Michael Bricker, Director of Operations for the Shelter Embed Program

Michael Bricker is the Director of Operations for the Shelter Embed Program for Best Friends Animal Society. In this role, Michael is charged with writing a new lifesaving chapter for companion animals in the Rio Grande Valley. Texas has the highest lifesaving gap (the difference between the current save rate and the no-kill threshold of a 90% save rate) in the nation, so increasing and sustaining save rates for dogs and cats in shelters in that area is critical to achieving no-kill nationwide by 2025.  

Michael joined Best Friends in June 2018 as the Senior Manager of Lifesaving Shelter Operations. Since then, Michael has been embedded as both the Director of Operations and the Interim Executive Director for Palm Valley Animal Center (PVAC) in Edinburg, Texas. Within five months of his arrival, Michael and the team at PVAC, the largest shelter in the region, increased the save rate from 34% to 54%, and there is great momentum to bring PVAC to no-kill by 2021.  

A New Jersey native, Michael started his career in animal welfare in 2014, working for Camden County Animal Shelter (CCAS). As Director of Operations, Michael was handed the responsibility of running the shelter’s day-to-day operations and ensuring that the animals at CCAS received first-class care and treatment. One of Michael’s first initiatives was to rewrite the shelter’s adoption policies in order to remove unnecessary barriers between pets and adopters. Michael helped to create a Lifesaving Department, launch CCAS’s community cat program, pioneer the Rent-A-Dog program and modernize the shelter’s medical operations. These changes helped CCAS achieve and surpass the no-kill benchmark of a 90% save rate.