Lee Ann Shenefiel, South Central Regional Director

Lee Ann Shenefiel started as the South Central Regional Director with Best Friends in January 2019 after serving as interim Chief Animal Services Officer at the Austin Animal Center since 2017. The Austin city shelter is nationally recognized as a leader in sheltering and has achieved live outcomes for over 97% of the nearly 17,000 dogs and cats it takes in annually by creating systems of programs and processes that work toward live outcomes for all animals.

Lee Ann has been passionate about finding ways to connect every member of the pet community with Austin’s lifesaving animal services mission, and she piloted engagement-based programming to help neighborhoods with higher-than-average intake and lower return-to-owner rates. Prior to her role as interim chief, Lee Ann served as deputy chief and oversaw animal protection, outreach and prevention programming and the center’s volunteer program, which is now a Service Enterprise–certified program.

Before moving to Texas, Lee Ann served as Assistant Director of the Fairfax County Animal Shelter in Virginia, where she managed intake, adoptions and business services, and helped to develop policies and programs that brought the shelter to a save rate of over 90% for the first time. She has over 15 years of experience in municipal government and brings this unique perspective to building partnerships.