Since taking over as executive director in 2017, Baeckler Davis (shown here with her dog, Yawkey) has created programs to help treat and place at-risk cats and dogs; updated facilities to be more comfortable for the rescues; opened the von Arx Adoption Center; and created a mobile vet clinic, which will soon hit the streets.


To The Rescue

At 60, Humane Society Naples is more effective and innovative than ever with Sarah Baeckler Davis at the helm.

Sarah Baeckler Davis started in her position as executive director at Humane Society Naples just days after Hurricane Irma had run its course, leaving fallen trees, storm-tossed signs and strewn debris throughout the region. In some areas of Collier County and beyond, families hit hard by the storm couldn’t afford to keep taking care of their pets. Baeckler Davis, a longtime animal advocate, led the charge to get these animals off the streets and into shelters and permanent homes, taking in strays from as far as Puerto Rico. “It really brought to mind how much of almost an afterthought the animal piece of that puzzle has to be for many people,” she says. “It made me want to not just be ready for when another one hits, but also to be able to help in other situations.” The organization launched 60 years ago when a group of residents noticed a lack of care for abandoned pets around Naples and took on the responsibility, fostering at-risk animals in their own homes for the first three years. Over the decades, the nonprofit has grown into a multilocation, full-fledged organization. The group has found homes for more than 100,000 pets that have been abandoned or abused in Collier County. “My predecessor, and those who came before, did an incredible job of building support here for our mission—and the community loves that mission,” Baeckler Davis says. Having led the organization for three years now, she has expanded the organization’s reach, restructur
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