Anna Walton, national shelter support strategist
Anna Walton is a national shelter support strategist for Best Friends Animal Society, providing support and guidance to shelter and field services teams across the country as they work to achieve their goals. Anna also offers specialized support for animal control dispatch programs, leading an effort to highlight the potential for increased lifesaving and community engagement through dispatchers and call-takers.
While completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Emory University, Anna had the pleasure of studying alongside the renowned primatologist, Frans de Waal. She also traveled to northern Tanzania through the School for International Training to study human-wildlife conflict on the borders of the national parks. This led to Anna to AWARE Wildlife Center, where she oversaw the rehabilitation of around 2,500 wild animals each year, trained and managed a large team of volunteers, and supported coexistence education and community engagement efforts.
Prior to joining Best Friends, Anna served as an animal control officer and dispatcher for Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta. While she was an ACO, Anna managed Fulton County’s Doghouse Program, providing humane support for pets and proactive assistance to community members in underserved areas. Before stepping into her current role, Anna also worked as the community cat program coordinator for the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Atlanta, Georgia. As part of that work, she mentored municipal shelters and rescue partners in the Southeast, worked with commissioners and government leadership to establish best practices for local animal control agencies, and led grassroots efforts to update county ordinances to ensure the continuation of trap-neuter-return programs for Cobb County's community cats.
When she’s not busy working with shelters, Anna is usually home on her small farm in Griffin, attempting to develop her gardening prowess and wrangling a small fuzzy and feathered entourage that includes a senior pit bull terrier named Effie, a Chihuahua named Nugget, eleven (and counting!) chickens and a not-so-feral-anymore barn cat named Mary.