David Owens, national senior strategist, shelter collaborative program
Ever since an early age, David knew he had a love and a passion for animals as he would bring home any and every stray animal he would find. He started his professional role in animal welfare in 2008, where he worked in an entry-level position, learning the ropes of animal welfare and lots of self-educating through certificate programs and experience. He’s held various roles throughout his tenure, including lifesaving manager, shelter manager, operations manager, and shelter programs manager. Leaving a trail of accomplishments, successes, and many lives saved.
His most recent impactful and successful work occurred during his employment with the Brandywine SPCA (an organization based out of Pennsylvania and Delaware). The organization participated in the Best Friends Shelter Collaborative Program, where David led and mentored Tangipahoa Parish Animal Control, a municipality shelter in Louisiana, by embedding and managing a team, and implementing several programs and systems to increase the overall lifesaving within the shelter. Those programs included low-cost spay/neuter services for the community, spay/neuter services for shelter pets, a return-to-field program for community cats, an intake intervention program for unwanted pets, and provide on-site assistance and support with shelter operations. David was able to help the shelter achieve a 90% live release rate within the first year of the program, compared to a 23% LRR the shelter had in the previous years. He’s excited to now be a part of the Shelter Collaborative Program at Best Friends and be in a position that will help shelters across the country! David resides in Delaware with three dogs, three cats, and a tarantula. He enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, food, and being a foodie!