Melissa Rubin

Senior Vice President, Animal Response, Care and Sanctuary

Melissa Rubin is the Senior Vice President of Animal Response, Care and Sanctuary for the HSUS.

Melissa Rubin, headshot

Melissa Rubin has an extensive background in animal protection including animal care, rescue, sanctuary, advocacy, welfare and wildlife rehabilitation. She serves as the Senior Vice President of Animal Response, Care and Sanctuary at the Humane Society of the United States. She is responsible for the HSUS's four affiliated animal care centers, the HSUS Animal Rescue Team, Pets for Life and the Rural Area Veterinary Services. She also serves on the board of directors for The Fund for Animals, the South Florida Wildlife Center and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

In her capacity at the HSUS, she is also responsible for the direct care programs, which provide intensive care to over 30,000 animals each year. This includes wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, animal sanctuary, veterinary services in rural communities, rescue and confiscation of suffering animals on large scales from cruel and neglectful situations, assistance to law enforcement agencies in prosecution efforts and permanent placement of such animal victims upon successful conclusion of these criminal cases.

In 2009, Rubin assumed a leadership role for the HSUS’s affiliated animal care centers and has made tremendous strides in professionalizing and improving the operations at all animal care facilities operating under the HSUS. The centers now serve as premier animal care facilities. She has built a strong leadership team at the centers, created operational protocols, established relationships with external partners and significantly enhanced the centers’ capabilities in providing effective care and sanctuary for animals.

Rubin has led the HSUS through many natural disasters, including Hurricanes Floyd, which triggered the third largest evacuation at that time in United States history, Charlie, a Category 4 hurricane which destroyed 12,000 homes in Central Florida, Frances, a Category 2 hurricane that battered Florida’s east coast and Katrina, which sustained winds over 175 miles per hour and reached Category 5 hurricane status.

Rubin is an attorney who joined the HSUS more than 25 years ago as the assistant general counsel. Her involvement in animal protection began in 1983 when she founded Students for Animal Welfare, the first collegiate animal protection organization at American University. Rubin received her degree in environmental science from American University and went on to obtain her Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law. She has a certificate in nonprofit business and management from Johns Hopkins University.