PetSmart Charities Executive Director
As executive director, Jan Wilkins ensures that PetSmart Charities uses donations wisely to help solve the problem of pet overpopulation. She oversees the awarding of nearly $30 million in grants annually to communities in all 50 U.S. states and Canada, focused on funding spay/neuter services. She also ensures that PetSmart Charities provides the best pet adoption program possible — finding homes for more than 400,000 dogs and cats each year.
Jan enjoys building successful teams and helping people reach their potential. As the leader of North America’s largest funder of animal welfare, she’s always looking for new ways the nonprofit can help improve the lives of homeless pets.
Jan’s professional experience
Before her current position, Jan was PetSmart’s regional vice president for the Desert Plains region, where she led a team of thousands of associates. Jan helped PetSmart store teams build relationships with local animal welfare partners to increase pet adoptions.
Under her leadership, her region opened the first PetSmart Charities Everyday Adoption Centers. These centers helped the Desert Plains region find adoptive homes for more than 50,000 pets in 2012.
Jan began her PetSmart career in 1990 as a salon manager. She worked her way up through the company over the next 2 decades, holding leadership positions in pet care operations, store operations and loss prevention, as well as district management.
During her time at PetSmart, she watched the public turn from pet buyers into pet adopters, as they became more aware of the many adoptable pets needing lifelong, loving homes. Jan finds her career in animal welfare gratifying — it gives her satisfaction to go home every night knowing her work that day made a difference in a pet’s life.
Jan serves on the board of the YWCA of Maricopa County in Arizona. She holds master and bachelor of business administration degrees from the University of Phoenix.
Jan’s personal passions
Pets are a lifelong passion for Jan, who grew up with adopted dogs at home. At age 6, her family rescued a golden retriever named Rusty and she became her first love.
But her life changed when she and her husband adopted a golden retriever from a PetSmart store in California. Chloe was the 15th of 15 puppies rescued from a backyard breeder’s litter. Jan and her husband found unending joy in Chloe and did their best to make up for the treatment Chloe received before they adopted her. Jan considers her own work a tribute to Chloe — it’s one of the reasons Jan is committed to making sure every donor dollar helps save a pet’s life.
Jan and her husband currently have 3 adopted Labrador retrievers: Boomer, Boo and Bella.