Judah Battista, local city programs director

A co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society, Judah Battista began his journey with the organization when he was just 14 years old. While growing up, Judah had an affinity for animals and was especially sensitive to those who were suffering. He channeled this compassion into his work at the Sanctuary, where he spent his spring breaks and summers helping the organization get off the ground.

In his career with Best Friends, Judah has worked on behalf of the animals in many different roles. He cared for cats at the Sanctuary as a caregiver and vet tech, and has served as the clinic manager, associate director of community programs and services, and director of animal care.

In 2006, Judah decided to leave Best Friends and work in Chicago, where he gained personal experience addressing the challenges involved in saving homeless animals in one of the largest cities in America. After two years with PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal rescue organization, Judah returned to Best Friends. In 2012, Judah served as the interim executive director of Best Friends–Los Angeles and is now the local city programs director.