Kelli Ballenger is the co-founder and President of Rusk County Pets Alive!. After living in Austin, Texas for 27 years, she moved to Henderson, Texas to help with her family. Living in the nation’s largest No Kill city and then moving to a community with a 70% kill rate in their shelter was a shock. With no local dog parks and very little consciousness of animal welfare, Kelli started petitioning for change and found a group of like-minded people. Currently, a community dog park is being built and will open in early spring. In addition, she also co-founded Rusk County Pets Alive! and is implementing data driven programs and practices from Maddie’s Lifesaving Academy to bring change and increase live release rates in the local shelter. With Kelli’s experience from leadership roles in her career and in business she is able to combine those skills with the knowledge from Maddie’s Academy to bring a unique approach to building a sustainable organization to help lead her local community to a No Kill status.
Hear success stories from students of Maddie's® Lifesaving Academy and how apprenticeships are helping shape tomorrow's animal welfare leaders.