Leadership and Staff

Betsy McFarland, CAWA

img--BetsyMcFarland_bioBetsy McFarland is a partner at Adisa, a new consulting firm dedicated to helping organizations leverage and unleash talent who has come together to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Betsy has 20 years of experience in animal protection, serving as vice president of The Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) Companion Animals section for the last five years.

In her 18 years at The HSUS, Betsy led the development and growth of multiple programs aimed at keeping pets in homes and increasing adoption of pets from shelters and rescues—including the Pets for Life program which brings spay/neuter and other critical services to underserved communities, and The Shelter Pet Project, a national advertising campaign with the Ad Council and Maddie’s fund to promote pet adoption. She has provided direct assistance to hundreds of animal shelters, humane organizations, and other agencies in handling various animal care and protection issues, and oversees Animal Care Expo, the largest conference for animal welfare professionals, attracting more than 2,300 attendees from more than 40 countries every year.

Betsy possesses a broad communications background, including website development, book publishing, and media outreach. Additionally, she has extensive hands-on experience responding to numerous natural and man-made disasters—from hurricanes and floods to hoarding cases and large-scale seizures of puppy mill dogs. 

Passionate about engaging the community, Betsy was the first to launch comprehensive volunteer engagement training for the animal sheltering field, authoring the book, Volunteer Management for Animal Care Organizations, and publishing research on staff-volunteer relationships. She worked with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to develop a research-supported Volunteer Program Assessment model that serves nonprofit volunteer programs across the U.S. and Canada.

Betsy is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) through the Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) and holds a degree in psychology from George Mason University. She serves on the board of the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D), Animal Grant Makers, and Shelter Animals Count.

Betsy shares her home with her husband along with four cats and a dog – all former strays. And she dotes on a colony of community cats who live on her property.