Who We Are

Janine Takasugi, operations manager

Janine Takasugi - Best Friends Animal SocietyJanine Takasugi is a Manager of Operations – Embed Project with the National Embed Program at Best Friends Animal Society. Her inaugural assignment is a year-long embed at the new Fresno Animal Center in Fresno, CA. She will be focusing on sustainable systems to support an overall 90% save rate. Through growing existing pet reunification programming, inclusive adoption strategies, and partnering with the community through fostering and volunteering, Janine is excited to be a part of the next chapter for Fresno and its animal community.

Janine began as a volunteer for Best Friends Los Angeles in 2012 and immediately fell in love with the fast pace of animal welfare. With her keen interest in animal behavior, organization, and countless hours of training, Janine was tasked with pulling shelter animals for the legendary Pup My Ride transport program. Eventually joining the Sanctuary Staff full-time in 2016, she worked at Parrot Garden, Cat World, and the Bunny House. Her initial one-week Hurricane Harvey deployment in 2017 turned into a 6-month assignment where her transport experience truly became a 24/7 passion project. Janine was able to coordinate relationships with rescue groups and shelters nationwide and facilitate transport for hundreds of dogs from Houston to their new homes!

Thanks to the organization-wide connections that were forged post-Harvey, she found her way to Salt Lake City as a Program Coordinator for the Low Cost Spay/Neuter and Community Cat Voucher program. During her 4-year tenure at the Best Friends Lifesaving Center, Janine became an integral part of the daily flow of the Center - answering up to 5 different inboxes, managing fleet vehicle repairs, IKEA runs and building lobby furniture, matching kennel gates to orphan crates, writing procedures, and of course laundry. Her final post was Senior Lifesaving Outcomes Coordinator with a focus on shelter partnerships and transport-focused lifesaving outcomes for animals in the Mountain West region.

Janine credits her early days at Best Friends LA for introducing her to the breed and cultivating her love of pitbull type dogs. She fondly remembers the fateful day in October 2011 when she met her forever dog, Martin, who was roaming loose at BFLA's very first Pitbull community event in downtown Los Angeles.