Emma Clifford Headshot

Emma Clifford graduated from the University of Central England with a BA hon in Sociological Research in 1995. Emma began living a vegan lifestyle at 13 years of age and actively opposed blood sports and other forms of animal cruelty throughout University, forming animal protection associations.

After graduating, she moved to the United States and joined the animal protection movement at a local, (SF/SPCA) national (In Defense of Animals) and international level (WildAid) learning how to manage a successful non-profit organization.

While at The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF/SPCA) she developed and directed the first, city-wide feral cat, foster and sterilization program, called the Feral Fix program. She represented the SF/SPCA at the Animal Welfare Commission, increasing the safety net for all animals in San Francisco.

2003, she found out that the cats and dogs of the Galapagos Islands were being poisoned as a means of population control. In response, Emma founded Animal Balance in 2004, an NGO that creates humane animal management programs. Based on the successful model that she developed on the Galapagos Islands, she expanded globally, due to demand and now serves over 12 island nations.  Emma has directed over 70 high-volume MASH (spay/neuter) clinics, created humane education programs, dog training programs, veterinary and technicians training models for multiple languages and cultures.

Emma trained and helped to create sustainable programs on each island; Vira Lata – Cabo Verde, Love for Animals – American Samoa, Saipan Cares – Saipan, Pets Breeding Control – Dominican Republic, Operation Potcake – Bahamas.

2013, Emma designed and created ‘Operation Potcake’, the largest spay/neuter event thus far, utilizing 5 clinics on one island, over 200 international volunteers, plus a street dog trapping team and sterilizing 2,213 dogs in under 10 days.

2015, she brought the island model to Hawaii, creating high volume spay/neuter and TNR clinics inside animal shelters. This model expanded throughout the Hawaiian Islands. She incorporated cutting edge non-surgical methods for sterilizing animals into the program from 2006-2017.

2017, Emma presented ‘Shelter Freedom’ to the leaders of the USA Animal Welfare Summit at Best Friends. Transitioning the shelter into a clinic for the most at-risk animals, while all ‘resident’ animals are fostered into the community and adopted through the community, rather than from the shelter. Creating an efficient use of resources that centers animal welfare within the community, not a building.

2019, she developed the ‘Spay Pod’ Model on Kauai, a semi-permanent, self-funding spay/neuter clinics for community cats. This model is now being used on islands and mainland’s as a means for low cost, sustainable clinics.

Since 2020, Emma has worked to create a USA based veterinary network of high-volume spay/neuter veterinarians in key states. Focus’ on indigenous people’s needs in the USA, building capacity of existing spay/neuter organizations through a program called VetAid.

Clifford lectures and consults with many animal protection organizations around the world to help find ways to reduce the cruelty and suffering of animals and implement humane and sustainable animal management programs.

She lives in Oregon with her animal pack and enjoys hiking, camping, dance and exploring.

Scientific Papers:

J. Vet Intern Med. 2008 22:60-65 infectious Diseases on Galapagos Islands – Cats and Dogs. Crawford. Levy. Lappin. Alleman. Clifford.

AJVR Vol 69. Jan 2008. Comparison of Zinc Gluconate. Levy. Crawford. Appel. Clifford.

VetPAR-5163. Internal Parasites on Cats and Dogs on Galapagos Islands Gingrich. Clifford. Lappin. 22.2009