Laura Chavarria

Nashville Humane Association

Laura Chavarria has only been the executive director of the Nashville Humane Association for a year and a half, but she’s already had a big impact both inside and outside its walls. And although the nonprofit is technically committed to serving Davidson County, under Laura’s leadership, the organization’s reach stretches far beyond county lines.


“Nashville Humane is one of the oldest nonprofits in Nashville, and we have the ability to impact both two-legged and four-legged friends regionally, state-wide, and across the country,” she says.


Working alongside a staff of 32, a board of 30, and hundreds of volunteers and fosters, Laura has used her position to support the efforts of other animal welfare organizations near and far. She led her staff in a two-day service project doing building repairs at the Cheatham County Animal Control, and she recently created the Middle Tennessee Shelter Director Coalition comprised of 15 local animal shelter directors. Additionally, the NHA’s already impressive numbers were way up in 2018. The nonprofit achieved a 99 percent save rate (an all-time record), placed 3,334 pets in homes and launched a new foster program that provided fostering to over 500 animals. Last year also saw a greater commitment to the organization’s transport program, which allows the NHA to rescue at-risk or displaced animals from puppy mills, medical testing facilities and natural disasters. In 2018, more than 1,200 animals were rescued.


“This organization has taught me that it takes a village to make a difference,” Laura says. Fortunately, this village has an incredibly capable and passionate leader at the helm.

Nashville Humane Association

Nashville Humane Association is committed to finding responsible homes, controlling pet overpopulation and promoting the humane treatment of animals.