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Betsy McFarland

Vice President, Companion Animals

The Humane Society of the United States

  • Betsy McFarland is Vice President of The HSUS's Companion Animals section. Michelle Riley/The HSUS

Betsy McFarland is Vice President of The HSUS's Companion Animals section, where she oversees a variety of issues and manages programs aimed at increasing adoption and spay/neuter, ending euthanasia, and protecting pets.

She also manages Animal Care Expo, the premier conference for animal care and control professionals.

During her 12-year career with The HSUS, McFarland has provided direct assistance to hundreds of animal shelters, humane organizations, and other agencies in handling various animal care and protection issues.

McFarland posseses a broad communications background, including website creation, book publishing, and media outreach. She has appeared on many news programs including CNN, Fox National News, and CNBC, and has been interviewed for numerous other television, newspaper, and radio stories on animal-related issues. She is also a regular speaker at state and national animal conferences.

Over the last decade, McFarland has responded to numerous natural and man-made disasters—from hurricanes and floods to hoarding cases and large-scale seizures of puppy mill dogs. She is National Disaster Animal Response Team (NDART) trained and has extensive experience setting up and managing emergency animal shelters and volunteers.

McFarland has a special interest in and passion for volunteer engagement, having developed and implemented a successful shelter volunteer program in Texas before joining The HSUS. She is the author of "Volunteer Management: A Guide for Animal Care Organizations," published by The HSUS, and has worked with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to research volunteer management practices. The research findings were published in the Non-Profit Management and Leadership Journal ("Employee Experiences with Volunteers: Description, Volunteer Management Practices, and Outcomes," Rogelberg, S. G. Allen, J. A., Conway, J., Goh, A., Currie, L., & McFarland, B., Vol. 20, Issue 4, 2010, pp. 423-444).

McFarland is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) through the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA). She serves on the board of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs and is past secretary for the board of the National Council on Pet Population, Study, and Policy. She was also a founding board member of the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (ALIVE).

In addition to her animal protection background, McFarland holds a degree in psychology from George Mason University and a certificate in nonprofit business and management from the Johns Hopkins University.

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