U.S. Leaders and their organizations spotlighted for their innovative lifesaving efforts

April 26, 2017

Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications

(Pleasanton, CA, April 26, 2017)- Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation established by Dave and Cheryl Duffield to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals, has surprised 15 animal welfare leaders with Maddie Hero Awards for their incredible efforts in furthering the no-kill nation mission through shelter medicine, community lifesaving and big picture thinking.

The prestigious Maddie Hero Award, which comes with a $10,000 grant for their respective organizations, recognizes and honors the "top dogs" in communities that are not only advancing the welfare of companion animals in the United States, but are leading the way with their innovative ideas, progressive thinking and lifesaving actions.

There has been a significant amount of progress made in the movement over the past 12 months. In its second year, the list grew by nearly 70%. Maddie's Fund invites you to join them in congratulating the 2017 Maddie Heroes and their teams:


  • Robin Starr, Richmond SPCA
  • Elena Bicker, Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation
  • Dr. Karen Sheppard, Huntsville Animal Services
  • Christie Banduch, Kirby Animal Care Services & Bexar County Animal Control Services

Big Picture Thinking

  • Dr. Kate Hurley, Million Cat Challenge
  • Dr. Julie Levy, Million Cat Challenge
  • Tara Loller, The Humane Society of the United States
  • Julie Morris, ASPCA
  • Susan Houser, Out the Front Door blog
  • Ann Dunn, Cat Town

Shelter medicine

  • Dr. Cynda Crawford, University of Florida
  • Dr. Sandra Newbury, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Dr. Elizabeth Berliner, Cornell University
  • Dr. Jan Scarlett, Cornell University
  • Dr. Robin Brennen, Animal Care Centers, NYC

"The significance of this announcement date is profound," said Amy Zeifang, Executive Leadership Team, Maddie's Fund. "Today, we celebrate these leaders on the same date we celebrate Maddie's 30th birthday, which she shares with all homeless pets. Like our namesake, we are inspired by the lifesaving efforts of people across the country, and we couldn't be more proud."

About Maddie's Fund

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $275.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.