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Richard P Werner
Executive Director

Mr. Werner started the  American Pet Association in 1991 as one of the founding members.  Prior to working with the APA he was credited with saving the lives of hundreds of companion animals by investigating and exposing "puppy mills".

His first contact with a humane agency was at a young age when he decided to volunteer.  Within a year his ideas on housing and care, operations and fundraising were recognized by being asked to sit on the Board of Directors at 20 years old.

He is seen as unique in the humane field by recognizing that it is not only important to make the pet's life as humane and positive as possible, but balancing the environment with their human counterparts. "It's not all about the pet, it's about the pet AND the human" he is quick to say.

Mr. Werner is also a pioneer in humane training of companion animals and has assisted thousands of pet owners in the past 20 years (a book is planned "when time permits, whenever that will be!"). His training techniques are widely used and are arguably the best, and most humane, in the industry.

He is as likely to be working on the network or online databases as he is to be establishing program policies.  He is actively involved with every aspect of the APA and he has personally visited almost all of our associated Humane Agencies.

He has been with his wife for more than 28 years and they just celebrated their 24th anniversary.  Mr. Werner is a Coast Guard Certified Captain, they are both PSIA Certified Ski Instructors and PADI Certified DIVEMASTER scuba divers with over 1000 dives together.  Their love for the ocean has made them both very interested in reef preservation projects.

Rich is pictured here with their dog Pete, a rescue Dalmatian who he describes as "a great guy and a true friend" who recently passed.  They now have a wonderful companion named Stella, an American Bulldog. She was abandoned in Key West prior to becoming a part of the Werner's family and is now a great example of positive, humane rehabilitation.


A few Director Policies

  • Feedback is critical to success. I ask questions, even when I feel like I know the answer. Multiple opinions are priceless.
  • You CAN maintain high standards while saving money. We can afford to offer better quality materials, extra services, and higher value by not wasting money in unnecessary technology or office costs.
  • Happy, healthy employees are priceless. As is a positive work environment.
  • We have a zero tolerance policy for aggressive or abusive employees OR customers.
  • We are not an activist organization. Although I would love to take action on many issues, we have to stay focused on our mission. 
  • We are happy to work with, and support organizations we trust. Others we simply steer clear of, there is no need for confrontation.
  • You can almost never make a blanket statement or policy. Almost every situation and person needs to be treated as an individual case.