PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwired - November 03, 2016) - Maddie's Fund®, a national family foundation based in Pleasanton, CA, awarded the first annual Avanzino Leadership Award to Dr. Ellen Jefferson of Austin Pets Alive! for her outstanding leadership and significant achievement in lifesaving.
The award is named after Rich Avanzino, the father of the no-kill movement, and recognizes outstanding leadership in the animal welfare community. It will be presented along with a $25,000 grant to Austin Pets Alive! for demonstrating significant achievement in lifesaving, showing the courage to look beyond the status quo and making bold decisions to improve the lives of dogs and cats, and being a champion of the no-kill movement.
"Dr. Ellen Jefferson, Executive Director, Austin Pets Alive!, embodies these qualities and more," said Amy Zeifang of the Maddie's Fund Executive Leadership Team. "She was the overwhelming choice as Maddie's Fund's first recipient of this award."
In 2008, Dr. Jefferson stepped in as Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive! in an effort to expedite achieving no-kill in their community. She formed collaborative ties with Austin Animal Center and Austin Humane Society. Together, the organizations brought the entire city of Austin to a greater than 90% save rate, and became the largest No-Kill city in the U.S.
In 2012, Dr. Jefferson helped San Antonio Pets Alive! to implement the no-kill programs that were proven successful in Austin and helped drive the live release rate from 30% to 80% in 12 months.
Moving forward, the Avanzino Leadership Award will be awarded to one person each year through peer nominations. The nominations will be accepted in July/August with an announcement of winner in September 2017. Animal welfare practitioners are invited to nominate their choice for who best embodies the qualities of the Avanzino Leadership Award, and are encouraged to join the Maddie Network for updates.
About Maddie's Fund
Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation created in 1994 by Workday co-founder Dave Duffield and his wife, Cheryl, who have endowed the Foundation with more than $300 million. Since then, the Foundation has awarded more than $187.8 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, shelter medicine education, and pet adoptions across the U.S. The Duffields named Maddie's Fund after their Miniature Schnauzer Maddie, who always made them laugh and gave them great joy. Maddie was with Dave and Cheryl from 1987 - 1997 and continues to inspire them today.
Maddie's Fund is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, investing its resources to create a no-kill nation where every dog and cat is guaranteed a healthy home or habitat. #ThanksToMaddie.