The Best Friends Podcast Episode 115
The animal welfare field is full of incredible people doing extraordinary things to save lives. This week we chatted with one of them, the regional strategist for the south-central region at Best Friends, Dr. Louiza Chan.
In her role at Best Friends, Louiza consults with organizations across several states to help them save more lives. She’s a veterinarian, she’s from Australia, and she is a faculty member at the University of Florida’s veterinary shelter medicine online program.
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- Best Friends Network: People, Pets, and Policies: Towards Community Supported Animal Sheltering
- Best Friends Network Editorial: Community Powered Lifesaving
- Best Friends Network Town Hall: The Collective Impact of Community Centered Lifesaving
- Best Friends Network Town Hall: Keeping Families Together: Navigating the Blurry Lines Between Neglect, Cruelty and Lack of Access to Care
Dr. Louiza Chan
regional strategist, Best Friends Animal Society
Louiza Chan received her Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Sydney, Australia, and had her first taste of animal sheltering during her externship and volunteer work during vet school. She continued to work with rescue groups and shelters while in private practice upon graduation. During this period, she developed an interest in animal behavior thanks to her misunderstood Jack Russell Terrier and underwent further training through Delta Institute Australia, where she obtained her Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services (Canine Behavior), and post-graduate training in veterinary behavior medicine through the University of Sydney.
Her career took an interesting turn when she was offered the opportunity to lead a behavioral program at an animal facility in Singapore, and eventually served as their clinical director and associate head and spent five years working in academia. Her valuable time working in research solidified her underlying passion for animal welfare, her beliefs in the importance of the human-animal bond, and that a cross-sector collaboration with a One Health emphasis is essential to the shared goals of animal welfare, veterinary and human health professionals.
In 2014, Louiza took a sabbatical to pursue a Master of Business Administration at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, and graduated with a concentration in leadership development. At the same time, she returned where she started and earned the Graduate Certificate in Shelter Medicine from the University of Florida. She has been a faculty member of the program ever since, and shares her enthusiasm in leadership and management, and in animal shelter population management through data and metrics with her students.
Originally from Sydney, Australia, Louiza currently resides in Lafayette, Louisiana, with her family, including her foster-fail cat, Bruno Purrkins, and her animal-assisted therapy dog-in-training, Matilda Rose. She worked as a consultant in shelter management and operations, shelter design and animal behavior for both municipal and non-profit shelters. She also consults with other rescue groups in the Acadiana region and is a guest lecturer on data-driven decision-making at Louisiana State University. She is proud to be part of Lafayette’s No-Kill 2020 initiative, and is passionate about working with animal services organizations in the south-central region to reimagine the way they tell their stories and connect with the community.