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Tennessee State Director

Leighann Lassiter

  • Leighann Lassiter is The HSUS's Tennessee state director. Lauren Pond/The Photo Pond

Before becoming the Tennessee state director for The HSUS in 2007, Leighann Lassiter had a decade of experience working in animal welfare, focusing on sheltering and spay/neuter initiatives.

Lassiter began as a volunteer in a small North Carolina shelter, directing the volunteer staff and day-to-day operations.

Eventually, frustrated by the flood of homeless animals, she asked community leaders to start addressing the lack of animal welfare laws.

Meet Leighann Lassiter and watch her at work

The result was the passage of ordinances for mandatory spay/neuter of adopted shelter animals, stronger leash laws, and pet identification policies. These small but important achievements sparked her passion for public policy change as the key to advancing animal welfare.

In 2008, Lassiter set into motion the largest puppy mill rescue ever conducted in Tennessee. She worked with investigators in the District Attorney's office for the 21st Judicial District to build a successful case, prompted by undercover tips, against the operator of Pine Bluff Kennels in Lyles, Tenn., resulting in the rescue of nearly 700 animals.

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