Profile Drellenjefferson

Dr. Ellen Jefferson

Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive!

Ellen Jefferson, DVM, is the Executive Director for both Austin Pets Alive! and American Pets Alive!, as well as an instructor for the Maddie's® Lifesaving Academy.


Dr. Jefferson graduated veterinary school in 1997 and started her career in private practice. In 1999, in response to an 85% death rate at the city shelter, she started EmanciPET, a low cost and free spay/neuter clinic in an effort to decrease the number of homeless animals. In 2008, still not satisfied with how fast the city of Austin was moving towards No Kill status, she stepped in as Executive Director of Austin Pets Alive! Since 2008, Austin Pets Alive! has been the driving force to bring the entire city of Austin to a greater than 90% save rate and the largest No Kill city in the US, and to redefine what No Kill means, as Austin's save rate now approaches 98%.


In 2012, Dr. Jefferson linked with San Antonio Pets Alive to implement the No Kill programs that were proven successful in Austin and helped drive the live release rate from 30% to 80% in 12 months. She is married to a horse veterinarian and they share guardianship of 2 dogs, 3 cats, and a bird. Dr. Jefferson was unanimously chosen as the first recipient of the Avanzino Leadership award, named for the father of No Kill and given for her outstanding contribution to the No Kill movement.

My Sessions

View the full schedule

Sat. February 2nd

8:30 am - 9:30 am Map Icon Zlotnik Family Ballroom

Opening Keynote Part I: Becoming No Kill

This opening session is designed to give you context about the obstacles, the challenges, the successes and the strategies that made Austin, TX the largest truly No Kill shelter and how they apply to everyone everywhere.


9:50 am - 10:30 am Map Icon Zlotnik Family Ballroom

Opening Keynote Part II: Blueprint To A Successful No Kill Journey

A step-by-step tutorial on focusing your work so that it is additive, not duplicative or worse yet inconsequential.


1:35 pm - 2:50 pm Map Icon Salon 5-6

Fundraising Fundamentals for Scrappy Organizations

Join us and learn fundraising fundamentals for scrappy shelters.


3:10 pm - 4:25 pm Map Icon Salon 4

Why Are Big Dogs So Hard to Save? Identifying and Maintaining Adequate Capacity

Participants will leave understanding what resources they need in place to save the large breed dogs.


Sun. February 3rd

10:45 am - 12:00 pm Map Icon Salon 1-2

Combat the Pressure to Kill: Leading with Resilience in Extreme Crisis

Participants will be able to identify tools to use to combat the pressure to kill in crisis situations.


1:15 pm - 2:30 pm Map Icon Salon 1-2

Get Them on Your Team: Engaging and Leveraging Activists to Reach Your Goals

In this interactive session, we will discuss why it is important to engage activists and how to work with them to reach the community's goals.


2:45 pm - 4:00 pm Map Icon Salon 3

The First 72 Hours: A Model Intake and Animal Flow Process for Disease Prevention

Join Faith Wright, Dr. Ellen Jefferson and Jordana Moerbe of Austin Pets Alive! as they discuss the first 72 hours: model intake and animal flow process which aids in disease prevention and thereby make pets more adoptable, fosterable and transferable.


4:15 pm - 5:15 pm Map Icon Salon 3

Distemper is Not a Death Sentence

Dr. Jefferson will share the cutting edge process Austin developed to combat distemper.


Mon. February 4th

8:30 am - 9:30 am Map Icon Zlotnik Ballroom

Morning Keynote: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)- Resources, Responsibility and Results

Learn how to use your data effectively to help you achieve success and get results. This session will cover how to assign responsibility, how to use data as measurable success, and how to plan to get the resources you need.


9:50 am - 11:20 am Map Icon Salon 1-2

Using YOUR Data for Strategic Planning

Join Dr. Jefferson and Lee Ann Shenefiel to learn how to use your data for strategic planning and how it can help you achieve your goals.


2:20 pm - 4:20 pm Map Icon Salon 1-2

Leadership Roundtables

Participants will have the opportunity to connect with successful shelter leaders to learn pearls of wisdom and specific strategies.


Back to all Speakers
Created with Sketch.