Seasoned animal welfare advocate Monica Wylie named new executive director of Animal Friends of the Valleys

Monica Wylie is the new executive director of Animal Friends of the Valleys in Wildomar. Courtesy photo

WILDOMAR – Following an extensive nationwide search, Animal Friends of the Valleys recently announced the appointment of Monica Wylie as the shelter’s new executive director. A seasoned animal welfare advocate, Wylie brings to the position more than 15 years’ experience at The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County in Tacoma, Washington, where she most recently served as deputy director. Under her leadership, Wylie launched a series of successful partnerships and programs for at one point the largest open admission shelter in the state of Washington.

“Collaboration, at all levels both within an organization and with community partners, can often be the difference between life and death in the sheltering world,” Wylie said.

With a track record of identifying areas of opportunity in the world of animal sheltering, Wylie’s hands-on ability to work with a wide variety of stakeholders, including team members, customers, communities and the animal welfare industry, made her an ideal candidate to lead AFV.

“I am thrilled to join Animal Friends of the Valleys as executive director,” Wylie said. “We have a wonderful team – from licensing to animal care to animal control to administration, plus an extensive group of community volunteers – who do what they do for the love of the animals. It’s truly an exciting time for Animal Friends of the Valleys as we solidify our role as the premiere animal welfare organization in the region.”

Wylie said her primary focus in her first year at AFV will be on sustainability, education and maintaining industry best practices, while supporting the shelter’s mission, vision and core values.

During her tenure at The Humane Society, Wylie served as a guest speaker at numerous national and regional animal welfare conferences including The Humane Society of the United States Regional Cat Symposium, HSUS Animal Expo and the Million Cat Challenge. She said she hopes to continue to partner with businesses and organizations within southwest Riverside County, strengthening the community by supporting the humane care of animals and fostering the human-animal bond.

Wylie is a “fur mom” to two dogs and four cats who live with her and her husband in Murrieta.

Animal Friends of the Valleys is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the humane care of animals through education and a proactive animal services program. Their vision is to be recognized as a leading shelter by providing a safe haven for all animals, while becoming a full-service animal care facility that offers quality and affordable care. During the past year, AFV opened their doors to approximately 13,835 animals, in addition to 175 companion pets from families evacuated during the Holy Fire.

Animal Friends of the Valleys offers animals for adoptions and provides animal services to the cities of Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, Menifee, Murrieta, Temecula and southwest Riverside County. Through community education and involvement, AFV works to achieve their mission: preventing the suffering of animals and ending pet overpopulation in the communities they serve.

For more information on AFV’s programs and partnership opportunities, visit

Submitted by Animal Friends of the Valleys.