The staff, volunteers and directors of Mountain Humane appreciate the community’s interest in the health and well-being of one of our community’s most cherished nonprofits, and we want the community to be aware of the work we are doing to ensure the sustainability of Mountain Humane.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, the Mountain Humane campus was built solely from donations, and grew from the original plans in recognition of the need to build an iconic animal shelter that allowed for healthy and stress-free habitat, with educational facilities and a full medical clinic. Our spay and neuter program is for animals ready for adoption, and for those that would have roamed the streets, resulting in reducing the unwanted puppy and kitten population. There is a special kennel area designed for the police and animal control, to place animals after normal hours, so they may be kept safely until either their owners are found or they are adopted, plus a quarantine area for incoming pets to reduce the risk of infections, and an exercise area to help keep the dogs mentally fit. Our medical staff ensure that all animals are given a full health screening, and we have volunteers who foster those animals needing extra care before being adopted.

The board was persuaded by past senior management that the larger campus was necessary to carry out the mission of saving as many pets as possible, and were persuaded that it was sustainable after a successful capital campaign. We moved into the new campus last February. By October, the board realized that we either needed to raise considerably more funds than we had been advised or streamline the operations without impacting our mission.

We have chosen both.

The board has taken full responsibility for a lack of fiscal oversight, though most of the current board members were not party to many of the earlier decisions. They are diligently working to streamline operational costs. The top three managers resigned, we let go several staff and we did not fill vacant positions. We now have an experienced executive director supported by extremely capable staff. Our senior management are Annie McCauley, executive director (with many years of nonprofit experience); Nadia Novik, an animal welfare expert and accomplished and nationally respected speaker; Kelly Mitchell, overseeing adoptions, volunteers, community PR and The Barkin’ thrift shop; Katie Millonzi, heading animal care; Shelly Forsling, development; and Bekka Mongeau, marketing. Dr. Jack Amen is our doctor of veterinary medicine with support from the local veterinarians when needed.

We need the support of all the community to ensure the success of Mountain Humane, for the animals and our staff. Volunteers are always welcome and we are open seven days a week.

We welcome visits from the community, not only to give a pet a forever home, but to check out what we do and the programs we offer. Mountain Humane is at 101 Croy Creek Road west of Hailey, open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 208-788 4351.

Sally Onetto is the board president of the Mountain Humane.

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