Yael Oppenheimer, Pacific strategist
State of Oregon; California counties: Butte, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Marin, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo, Yuba
Yael Oppenheimer is a strategist for the Pacific Region. She began her career in animal welfare in 2020, just months into the pandemic lockdown. She started as a Client Service Representative at a shelter’s veterinary clinic for the public, where she assisted clients and helped the low-income and unhoused community receive financial assistance for their pet’s medical needs. She quickly moved to work directly at the shelter as a supervisor, where she had the chance to learn the ins and outs of operating a closed-intake shelter and manage a team of incredible animal caretakers. During her time as a supervisor, she received her Fear-Free and KPA-CTP (Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner) certifications as she has a passion for all things behavior and low stress, especially within the shelter environment. With this new certification, Yael joined an open-intake municipal shelter as an Assistant Manager for the Behavior and Training team, where she assisted with daily behavior evaluations for the safe handling and placement of dogs and cats in the community. She also oversaw the free behavior helpline and spearheaded communication improvements between staff and volunteers, helping to quickly identify behavior challenges and stress in the shelter population and being able to take actionable steps to reduce behavior euthanasia. Before animal welfare, Yael worked in tech, managing a startup acceleration program in Silicon Valley and Brazil.
Yael was raised in Uruguay, South America, and moved to Silicon Valley in 2013. She currently lives in San Jose with her husband, two dogs – Hemi and Cuda, and two cats – Callie and Mercedes. She is bilingual in English and Spanish.