Director of Live-saving Operations of Austin Pets Alive!
Mike Kaviani began working with shelter animals at the Irvine Animal Care Center in California when he was 18. His “3rd Chance for Pets Program” received national recognition when IACC was given the 2007 Shelter of the Year award primarily due to this program.
In 2010, Mike became the Director of Training and Behavior at the Southampton Animal Shelter Foundation. At SASF, he worked under the guidance of Aimee Sadler, and together their work resulted in the shelter consistently reaching one of the highest save rates in the country. Mike has been a Dogs Playing for Life Team Member and part of the program’s development throughout his work with Aimee. Mike is a DPFL Lead Instructor and assists with seminars and provides mentorships.
In the Spring of 2012, Mike joined forces with Dr. Ellen Jefferson and became the Dog Behavior Program Manager for Austin Pets Alive! APA! had already achieved a 90% Save Rate for the entire city of Austin, and Mike’s focus was to save the last 10%, which primarily comprises large dogs with behavior issues. The city’s current canine save rate now holds steady at 99%. As Dog Behavior Manager, he conducted daily dog play groups, provided training and behavior modification, taught weekly volunteer training classes, trained shelter interns, and oversaw the Canine Good Citizen and Adoption Follow-Up Training Programs.
In 2016, Mike took on the role of Director of Lifesaving Operations with Austin Pets Alive!. As Director of Lifesaving Operations at APA!, Mike provides immediate and ongoing support, leadership, and problem solving for the shelter’s staff and volunteers in all of APA’s animal care programs. In addition to these on-site responsibilities, Mike is tasked with innovating new solutions in areas such as Length of Stay, Animal Care and Enrichment, Dog Behavior and Training solutions for the last 5%, Volunteer engagement and retention, and creating national No-Kill models and best practices. Lastly, Mike is also a proud member of Austin’s Animal Advisory Commission.