José Ocaño

Senior Director of Culture and Talent, Best Friends Animal Society

As Senior Director of Culture and Talent, José Ocaño leads efforts to create and implement strategies for employee recruitment, development and growth within Best Friends and the no-kill movement. He also leads the volunteer division, developing a robust internship program and Best Friends’ culture to promote fluency in our mission and values.

José joined Best Friends Animal Society in 2017 as the Pacific Regional Director. In that role, he worked with animal welfare groups in California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii and Alaska to support them in implementing lifesaving strategies, policies and programs to achieve no-kill in their communities.

José spent over a decade of his career working for Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) in Tucson, Arizona. During his tenure, José and his team focused on shifting the internal culture and implementing progressive adoption, rescue, targeted spay/neuter, community cat and volunteer engagement programs to increase live outcomes and decrease intake, which declined to 17,000 pets per year. In his last role at PACC, as Executive Director of Operations, José helped launch a Pet Support Center and overhauled the shelter’s medical and shelter operations, which laid the foundation for the open-admission shelter to become one of the most progressive and innovative animal services organizations in the country.

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