Kansas City’s Influential Women: Teresa Johnson

Teresa Johnson, CEO/Executive Director/Chief Lifesaving Officer, KC Pet Project

Within six months of having taken over the nonprofit animal shelter KC Pet Project, Teresa Johnson’s work made history when the shelter officially achieved “no-kill” status, becoming the fourth-largest open admission, no-kill animal shelter in the United States (and the largest in Kansas City).

By the end of 2013, the shelter had achieved a 92.4 percent live release rate, finding homes or permanent placement for a record-setting 6,902 pets and caring for 8,820 animals (the highest number since 2007), accomplishing it all on a tight budget inside an old shelter built in 1972 that is at least three times too small to house the area’s homeless animals. To say Johnson is proud of these accomplishments is an understatement. She continues to work collaboratively with local law enforcement, elected officials and city leaders to effect change for the more humane treatment of animals and safer communities. As such, other U.S. cities are using Kansas City as their model. Johnson honed her skills as president and COO for Heartland SPCA and as chief operations and development officer for Animal Haven, both in Kansas City.

Prior to managing the pet community, the University of Missouri finance major managed assets for J.P. Morgan and American Century Investments.

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