“We believe that Ed Sayres, with 40 years of experience in animal welfare, has the skills to help unite the pet industry and further PIJAC’s mission of promoting responsible pet ownership and animal welfare, fostering environmental stewardship and ensuring the availability of pets,” said Ken Oh, chairman and interim president of PIJAC. “Ed understands the critical issues facing the industry today, including those relating to breeding standards and pet sale bans and he embraces the challenge of finding common ground and solutions. Our decision to appoint Ed was based on his credentials, experience, passion and potential. We are confident that Ed is the right person to lead PIJAC and our industry in developing humane care standards that meet the needs of both pets and pet owners.”
According to Oh, he realized there may be controversy regarding the decision to hire Sayres.
“This move is all about change,” he said. “Changing the conversation and finding a reasonable path to an environment where responsible businesses whether they are livestock providers, distributors or pet stores are able to operate without the constant threat of legislative action that shuts them down.”
Sayres has been principal of Sayres Consulting, a nonprofit management consulting and philanthropic advisory firm, since 2013. He served as president and CEO of the ASPCA from 2003 to 2013.
“I am very pleased to assume leadership of PIJAC to help ensure that all companion animals are treated properly by the industry and their owners,” said Sayres. “With the need for meaningful change and transparency more relevant than ever, I look forward to bringing together a broad coalition of industry leaders, animal welfare organizations, companies, associations and individuals to collaborate on developing animal care standards that will benefit pets, consumers and the industry.”
At the ASPCA, Sayres introduced and expanded the collaborative no-kill animal shelter model he had developed as president of the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
With his guidance, the ASPCA led an initiative, working with the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to reduce euthanasia in New York City shelters. As a result, adoptions of animals in these shelters surged from 25 percent to 75 percent. The ASPCA replicated the no-kill model in ten major cities across the country, collaborating with municipal and non-profit animal welfare agencies to provide funding and resources to save at-risk animals in those communities.
The PIJAC board of directors approved Sayres’ appointment, effective Sept. 1.