Director, Pet Care Issues
As the director of pet care issues for The HSUS, Kirsten ("KC") Theisen focuses on keeping owned pets in their homes and finding forever homes for animals awaiting adoption.
She advocates for better legislative policies impacting pet population—fighting breed-specific legislation, improving tethering ordinances, and getting spay-neuter information programs out to the public.
Theisen has a particular interest in moving society and law past breed-centered thinking in making legislation and toward ordinances that govern all dogs equally, holding all owners accountable for inappropriate dog behaviors. She also works toward ensuring a full complement of resources for pet owners is available to all community members.
When Maryland passed a court decision mis-labeling pit bull dogs as "inherently dangerous," Theisen played an important role in getting information to landlords and residents of Maryland through the Protect Maryland Dogs Helpline.
In addition to working with policymakers, Theisen pursues positive pet-ownership practices on the individual level. The Pet Care Issues team responds to over 3,000 calls and emails from constituents annually, assisting them in resolving specific behavioral or financial problems with pet ownership. She works closely with The HSUS's Cat Protection & Policy team to promote collars and visible ID tags for cats, and to keep companion cats inside their homes.
Currently, Theisen is the lead contact in the Companion Animals department for all topics related to pet care and speaks with media regularly on topics as varied as traveling with pets, creating pet-friendly housing and communities, and finding the right pet for your family.
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