the shelter's adoption policies in order to remove unnecessary barriers between pets and adopters. Under the new program, CCAS saw a 46% increase in adoptions over the following two years. Michael then helped to create a Lifesaving Department, launch CCAS's community cat program, pioneer the Rent-A-Dog program, and modernize the shelter's medical operations - all of which helped CCAS achieve its current 97% live release rate. Today, Michael has taken his vision and passion to Southern Texas as the Senior Manager of Lifesaving Shelter Operations for Best Friends Animal Society. His first assignment in this role was to assume the Director of Operations position for Palm Valley Animal Center (PVAC). Alongside shelter manager Jay Garret Jr., Michael and the exceptional team at PVAC have been able to raise the live release rate by 15% just since July. With a current live release rate of 52%, neither PVAC nor Michael show any signs of slowing their momentum toward the goal of achieving a 90% live release by 2021.

About Jay Garrett, Jr.

Jay is the founder and current president of A Life to Live, a nonprofit animal welfare organization born from the passionate mission of bringing No Kill to the City of Baytown.

He was recently named a finalist for Citizen of the Year and was recognized as a top leader in the local 24 Under 40. In the summer of 2018, Jay's work in animal welfare, and his deep passion for saving lives, allowed him the opportunity to fulfill the role of Manager of Life-Saving Operations for Best Friends Animal Society. Jay is a graduate of the University of Houston where he studied business management, architecture, entrepreneurship, and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. Jay worked in construction as a Project Manager, Project Engineer, and Superintendent for several years while also serving as the Executive Director for A Life to Live as a volunteer from 2014 to 2018.

About Steven Greene

Steven has deep roots in Lubbock, as he was born and raised in the area. He has over 15 years of leadership experience, five of which have been for the City of Lubbock. He has held many leadership roles in animal services, including field officer, lead field officer, interim field supervisor, and assistant director. Since his transition from field operations to director, he has made a tremendous impact on the changes that have occurred at Lubbock Animal Services. The shelter save rate in March of 2018 was only 52%. Since then, the save rate has steadily increased with June, July, and August all being above 90%.

About Ed Jamison

The animal situation in Dallas has been the center of scrutiny over the years due to large roaming dog populations, high profile dog attacks, and low positive save rates from the shelter. With over 34,000 dogs and cats entering Dallas Animal Services yearly, the city has the 4th largest intake in the United States. Since 2017, Ed has been tasked with increasing public safety by getting lose animals off the streets while at the same time increasing positive outcomes. To accomplish that, he is leading a staff of around 200 employees, maximizing the relationships with the rescue community, rebuilding the volunteer base, and instituting new, progressive programming. Prior to coming to Dallas, Ed was the Chief Animal Control Officer for the City of Cleveland, Ohio, but he entered the Animal Care & Control World in the mid 2000's while he was the Animal Warden for the City of Garfield Heights, a suburb of Cleveland.

About Paula Powell

Prior to leading Animal Services, Paula spent 24 years serving the City of El Paso in various operational positions. Before that, Paula served as a 1st Lt in the US Army and was stationed at Fort Bliss. She began her college education at the United States Military Academy and culminated it with her master's in public administration at the University of Texas at El Paso. She received her certification in Shelter Management in 2018 and continues to look for new ways to learn and grow in order to save more of the lives that need us most.

About Dr. Michael White

Dr. White has over 30 years of experience in the private practice of veterinary medicine and over 13 years in the veterinary public health field. He joined the Harris County Public Health team in 2010 as the Zoonosis Veterinarian and became the Director of the Veterinary Public Health Division in 2013. He currently serves on the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, a board member on the non-profit Friends of CountyPets (past president), and a member of the Harris County Disaster Animal Management Task Force (past chairperson). Dr. White earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Biomedical Science and Veterinary Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Texas A&M University. He also earned a Master of Science degree from The University of Texas at Tyler.