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Best Friends Executive Leadership Certification

Animal Services is an important profession and calls for proficiency with a complex skill set in order to be successful. The ELC is intentionally designed to focus on the areas most critical to creating lifesaving organizations. The program strengthens connectivity with other animal services leaders across the nation and connects practitioners with experts for targeted support.

The Best Friends Executive Leadership Certification (ELC) program strengthens leadership skills and provides support for existing top-level animal welfare leaders. The program is also an opportunity for professionals who are transitioning into animal services from another field. Participants are nominated by Best Friends regional and national leadership and approved by a selection team.

What makes the ELC unique? The ELC program creates a learning community of skilled and committed executive shelter leaders working to achieve no-kill nationwide by 2025 and beyond. The university-endorsed, comprehensive six-month program is offered twice a year.

Southern Utah University will award an Institutional Certificate and up to six academic credits to those who complete the BFELC. Beyond the program, and dependent on educational backgrounds and goals, participants will have opportunities to earn additional academic credits that may be applied toward SUU bachelor’s or master’s degree programs.

To express interest in the program or if you have questions, email

ELC Program Flyer