Dr. Ellen Jefferson graduated from veterinary school in 1997 and started a career in private practice. In 1999, in response to an 85% death rate at the city shelter, she started Emancipet in an effort to decrease the number of homeless animals. In 2008, still not satisfied with how fast the city of Austin, Texas, was moving toward no-kill status, she stepped in as executive director of Austin Pets Alive. Austin Pets Alive became the driving force behind bringing the entire city of Austin to a greater than 90% save rate, becoming the largest no-kill city in the US.
In 2012, Ellen linked with San Antonio Pets Alive to implement the no-kill programs that have proven successful in Austin, helping to increase the live release rate in San Antonio from 30% to 87% in 36 months.
Married to a horse veterinarian, Ellen and her husband have two dogs (one a distemper survivor), two cats, a bird, as well as many foster animals.
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