As the Senior Director, National Mission Advancement, Marc Peralta brings together Best Friends’ newest initiatives and aligns all things related to developing the knowledge and capabilities of individuals and organizations involved in lifesaving in order to empower them to achieve no-kill in their own backyard. These initiatives include shelter outreach, mentorship, staff-embedding programs, community cat programs, no-kill leadership training, and emergency response training and operations.
Jessica Gutmann is the Manager of Operations for the Santa Rosa Shelter Embed Program for Best Friends Animal Society. In this role, Jessica is charged with helping the animals of Santa Rosa County Animal Services in Florida, by working with the shelter to achieve a 90% save rate through implementations of programs and systemic change.
Jessica, a Wisconsin native, started her journey into the world of animal welfare when she began working as an Adoption Counselor for the Wisconsin Humane Society. Following her passion to serve animals Jessica became a Humane Officer at Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission. While there she created the organization’s first comprehensive volunteer program. Jessica also founded Urban Cat Coalition, Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s first and only TNR organization.
Jessica started with Best Friends as a Community Cat Coordinator. During her time in that role, she helped engage with communities by advocating for trap-neuter-return initiatives, and working with shelters to implement return to field programs. Jessica transitioned into the role of Shelter Support Coordinator helping to support shelters in Utah by working with them to maximize their potential for saving lives.
Jessica has a permanent residence in Utah and shares her life with her husband, nine cats, and two dogs. She enjoys hiking, being in red-rock country, adventures in her jeep, and is a true-crime enthusiast.
Jessica and Marc join Mandy today to discuss removing barriers to pet adoptions in animal shelters.