Kristen Hassen-Auerbach is the Director of Pima Animal Care Center, Pima County’s only open-admissions animal shelter which takes in 17,000 homeless, lost and abandoned pets annually and serves 15,000 animals through animal protection and outreach services. Under her direction, PACC is saving more than 90 percent of the cats and dogs who come to the shelter including orphaned puppies and kittens, pets recovering from illness and injuries, and animals who have been victims of cruelty or neglect. In 2017, she oversaw the opening of the newly-constructed state-of-the-art, animal services facility. Under her leadership, PACC partners with hundreds of rescue and community groups and engages thousands of volunteers and foster families to help achieve its mission.
Kristen has received national recognition for her innovative, lifesaving programs. At PACC, she’s created the largest pet foster care program in the United States, with nearly 5,000 animals sent to foster just this year. Because of the success of this program, PACC received a large grant to lead a training initiative that funds dozens of shelters around the U.S. to attend four-day ‘apprenticeships’ to learn about PACC programs and operations. Outside the shelter, Kristen has developed partnerships to build a community outreach program focused on providing resources for pets owned by people facing homelessness and extreme poverty. Kristen also presents and writes regularly on a variety of subjects, including breed labeling, reduction of shelter intake, innovative foster care and social media for animal welfare leadership. Her efforts have been featured in numerous national publications and websites, such as Animal Sheltering magazine, the Huffington Post, BarkPost, the Dodo and Buzzfeed, and on TV networks, including CNN, Fox and ABC. Kristen formerly served as the Deputy Director at Austin Animal Center in Austin, Texas as well as the Assistant Director at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Fairfax, Virginia.