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The HSUS Names New Vice President for Companion Animals

WASHINGTON (July 27, 2011) — The Humane Society of the United States has named Betsy McFarland its new vice president for Companion Animals. McFarland assumes the role following the retirement of John Snyder, and will lead The HSUS’s programs and services for pet owners and local animal shelters.

“John Snyder served The HSUS with distinction and moved the needle on companion animal welfare issues in the nation,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS. “He was a great colleague, and much beloved within our organization and within the broader field. I know he’ll continue to be a close friend to The HSUS in the years ahead. Betsy McFarland has done a remarkable job in her work with the organization for more than a decade, and I know she’ll achieve even more in her new leadership role.”

 McFarland will work toward the goal of eliminating euthanasia of healthy and treatable dogs and cats in the United States, work with public and private shelters to develop best practices, and find other ways to strengthen the bond between people and their pets in society. She will lead one of the largest departments at The HSUS, with a wide range of programs to help pet owners, provide training and evaluations for animal shelters, publish resources for the animal sheltering field, promote pet adoption and spaying and neutering, and build humane communities.

McFarland joined The HSUS in 1998. Her accomplishments include playing key roles in the organization’s response to Hurricane Katrina, managing Animal Care Expo, which is the world’s largest educational and trade show for animal care professionals, serving as a primary spokesperson on pet care and companion animal welfare issues, and managing programs such as The HSUS’ Shelter Services program, which provides vital resources to the nation’s animal shelters, and the Shelter Pet Project, which is the first national public service announcement campaign dedicated to increasing pet adoption from shelters. The campaign is run in conjunction with Maddie’s Fund and The Ad Council.

She is an expert on engaging volunteers in animal protection efforts. She is the author of Volunteer Management: A Guide for Animal Care Organizations, published by The HSUS, and her research findings on volunteer management practices were published in the Non-Profit Management and Leadership Journal. Betsy was named a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator by the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators, serves on the board of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs and is past secretary of the board of the National Council on Pet Population, Study, and Policy. She is also a founding board member of the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement.

Snyder joined The HSUS in 1998 after 30 years of work in animal care and control for government agencies in Florida. One of Snyder’s goals at The HSUS was to grow Animal Care Expo, which marked its 20th anniversary in 2011 with record attendance of more than 1,700 animal care and sheltering professionals.  


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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization—backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the web at humanesociety.org.


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