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Maddie's Candid Conversation: Special Edition with Bobby Mann and Shakela Brown

  • 1.  Maddie's Candid Conversation: Special Edition with Bobby Mann and Shakela Brown

    Posted 11-09-2022 11:21 AM

    Updated 12/15/22 at 2:20pm: Recording is now available! If you would like to earn continuing education (CE) credit, watch the recording on Maddie's University to receive a certificate of completion. 

    How can we as animal care professionals help pets in service deserts where access to care is extremely limited or even non-existent?  How can we better reach and build trusting relationships with their caregivers?  Both @Bobby Mann and @Shakela Brown of Humane Rescue Alliance have answers.  Their impact on the programs they manage is palpable, especially in communities with limited access to basic items like pet food, toys, and supplies – and where pets and the people who love them struggle to stay together.  The result of their work is replicable and can help fulfill our mission to support pet owners and keep their animals happy, healthy and in loving homes.


    Afterwards, continue the conversation with Bobby and Shakela right here on Maddie's Pet Forum.

    The program will be recorded and made available on Maddie's University for continuing education credit for both CAWA and NACA.

    About our guests

    Bobby Mann, Chief Program Officer, Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA)

    Bobby holding a little dog

    In his role, @Bobby Mann oversees HRA's advocacy efforts, community programs, humane education, and public pet services all with the goal of uplifting and keeping people and pets together. Bobby also oversees the WayStation program, HRA's best-in-class animal relocation program. With more than a decade of experience at municipal animal shelters, Bobby's deep operational expertise, leadership, and creativity have helped change the public's perception of the animal welfare industry.

    Bobby's former work for American Pets Alive! as the Maddie's® Human Animal Support Services (HASS) pilot director focused on developing programs and protocols to implement community supported sheltering and help keep pets in homes with families who already love them. Previously, Bobby spent more than a decade working in Sacramento animal shelters, at both the Sacramento SPCA and later at the state capital's municipal organization, Front Street Animal Shelter.

    Bobby is passionate about implementing and expanding programs that instill a people-first mindset, support youth engagement, further the inclusion of historically marginalized communities, and celebrate the love between people and pets.

    Shakela "Shak" Brown, Director of Community Services, Humane Rescue Alliance

    Shakela Brown portrait

    @Shakela Brown has been at the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C. for 28 years.  She has worked at the front desk, as an animal control officer, in humane law enforcement, and as a humane educator. Currently she is the Director of Community Programs, serving as a local leader in community animal support and outreach.  During her career, she has worn many hats. She started off as an animal caretaker because of her love for dogs.  She soon realized that this "animal job" was a "people job".  She gained insights throughout her journey and shares with whoever will listen.  It's about meeting people where they are and listening with a compassionate and empathic ear.  She has built relationships with D.C. residents and community resource agencies to better serve families and the pets they love.    

     Shak is excited about the changes she has seen in the animal welfare field.  Since hurricane Katrina, there has been many discussions about people and their love for their pets, regardless of their economic status.  In the past few years, social justice issues have impacted places of businesses, including the animal welfare industry. She understands that these issues are connected and that in order to help animals and the community, we must not only speak for animals but also listen and support the people who care for them.


    alison gibson
    Senior Media Specialist
    Maddie's Fund