WALNUT CREEK, CA, September 30, 2023 –The Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) welcomes two key additions to the organization’s senior leadership team. Raul del Barco will join as ARF’s Chief Talent Officer and in her newly expanded role, Rebecca Katz will serve as ARF’s Chief Programs Officer. 

“Rebecca and Raul embody ARF’s values of innovation and education, possess a keen understanding of the power of partnerships and collaboration, and are passionate about the bond between people and pets” said Susan Lee Vick, ARF’s CEO. “These strategic appointments further strengthen ARF’s reach and impact through our transformative programs. Rebecca and Raul’s leadership will amplify and extend the efforts of our staff and volunteers dedicated to enriching lives through the human-animal bond.”

Rebecca Katz held the position of Director of Community Solutions at ARF prior to accepting the role of Chief Programs Officer. Since joining the organization in 2020, she has been instrumental in bolstering ARF’s assistance programs to support the surging numbers of pet guardians facing financial hardships and housing instability. Ms.Katz oversees ARF’s shelter-to-service Pets and Vets program that trains rescue dogs as psychiatric and emotional support animals for military Veterans. During her tenure, ARF opened a new Pets and Vets Center spanning nearly 7,900 square feet. Prior to joining ARF, Katz served as the Director of Animal Care and Control for the City and County of San Francisco and Executive Director of Oakland Animal Services. She is also a licensed attorney who has devoted her life and career to public interest, social justice, and advocacy for vulnerable communities. 

“I am deeply committed to expanding upon ARF’s life-saving and life-changing programs,” said Katz. “This is an exciting time as we lay the foundation for innovative initiatives ensuring that even more individuals can experience the joy and well-being that comes from the companionship of pets. I am honored by this opportunity to create better lives for people and pets and look forward to pioneering new programs to enrich our community through elevating the human-animal bond.” 

Raul del Barco previously served as Chief Human Resources Officer at the California Academy of Sciences, where he played a pivotal role in leading the 150+ year old organization as it transitioned from its temporary location to a new state-of-the-art, world-class museum and science and education center. In the Academy’s expansion from 200 to over 600 employees, del Barco led the talent acquisition, employee relations, organizational culture, leadership development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. Raul and his team also developed the Academy’s robust and vital volunteer program. 

“It is a great privilege to join the ARF community, and I am truly inspired by the joy and compassion animating all who work here,” said del Barco. “I’m honored to join the senior leadership team, oversee ARF’s commitment to its talented people, and elevate a culture of inclusion, innovation, collaboration, and enthusiasm.”

About The Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) 

ARF is a privately-funded, 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 1991. Supported by a dedicated volunteer corps of 480 members and housed in a 50,000 square foot animal care facility and community center, ARF’s core mission is the rescue and adoption of dogs and cats who have run out of time at municipal shelters. Since its founding, ARF has placed nearly 50,000 cats and dogs in homes, performed more than 56,000 spay and neuter surgeries to combat pet overpopulation, and graduated and supported more than 60 rescue-turned- service dogs with Veterans through the organization’s nationally recognized Pets and Vets program. ARF offers numerous training classes and workshops as well as community assistance programs such as the ARF Emergency Medical Fund®, ARF Pet Safety Net, and FoodShare that provide critical resources to pet guardians during times of financial crises. Through ARF, people experience the unconditional love and acceptance of dogs and cats to fulfill a mission of People Rescuing Animals … Animals Rescuing People®.

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