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Celebrating Cindy Machado, CAWA: 40+ years of collaboration, leadership and positivity

February 6, 2024, The Association

Honoring Marin Humane’s Director of Animal Services on her upcoming retirement

A career-long animal welfare professional, Cindy Machado entered into the field more than forty years ago, when she became an Animal Services Officer for Marin Humane. One year later she was promoted to Field Services Sergeant, and by 1996 was appointed Animal Services Director, a position she has held ever since. In celebration of Machado’s upcoming retirement, here are just a few of her many achievements:

  • Machado helped launch the two-week Animal Law Enforcement Academy, the only one of two in the state of California. She instructed current and future humane officers and animal services officers on topics such as animal cruelty investigations, animal hoarding, and report writing.
  • For the period of 1987-2013 alone, Machado made 27 appearances as an expert witness in various cases around the country — from assisting in a large cockfighfing case in Santa Clara Valley to circus inspections cases in Fulton County, Georgia.
  • In 2006 Machado co-founded and partnered with the Marin Horse Council’s Equine Evacuation Committee to develop a much-needed equine preparedness and evacuation plan.
  • Her many appointments have included serving on the CalAnimals Training Committee; The ASPCA Disaster & Investigative Response Team; Humane Society of the United States Disaster Response Team, and Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance. She’s represented Marin Humane in the County’s Emergency Operation Center since 1996.

And through it all, shares Marin Humane’s CEO & President, Nancy B. McKenney, MNPL, CAWA,Cindy always did it with an eyes-on-the-prize, well-honed diplomacy, accepting and considering viewpoints from all sides, and working for the ultimate goal – animal welfare – without alienating anyone.”

The Association’s Jim Tedford, President & CEO, reflects on working with Machado in Taiwan in the early 2000s, where they trained new inspectors to enforce a new national animal protection law.  “The trainees were veterinarians with little experience handling small animals, so training was from the ground-up,” recalls Tedford. “We braved long hours and hot temps to provide classroom training as well as hand-on practical training, and Cindy handled it with her trademark positive attitude.  The trainees loved her from the start!  I remember going out to dinner with our hosts from Pingtung University, and having small children sneak to our table to touch Cindy’s long hair and then run away giggling. She has been a friend and colleague and a constant for me for most of my career. Her contributions are immeasurable, and her retirement will leave a void in the profession.”

Earlier this week, Machado was surprised with a Marin County Board of Supervisors proclamation. Please join us in wishing her a very happy, very well-deserved retirement.

About The Association
The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement is a cohort of leaders on a mission to champion, advance, and unify the animal welfare profession.