Sara Pizano, DVM

Sara Pizano, DVM

Sara Pizano, DVM, is a veterinarian, animal welfare strategist and founder of Team Shelter USA, who has devoted her career to shelters. She is a 1986 graduate from Oswego State University (BS), a 1988 graduate from Columbia University (MS), a 1994 graduate of the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), and a 1995 graduate of the Animal Medical Center internship program—all located in New York.

Pizano has served as staff shelter veterinarian in private shelters and as a public shelter director at Miami-Dade Animal Services in Florida.

Since 2013, Pizano has completed more than 120 community and shelter assessments and feasibility studies in 27 states, focusing on shelters euthanizing for space and those struggling with capacity for care and length of stay. Her work has culminated in an approach to helping shelters of all sizes, both public and private, realize their full potential—and in an analysis of just 18 shelters, the number of pets euthanized for space decreased by more than 47,000 dogs and cats the first year with her guidance.

Pizano’s areas of interest are access to care for both shelter pets and owned pets. She is a veterinary ambassador for the Open Door Veterinary Collective national training team that proves a financially sustainable veterinary clinic can also enhance access to care; she is also a partner with Maddie’s Million Pet Challenge, a courtesy faculty member at the Shelter Medicine Program at University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, and an advisor to the Joanie Bernard Foundation, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, and PetSmart Charities.

Pizano is the author of The Best Practice Playbook for Animal Shelters and is considered a leading expert in animal welfare.