We are honored to introduce you to the Animal Protection Society of Durham’s Shafonda Davis. As a member of The Association’s Leadership Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Shafonda is a changemaker with a few secrets to share for staying resilient.
Name: Shafonda Davis
Member of The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement since: 2014
Organization Name: Animal Protection Society of Durham
Title(s): Executive Director, and member of The Association’s Leadership Committee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Organization’s Mission: The APS of Durham is a leader in building lifelong bonds between people and animals through education, community outreach and providing care for animals in need.
Q&A with Shafonda Davis
The Association: Tell us about your organization.
Shafonda Davis: The Animal Protection Society of Durham is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been helping animals in our community since 1970, and has managed the Durham County Animal Shelter since 1990. APS relies on donations from caring individuals and corporations to feed, shelter and provide medical attention for the nearly 5,000 stray, surrendered, abandoned, abused and neglected animals we care for each year.
The Association: What do you think is the most important part of your job?
SD: The most important part of my job is helping to create a culture that values all life while improving what we do to connect people and animals daily.
The Association: What’s keeping you healthy and resilient these days?
SD: Life balance has helped me remain healthy and resilient. When I am home, I disconnect. I spend time with my children, my dogs and my husband and everything else goes away.
The Association: How have you benefited from your involvement with The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement?
SD: The Association has helped me build the distinct skills needed to run a successful humane organization. It has helped keep me connected to my peers and given me the emotional and professional support I need to grow, press forward and make the changes needed to become the best leader I can be.
The Association: What advice do you have for someone considering membership in The Association?
SD: Join and get involved. You will never regret it. You will meet lifelong friends and learn from and share with some of the best animal welfare professionals in the field.
The Association: Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to who you were ten years ago?
SD: I would have told the me of ten years ago to hold on for a bumpy ride, but it will be worth it. In ten years, animal welfare has changed from a closed, exclusive effort to a community effort that seeks to use all people and resources available to save lives.
The Association: Thank you for serving on the DEI Leadership Committee. It really felt like many in leadership roles—at least those attending the DEI panel at the conference — are ready for the first step of the hard work ahead. Can you share a little about the committee?
SD: The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is a group of seasoned animal welfare professionals that share a common goal of creating a document or living body of work to help our field become as diverse as the communities we serve.