BVSPCA joins Best Friends national steering committee

Animal welfare leaders join forces in Initiative to end killing of shelter pets by 2025

West Chester, PA –  (September 27, 2017) – Adam Lamb, Brandywine Valley SPCA (BVSPCA) Chief Executive Officer, is joining rescue and shelter leaders from across the country in a new initiative launched by Best Friends Animal Society to end the killing of dogs and cats in our nation’s shelters by 2025. The goal is to save the approximately 5,500 dogs and cats that are killed in shelters every day simply because they don’t have safe places to call home.

A national steering committee has been formed to help guide the efforts. The committee is being led by Best Friends and comprised of leaders in animal welfare who have played key roles in driving no-kill agendas in a variety of cities and towns, from Los Angeles to Lynchburg, VA.

The purpose of the national steering committee is to help develop more coordinated efforts within the animal welfare movement by providing oversight and expertise to no-kill coalitions nationwide, encouraging increased participation around priority life saving programs, exchanging ideas, and enhancing widespread ownership of the 2025 goal.

“There has been a lot of progress and momentum for no-kill programs across the country but the work has been segmented,” stated Gregory Castle, co-founder and CEO, Best Friends Animal Society. “As a movement, we need more efficiency and collaboration. The 2025 steering committee is focused on making the no-kill movement more accountable, committed and coordinated than ever in order to achieve our national no-kill mission within the next eight years.”

“We’ve worked hard to become the only open admission no-kill shelter in Pennsylvania, and we’re running at over 90% live release rate for 20 consecutive months in Delaware,” said Adam Lamb, Brandywine Valley SPCA CEO. “It’s an honor to bring that experience into this collaborative nation-wide effort with other leaders in the no-kill movement.”

2025 Steering Committee representatives include:

  • Francis Battista – Co-Founder/Board President, Best Friends Animal Society

  • Judah Battista – Co-Founder/Chief Regional Programs Officer, Best Friends Animal Society;

  • Bonney Brown – President and Principal Consultant, Humane Network;

  • Brenda Barnette – General Manager, Los Angeles Animal Services (LAAS);

  • Gregory Castle – CEO/Co-Founder, Best Friends Animal Society;

  • Julie Castle – CDMO, Best Friends Animal Society;

  • Jon Cicirelli– Director of Animal Care and Services, City of San José;

  • Denise Deisler– Executive Director,  Jacksonville Humane Society;

  • Rick DuCharme – Founder and Executive Director, First Coast No More Homeless Pets;

  • Rebecca Guinn– CEO, LifeLine Animal Project;

  • Mary Ippoliti-Smith – Executive Leadership Team, Maddie’s Fund;

  • Ellen Jefferson – Executive Director, Austin Pets Alive!

  • Adam Lamb – CEO, Brandywine Valley SPCA;

  • Christi Metropole – Founder and Executive Director, Stray Cat Alliance;

  • Sara Pizano –  Team Shelter USA, LLC

  • Lee Ann Shenefiel– Deputy Chief Animal Services Officer, Austin Animal Center;

  • Holly Sizemore – Chief National Programs Officer, Best Friends Animal Society;

  • Makena Yarbrough – Executive Director of Lynchburg Humane Society

About the Best Friends Animal Society

Best Friends Animal Society is a leading national animal welfare organization dedicated to ending the killing of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. In addition to running lifesaving programs in partnership with more than 1,900 animal welfare groups across the country, Best Friends has regional centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Salt Lake City, and operates the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. Founded in 1984, Best Friends is a pioneer in the no-kill movement and has helped reduce the number of animals killed in shelters nationwide from 17 million per year to about two million. That means there are still nearly 5,500 dogs and cats killed every day in shelters, just because they don’t have safe places to call home. We are determined to get that number to zero by the year 2025. Working collaboratively with shelters, rescue groups, other organizations and you, we will end the killing and Save Them All®. For more information, visit

About the Brandywine Valley SPCA

Founded in 1929, the Brandywine Valley SPCA is the first open admission shelter in Pennsylvania to achieve No Kill status and serves as the only open admission shelter in both Chester and Delaware Counties. In 2015, the BVSPCA opened its first Animal Health Center in Malvern, Pennsylvania, making veterinary care more accessible to local residents. In 2016, the BVSPCA took on a five-year contract with the Delaware Office of Animal Welfare to provide state-wide animal services, and expanded its reach further into the tri-state area by opening both a second shelter and a second Animal Health Center in New Castle County, Delaware. Shortly after, a PetSmart Everyday Adoption Center was opened in Dover, Delaware. Its mission is to put the “human” back in humane animal treatment and to advocate on their behalf. Each year, the BVSPCA cares for more than 10,000 stray, owner-surrendered, wayward owned, and abused and neglected animals. For more information, please visit

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