Brent Toellner, senior director of national programs

Brent Toellner joined Best Friends in November of 2016. As the senior director of national programs, he oversees Best Friends’ regional work and helps the organization prioritize national initiatives in working with local partners to facilitate lifesaving programs that have maximum impact toward achieving no-kill nationwide by 2025.

In 2011, Brent, his wife, Michelle, and a few others co-founded the Kansas City Pet Project (KCPP) to bid on the contract to run the municipal shelter in Kansas City, Missouri. Since KCPP took over in January 2012, adoptions have increased by more than 200 percent. KCPP has had a live release rate of more than 90 percent for five consecutive years while remaining an open-admissions shelter.

Brent still serves on the board of directors for KCPP and writes the KC Dog Blog to share information about no-kill practices and the fight against breed-specific legislation. Brent lives in Kansas City with his wife, and they share their home with both dogs and cats.