Patty Hegwood, director, visitor and volunteer engagement

Patty Hegwood was recruited in January 2011 to be the inaugural director for the new Volunteer and Visitor Engagement division for Best Friends Animal Society. This division houses all of the areas that work with supporters to ensure that their experience at the Sanctuary is positive and inspirational, and to offer educational and resource opportunities for people to get active on behalf of the animals in their communities when they return home.

Patty first started working at Best Friends in 2006 as the manager of the Best Friends clinic. She was recruited to join Best Friends' staff following the society's efforts in Hurricane Katrina pet rescue. At that time, Patty was the lay business partner in a veterinary hospital; in fact, she was the first non-medical business partner in a veterinary hospital in the state of Louisiana.

Patty lives in Kanab, Utah, with her husband, Jason Hegwood, who also works for Best Friends, and their daughter, Hannah. Their happy family includes lots of dogs and cats, and they enjoy hiking and gardening.