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Lisa LaFontaine

President and CEO

Humane Rescue Alliance

Lisa led the merger of Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) and Washington Humane Society (WHS) to launch the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA), the provider of animal welfare, animal control and community programs in the nation’s capital. When they merged with St. Hubert’s in New Jersey, HRA became a regional organization, sheltering more than 21,000 animals a year and serving 101,000 more through community programs, as well as 19 animal control contracts and the WayStation transport program. She has advocated for greater animal safety nets, strengthening laws for companion and wild animals, establishing support services to keep pets with their people and embedding HRA in the communities it serves. In her time, the live release rate has risen from 28% to 94%. While she attended law school and was an officer of a multimillion-dollar financial services group, she found her calling when Merlin the feral cat transformed the life of her daughter who had Tourette syndrome. Lisa started volunteering at Monadnock Humane Society and in 1997 led a capital campaign to build one of the nation’s first modern, cageless animal centers. She became CEO in 2001 and never looked back. Over the years Lisa has been at the forefront of national collaborations, served as board chair of the New England “Fed,” the National Federation of Humane Societies and the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. She and her husband have fostered more than 220 animals (and counting). Each day Lisa strives to make the world safer and more compassionate for animals and the people who love them. She and Matt live with Sazzy, the “half-mandibled” pit bull; and Tedward the seven-pound, bottle-raised Chiweenie.