By: Roger Marmet | Chairman of the Board of Directors, Humane Rescue Alliance
I’m excited to note that August 6 marks a very special anniversary for the Humane Rescue Alliance’s President and CEO Lisa LaFontaine, as we celebrate her 10th year in Washington, DC.
But this is not only a notable anniversary for Lisa. This marks a watershed moment for animal welfare in the Washington, DC region. On this date in 2007, Lisa began her tenure guiding the future of the Washington Humane Society. It is safe to say that animal welfare in the District of Columbia was forever changed that day, as Lisa brought her experience, progressive ideas, energy, enthusiasm, and outstanding leadership skills to our nation’s capital and transformed the cause of protecting the lives of our animals.
When Lisa arrived at WHS, she immediately instituted changes, both operational and philosophical, that yielded positive results. As the organization’s placement rate rose to 90 percent, so did Lisa’s reputation as one of our country’s most dynamic—and successful—animal welfare professionals.
During WHS’s transformation, Lisa instituted a number of strategic initiatives that have greatly benefitted the animals of the nation’s capital. Lisa and WHS opened the National Capital Area Spay & Neuter Center, which has sterilized thousands of animals; she developed CatNiPP, the trap-neuter-return program that has served to dramatically reduce the number of euthanizations of cats in Washington, DC, and is effectively controlling the outdoor cat population. All the while, tens of thousands of animals found new forever homes and new supporters of the humane treatment of animals evolved.
In 2016, Lisa helped guide the successful merger of the Washington Humane Society and Washington Animal Rescue League. She worked closely with the senior staff and Boards of Directors of both WHS and WARL to lay the groundwork for a new, combined organization that would not just be larger but would also be more powerful and effective, one that could accomplish more for both animals and people. The Humane Rescue Alliance is the result of that collaboration.
Since the merger, Lisa is leading an innovative culture and a team whose ideas and programs have ranged from the HOPE Program—supporting the people who care for animals in our city by providing free services and affordable pet care resources—to Blue Collar Cats, an initiative developed to find alternative opportunities for outdoor cats, or “community cats,” to live – and work – in our community.
Today, Lisa’s work is emulated nationwide and she is a leading voice in the world of animal welfare. The future of the animals of our city—and the people who love them—is in the best of hands with Lisa LaFontaine. On behalf of the entire Board of Directors we extend our gratitude and best wishes for this wonderful anniversary.