Cute Cat resting on pet owners shoulders

The State of Pet Homelessness Index was developed by Mars Petcare in partnership with leading animal welfare experts.

Claire Bessant

Claire Bessant has been Chief Executive of International Cat Care for over 25 years. Over that time the charity has developed evidence-based, pragmatic, cat friendly solutions to a wide range of issues, taking into account human behavior change, understanding of cats themselves, the position of cats within the human environment, the issues which affect cat welfare, and insight into the relationship people have with cats.

Claire’s early work years for the British Veterinary Association in its publishing department laid the foundation for the development of the charity’s veterinary division, the International Society of Feline Medicine, and publishing of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, leading to a growing international membership of vets interested in cats and accreditation of Cat Friendly Clinics.

Claire has always enjoyed collaborative working, such as is required to tackle problems associated with unowned cats - to understand the global issues and develop a range of pragmatic solutions which can be used in different individual situations.

Brenda N. Bonnett

A veterinarian and epidemiologist – Dr. Brenda Bonnett spent several years in practice and was a tenured Associate Professor at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She is now a Consulting Epidemiologist and CEO of the non-profit International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) a multi-stakeholder, collaborative organization to enhance the health, well-being and welfare of dogs, and support human-dog interactions.

Academic achievements include over 87 peer-reviewed publications and 5 book chapters across a wide array of disciplines. Supervised 12 doctoral and 10 master students and served on numerous graduate student committees in several countries. Brenda has received an honorary doctorate by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

Consultations include work with shelters, welfare, and regulatory organizations, national kennel clubs and veterinary organizations. She facilitated a workshop on accessible veterinary care and is a frequent speaker at local, national, and international venues to breeders, show judges, veterinarians, researchers and others.

Joyce Briggs

Joyce Briggs, MS, has worked full time in management positions in animal welfare for more than 25 years, with a special passion for effective, humane population control of companion animals. She has been President of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs since 2008, where she works to advance non-surgical alternatives to control dog and cat populations.

Joyce was previously Executive Director of PetSmart Charities, where she guided investment in innovation for high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter approaches and redistribution of shelter pets. Joyce also worked with the American Humane Association to develop and launch the first marketing materials for pediatric sterilization. As a consultant to Banfield Pet Hospital, Joyce helped create an Animal Shelter Advisory Board and helped with an industry transition to an ISO-standard microchip reader.

Locally, Joyce is co-founder of and active with the Animal Shelter Alliance of Portland, Oregon, which has completed more than 100,000 cat spays for low-come owners in less than 10 years, increasing the regional save rate to 96%. Passionate about peer-to-peer pet foster, Joyce is a strategic advisor to 911Fosterpets. Joyce has a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Jeffrey Flocken

Jeffrey Flocken is the President of Humane Society International. In this capacity he leads the organization’s animal welfare work in over fifty countries, fighting to protect and conserve wildlife, companion animals, laboratory animals and farmed animals around the globe through direct-care, policy change, education, and campaigning.

Before this appointment, Flocken worked as the North American Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and for the U.S. federal government as an International Affairs Specialist. Flocken has served as a consultant on numerous movies, books and television shows addressing animal topics. Flocken currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Jaguar Conservation Fund, the GRACE Gorilla Sanctuary, the Jackson Wild Film Festival, and the Steering Committee for the IUCN Tapir Specialist Group.

Flocken is also the co-founder and board co-chair of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders initiative which mentors and provides training for up-and-coming leaders in the wildlife field. He is the co-author of the award-winning book Wildlife Heroes.

Elly Hiby

Dr. Elly Hiby is the Director of the International Companion Animal Management (ICAM) Coalition and an independent animal welfare consultant. Her recent work with the ICAM Coalition is focused on affordable and meaningful impact assessment of dog population management interventions.

Previously she worked at Dogs Trust as International Director, and before that, at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA; now World Animal Protection) for eight years, including leading on the companion animal welfare program and advising on humane dog population management and rabies control internationally. She has also worked as a technical expert with the World Animal Health Organization (OIE), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on dog population management.

It was through her work with WSPA that she first came into contact with the Alliance for Contraception of Cats and Dogs (ACC&D) and subsequently joined their board of directors, and is now board Chair. The ACC&D works as a catalyst for the successful introduction of methods to non-surgically sterilize dogs and cats.

Ellen Jefferson

Ellen Jefferson, DVM, is the President and CEO for Austin and American Pets Alive! and serves on the Executive Team for the Human Animal Support Services Project, an international collective of shelter industry leaders, moving government Animal Services to become Human Animal Support Services.

Dr. Jefferson has had a diverse career in rural, urban, private, emergency and shelter practice, founding EmanciPET spay/neuter clinic and leading Austin’s successful efforts to become the largest No Kill City in the United States. She authored “Using Data to Make Austin a No-Kill City,” published by Maddie’s Fund, as well as work in the Journal of Veterinary Medicine.

Among her many awards, she was unanimously chosen to receive the first Avanzino Leadership Award, given for outstanding contributions to the No Kill movement. She serves on the National Steering Committee for Best Friends Animal Society, the Shelter Advisory Council for Pedigree Foundation, and the North American COVID-19 Response Coalition.

John Rawlings

John is a Physiology graduate of Glasgow University (BSc, MSc) and Manchester University (PhD), with additional postdoctoral experience in pharmaceutical toxicology. He joined WALTHAM in 1994 studying many aspects of the nutritional management of canine and feline health and disease states. John has a long-standing interest in animal welfare and ethics in a research environment and currently is Head of Welfare & Ethics for Mars Inc. and a member of the WALTHAM Leadership Team.

John is a member of The Physiological Society, The Laboratory Animal Science Association (LASA) and the Universities Federation of Animal Welfare (UFAW). He served two terms on the British Veterinary Association Ethics and Welfare Group and two terms as secretary to the Animal Welfare and Wellness Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Currently, John has over 100 publications, 41 of which are full peer-reviewed papers, with 13 of these having first authorship.

Andrew Rowan

Dr. Andrew Rowan has more than 40 years of experience in animal welfare science and in animal and environmental advocacy. He has served on many government and corporate consultative committees, on numerous Boards of national and international NGOs and most recently served as the CEO of Humane Society International for 20 years and as the Board Chair of the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.

Dr. Rowan was a professor at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine where he established the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy, launched an academic journal on human-animal relations (Anthrozoos), launched the first Master’s degree in the world on animals and public policy (1995), and served for several years as Chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences.

He has authored or co-authored numerous books and over one hundred academic papers on animal research and alternatives, on companion animal demographics and management, on humane wildlife management and on human-animal interactions. He is a recipient of the Rhodes Scholarship and has received numerous awards for his work.