Sheila Donya Kouhkan, Chief of Engagement
Sheila started her professional career in animal welfare in 2009, working on compassionate legislation for the City of Los Angeles. She assisted with the passage of such measures as the bans on the commercial sale of puppy mill dogs, cat declawing, and the use of bull hooks on elephants in traveling shows. She began working in the world of animal welfare nonprofits in 2015 when she joined the team at Best Friends Animal Society, collaborating with local rescues to make Los Angeles a no-kill city. In 2017, Sheila accepted the Maddie’s® Fund Executive Leadership Fellowship and joined the teams at Austin Pets Alive! and Austin Animal Center in Texas, where she learned the ins and outs of animal welfare leadership and gained a passion for disaster response. Sheila is committed to using her diverse background and the resources available in her current role to bring vitality to lives furry and otherwise.
Sheila is thrilled to be a member of NACA and finds that it is a great way to connect with partners across the country. Through this organization, Sheila has been able to connect with leaders who have been in the industry for many years. These connections are extremely valuable when understanding how and why the industry has evolved into what it is today. Animal welfare is a dynamic industry and being a part of this group is like having a lifeline to the realities of our society and where we are headed. Gaining a deeper understanding of animal welfare through NACA has facilitated Sheila and the Pethealth team to ensure a focus on tools and resources to support shelter partners with their lifesaving goals and to keep pets with their families.
Sheila lives in San Diego, CA with her Husky mix, Ziba, and enjoys fostering for local shelter partners.