Tara Yurkshat

Veteran animal welfare executive Tara Yurkshat recently joined SPCA Tampa Bay’s executive leadership team as chief operating officer.

LARGO — Veteran animal welfare executive Tara Yurkshat recently joined SPCA Tampa Bay’s executive leadership team as chief operating officer.

Yurkshat brings more than 20 years of operations experience in the animal welfare industry to the nonprofit. At SPCA Tampa Bay, Yurkshat oversees the direction and supervision of all animal-related programs, procedures and resources, which includes animal housing and adoptions, veterinary care at the shelter and transfers between other animal welfare organizations and rescues. She guides a team of animal welfare experts who provide an exceptional customer experience and embrace “humanimality” — SPCA Tampa Bay’s term for the nearly indescribable joy that comes from the human-animal bond.

“Tara’s significant experience in animal welfare will benefit the animals in our community and the people who love them,” said Martha Boden, CEO of SPCA Tampa Bay. “She’ll play a key role in helping the organization continue to grow in the ways that we serve our community.”

Yurkshat has deep experience in many facets of operations, including budget oversight, team and operational leadership, strategic planning, project management, revenue generation and fundraising.

Before joining SPCA Tampa Bay, Yurkshat was the vice president of operations for animal welfare at Houston SPCA, which is one of the nation’s largest animal shelters. Her responsibilities included directing operations for an organization with $45 million in net revenue and overseeing domestic and farm animal care, client care, veterinary services, animal cruelty investigations, volunteers, and facilities maintenance.

Previously, Yurkshat was the director of operations at Dumb Friends League, an animal shelter in Denver, Colorado. She helped manage a $13 million campaign to enhance infrastructure and medical scope in caring for animals, which included a new remote facility and 40,000-square-foot additions to existing buildings. Earlier in her career, she served as the executive director of Woodford Humane Society in Versailles, Kentucky, where she redesigned the organization’s operating model.

She is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator by the Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. She received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.