As the Senior Director, National Mission Advancement, Marc
Peralta brings together Best Friends’ newest initiatives and aligns
all things related to developing the knowledge and capabilities of
individuals and organizations involved in lifesaving in order to
empower them to achieve no-kill in their own backyard. These
initiatives include shelter outreach, mentorship, staff-embedding
programs, community cat programs, no-kill leadership training, and
emergency response training and operations.
Jessica Gutmann is the Manager of Operations for the Santa
Rosa Shelter Embed Program for Best Friends Animal Society. In this
role, Jessica is charged with helping the animals of Santa Rosa
County Animal Services in Florida, by working with the shelter to
achieve a 90% save rate through implementations of programs and
Jessica, a Wisconsin native, started her journey into the
world of animal welfare when she began working as an Adoption
Counselor for the Wisconsin Humane Society. Following her passion
to serve animals Jessica became a Humane Officer at Milwaukee Area
Domestic Animal Control Commission. While there she created the
organization's first comprehensive volunteer program. Jessica also
founded Urban Cat Coalition, Milwaukee, Wisconsin's first and only
Jessica started with Best Friends as a Community Cat
Coordinator. During her time in that role, she helped engage with
communities by advocating for trap-neuter-return initiatives, and
working with shelters to implement return to field programs.
Jessica transitioned into the role of Shelter Support Coordinator
helping to support shelters in Utah by working with them to
maximize their potential for saving lives.
Jessica has a permanent residence in Utah and shares her life
with her husband, nine cats, and two dogs. She enjoys hiking, being
in red-rock country, adventures in her jeep, and is a true-crime
Jessica and Marc join Mandy today to discuss removing barriers
to pet adoptions in animal shelters.