Who We Are

Jessica Gutmann, Mountain West strategist

Jessica Gutmann with black kitten on shouldermountainwest@bestfriends.org

Jessica Gutmann is a strategist for the Mountain West region, joining the team in January 2021. She will be working with shelters to increase their lifesaving capabilities and establish lifesaving programs and initiatives to help them reach no-kill by 2025. 

Jessica began her animal welfare career in 2007, where she started working at the Wisconsin Humane Society as an adoption and admission counselor. She then moved on to become a Milwaukee County Humane Officer through Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission. In addition to her regular duties, Jessica created MADACC's first comprehensive volunteer program, which improved the quality of life for animals in the shelter. In 2016, while doing some trap-neuter-return of cats, Jessica realized a need for community cat outreach in Milwaukee.. This realization inspired her to found Urban Cat Coalition, Milwaukee’s first and only trap-neuter-return (TNR) organization. 

Jessica started with Best Friends as a community cat coordinator. During her time in that role, she helped engage with communities by advocating for TNR initiatives and working with shelters to implement return-to-field programs. Jessica transitioned into the role of shelter support coordinator,, helping Utah shelters maximize their potential for saving lives. In 2020 Jessica took on an embed position as operations manager for Santa Rosa Animal Shelter in Florida. She spent a year working with the shelter to implement lifesaving programs and create systemic change. Within five months, she helped them achieve and maintain a 90% save rate.