Health Alert:   COVID-19 Transmission Level:   HIGH   More information
Get vaccinated.
Pima County Government Logo
  • Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Print
  • RSS
  • PACC represented at Best Friends National Conference

    Jul 26, 2018 | Read More News
    Share this page
    Dr. Wilcox and Michele FigueroaPima Animal Care Center presented at the Best Friends Animal Society national conference July 19–21 in Los Angeles. PACC’s shelter was among the featured speakers at this annual event, which brings together animal welfare organizations from across the nation to share strategies and exchange ideas to help make the U.S. no-kill by 2025.

    “It was an honor to be one of the most-represented shelters at the entire conference and to serve as a beacon of hope for cities and counties trying to emulate Pima County’s lifesaving achievements,” said PACC Director of Animal Services Kristen Auerbach. “Most people in Pima County don’t realize how exceptional our community is – the care and love shown to homeless animals by people in our County is almost unparalleled.”

    This conference offers animal organizations the opportunity to meet current animal welfare leaders while also learning new skills to improve their foster programs, increase adoptions, develop lifesaving partnerships, enhance fundraising efforts and save more lives. 

    PACC attendees included Auerbach, who presented on adult dog foster programs and effective communication for the organization; Internal Operations Manager Michele Figueroa and Chief Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Wilcox, who presented on lifesaving shelter medicine; and members of PACC’s non-profit partner, the Friends of PACC. 

    Kristen and JoséFormer PACC leaders, Kristin Barney and Karen Hollish, also attended and led sessions on leadership and municipal fundraising. Similarly, Jose Ocaño, who now works for Best Friends presented on lifesaving programs in Pima County and Los Angeles. Before joining the national organization, Ocaño managed PACC’s internal operations and helped jumpstart many lifesaving initiatives at PACC. 

    Figueroa, who attended this conference for the first time, said it was an “eye-opening experience” to see the impact PACC has made on other shelters nationally. 

    “When I was at the conference it was a huge realization that all eyes are on PACC. People were coming up to us to ask best practices. It was almost like we were celebrities,” she said. “I’ve worked at PACC for 15 years and, until now, didn’t realize how much of a leader PACC has become. That alone has inspired me to do more and keep pushing the envelope to continue making an impact on animal welfare.” 

    Over the past six years, PACC has made significant changes to not only save more lives, but also inspire other municipal shelters to do the same. And it’s paying off. 

    “PACC’s innovative, lifesaving programs are at the forefront of animal sheltering in this Country. Whether it’s presenting at national conferences or inviting students from around the nation to participate in learning apprenticeship programs, PACC is leading the way when it comes to giving every abused, neglected or unwanted pet a chance at a new life,” Auerbach said.

    To learn more about PACC, visit