4-23-24 Make a PACT with Your Community

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Compassion, transparency, leadership.

These are the drivers of People and Animals in Community Together (PACT), a movement in animal sheltering that recognizes the power of community collaboration as outlined in nine shared beliefs. The Animal Welfare profession has made great strides in enhancing the lives of animals and people and improving communities. By articulating the ethics of how we do this important work, we can thoughtfully increase our impact and help others understand our “why.”

  • Apryl Steele, DVM, CAWA, President & CEO, Dumb Friends League and The Association’s Board Chair, will explain the origins of this important movement. 
  • Joe Elmore, CAWA, President and CEO, Charleston Animal Society, will discuss what PACT means to him and to CAS, and why it's a strategy for achieving community goals. 
  • Kendall Houlihan, DVM, Associate Director, Animal Welfare Division, AVMA, will share a veterinarian's perspective on how PACT can engage veterinary stakeholders with animal welfare organizations. 
  • Katherine Shenar, CAWA, Executive Vice President of The Association, will walk you through a toolkit of PACT resources available to your organization at no cost.

This session will be tailored to executive leadership and marketing personnel, but all are welcome to learn more about the nine tenets of PACT and the positive impact they can make on your community.

Dr. Apryl Steele, CAWA

President & CEO

Dumb Friends League

Apryl Steele, DVM, CAWA, is the President and CEO of the Dumb Friends League. After practicing veterinary medicine for 18 years, she had the honor of joining the League in 2014 to advocate for animals who are vulnerable due to homelessness, mistreatment, or their owner’s financial situation. She is currently the Board Chair for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. Apryl is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator.

Joe Elmore, CAWA, CFRE

President & Chief Executive Officer

Charleston Animal Society

Joe Elmore has served as the President and CEO of Charleston Animal Society since 2012. When he joined, he brought 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Joe also organized the statewide initiative No Kill South Carolina and led the effort to pass the first felony animal cruelty law in the U.S.

Kendall Houlihan

Associate Director, Animal Welfare Division


Dr. Kendall Houlihan, an Associate Director in the Animal Welfare Division, has served at the American Veterinary Medical  (AVMA) since 2014. In that role, she supports the mission and vision of the AVMA regarding the development and implementation of animal welfare and human-animal interaction policies utilizing sound scientific evidence and consideration of ethical and societal implications. Dr. Houlihan earned her undergraduate degree from University of Notre Dame and her veterinary degree from University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Katherine Shenar, CAWA

Executive Vice President

The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

Katherine Shenar is the executive vice president for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. She has 30 years of experience in animal welfare, including serving as CEO for two animal welfare organizations and holding leadership roles with four others. Katherine became a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) in 2020.

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