Alexander "AJ" Caldwell, senior specialist, national shelter support
Alexander, better known as AJ, is the national shelter support senior specialist for Best Friends Animal Society. As part of Best Friends’ work to offer customized, strategic support and training for animal sheltering agencies around the country, AJ provides assessments of agencies' field services and helps design and implement training programs proven to increase live outcomes, community engagement, officer safety, and assists said agencies to strive to put “Care” back into Animal Care and Control.
AJ began his career in animal services in 2018 with Columbus Animal Care & Control, where he still resides. During his time as an officer, he earned the ranking of sergeant, formed relationships with Rescue organizations within and outside of his community, as well as relationships with citizens through community engagement and proactive work.
Before joining Best Friends, AJ worked with Paws Humane Society in Columbus as the Pets for Life Coordinator. In his role, he assisted pet owners access vet services, food, and any supplies necessary to ensure a full life for their furry companions. Within a short time, AJ worked to change the narrative and separation between the community and local animal services. Using the same principles of community engagement that shaped his career as an officer, AJ was seen as a reliable resource by citizens and his coworkers, earning the nickname “Dog Food Daddy” due to the monthly average of 2,900 pounds of dog and cat food he was able to make accessible through the Outreach Department of Paws Humane.