Melissa Lipani, Mountain West regional engagement manager

Melissa Lipanimountainwest@bestfriends.org

Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming

I am thrilled to be a part of our Best Friends Network team as regional engagement manager for the eight amazing Mountain West states. I joined Best Friends in 2010 after being an active Salt Lake City area volunteer for Best Friends, No More Homeless Pets in Utah and Salt Lake County Animal Services, where I helped build the Salt Lake County Pit Crew program to help save the lives of pit-bull-terrier-like dogs. I’ve worn many hats at Best Friends. I’ve managed Best Friends–Utah adoptions and outreach programs, worked on our pit bull terrier initiatives fighting breed discrimination, and most recently I was Best Friends’ social media community manager. I’ve even been known to emcee our local pet super adoption events.

I love photography (especially of adoptable animals), creative campaigns to boost adoptions and animal advocacy, and I am excited to help our network partners in all aspects of their lifesaving work. I also enjoy dog behavior and training. Of special interest in my role is helping to build coalitions and connecting our partners together to boost collaboration.

In my spare time, I am an obsessive rock climber and mountain biker, and love being a vagabond with my dogs and husband in our camper, Large Marge. My rescued family includes Captain Cowpants (therapy dog extraordinaire and unofficial Best Friends mascot), Ollie, and Instagram star Tuggy Tugboat (also a therapy dog), along with a rotating cast of foster characters.