Legislative Processes for Lifesaving
Debra Griggs is the immediate past President of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies (VFHS). VFHS consists of over 125 member organizations, including public shelters, private shelters, animal control agencies, rescue organizations and sanctuaries. Under Debra’s leadership, VFHS distinguished itself as one of the most effective statewide animal welfare organizations in the country. VFHS is leading the charge to bring Virginia to at least a 90% save rate for sheltered pets by the end of 2020. To brand that commitment, VFHS created the initiative SaveVAPets — Crossing the No Kill Finish Line. After conducting extensive research to identify under-performing regions of Virginia, VFHS developed targeted programming to address unmet needs. In 2019, VFHS facilitated the transfer of nearly 5,000 animals from under-resourced to high-performing areas of the state. VFHS regularly delivers spay/neuter monies to member organizations, holds an annual conference that offers cutting-edge training to attendees presented by nationally renowned experts in the industry, and is a recognized expert in the development of local policies and state laws to improve conditions for companion animals, sheltering organizations and pet guardians. Debra founded Animal Resources of Tidewater (ART) in 1998 in Norfolk, Virginia. ART specializes in shelter intervention and was recognized by a Norfolk City Council resolution that acknowledges the organization “for its efforts to reduce the number of animals taken to shelters and euthanized.” She was the founding chair of the Animal Welfare Coalition of Hampton Roads and served on the Norfolk Animal Advisory Board appointed by the city council. Debra has served on myriad local and state boards, both for-profit and nonprofit, and promotes the notion that the business principles and strategies embraced by for-profits must be implemented and are absolutely vital to the sustainability of nonprofit organizations. Professionally, she is the managing broker of RE/MAX Central in Norfolk, Virginia.