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Sarah Aguilar, CAWA

Senior Director of Operations

Austin Pets Alive!

Following a life-changing accident, Sarah Aguilar made the move from managing restaurants to saving lives. Her first role was as a foster for a breed-specific rescue group, which led to her becoming a board member and eventually the COO of the organization. Three years later, it was time to go back to work, and Sarah learned that you can get paid to do all that volunteer work. She was hired as a program coordinator for the municipal shelter in Ventura, California, where she built its first formal foster program, placing nearly 3,000 animals into foster homes annually and tripling the number of cats adopted through partner pet stores and off-site events. Sarah took on the role of deputy director at Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, Arizona, and spent three years developing and implementing processes that propelled PACC into the forefront of innovative sheltering. After spending a year in Missouri as the national foster programs manager for Greater Good Charities, Sarah made the ultimate dream move to Texas to become the senior director of operations for Austin Pets Alive. Her experience as the training general manager for a national restaurant chain combined with degrees in business management and accounting, has enabled Sarah to bring a unique customer service and systemic, data-driven approach to leading a lifesaving organization that processes nearly 13,000 foster placements annually and saves pets from organizations across the state. Sarah collects stacks of books to read, nearly dead plants to save, and brightly colored writing utensils.