By Joe Pyritz, Public Information Officer, Pinal County

Pinal County Animal Care and Control Director Audra Michael will be a featured presenter at the upcoming Best Friends National Conference. 

The conference will be held in late July in Dallas, Texas.

“There are several tracks in this conference,” Michael said. “I will be presenting in a breakout session with the topic of Proof Positive: Shifting the Municipal Mindset.”

According to the conference program, Michael’s presentation will be on getting ‘buy-in’ from the staff and community about the goals of becoming a No-Kill Shelter.

“Many of today’s animal control officers are forward-thinkers, concerned with educating the community and saving the lives of animals. This session will be told from the point of view of an ACO who helped turn things around after becoming director of Pinal County shelter in Casa Grande. She will talk about the importance of surrounding yourself with like-minded coworkers, letting staff know your intentions and shifting the mindset of everyone at the shelter. From applying for grants and lowering adoption fees to collaborating with rescue groups and reaching out to the community, Audra will share how transparency and trust go a long way to save more lives.”

“I’m hoping to share some of the lessons we have learned through our efforts to become a No-Kill Shelter,” Michael said. “It’s a hard road at times, but if you keep with it, you can overcome the obstacles.” 

Best Friends is an organization dedicated to ending killing in animal shelters across the country, they are trying to accomplish this by creating community programs and partnerships. They can be found at