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Leadership

Victoria Cowper

Vice President, Operations

Victoria’s 22+ years’ experience in animal welfare is wide-ranging and vast. While much of her career has been working for animal shelters and spay/neuter organizations in Arizona, she has spent the last several years traveling the country to provide leadership and executive-level support for animal shelters and spay/neuter groups in transition. Her experience in open admission and limited admission animal shelter management, disaster response, spay/neuter services in rural and metro areas, and managing county and city animal care and control contracts make her an ideal leader for developing programs and collaborations to advance our mission in the community. Her expertise in implementing lifesaving strategies also brings a unique perspective to the ongoing management and future development of our new Pet Support and Resource Center.

From its inception in 2005 until 2014, Victoria served as Vice President of the State of Arizona’s Companion Animal Spay/Neuter Committee administering spay/neuter grants through the state’s pet-friendly license plate program.

Victoria’s passion for animals extends into her personal life as well. She and her rescued therapy dog Nana are one of 300 teams with HOPE Animal Assist Crisis Response, a member of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. HOPE teams are trained to respond to more intense emotional and environmental situations than usually encountered in typical animal therapy work, so Victoria and Nana have received specialized training in crisis intervention skills (emotional first aid), animal behavior and stress management, critical incident stress management, incident command system training, first aid and CPR, and pet first aid. She was in the inaugural class for the Navigator Buddies program at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, where she and Nana helped destress travelers.

Through the years, Victoria has served and led several disaster teams during wildfire and hurricane rescue work and cruelty investigations that have resulted in the seizure of hundreds of abused and neglected animals. In 2010, she received the Arizona Humane Officer of the Year award.

In addition to Nana, she also shares her home with “Charlie Brown,” a “blocky-headed whatever” dog, as she likes to refer to him, whose claim to fame is being “the best cuddler.” When not spending time with her four-legged children, she enjoys spending time with her son who is serving our country as a commissioned officer in the Navy.