I’m so glad Mountain Humane’s mission is still on track, despite budget cutbacks. For me, preventing pet overpopulation and helping as many homeless pets as possible matters most. In my 20 years of volunteering, through changes in management, staff, name and even location, those have always remained the highest priorities of our remarkable animal shelter.

Our own dog proves how far Mountain Humane goes to save pets. The tiny 10-year-old was found abandoned last winter. Malnourished, with a mouthful of rotten teeth and a malignant tumor on her lip, she was in pain and in trouble--surely a candidate for euthanasia in most places. Mountain Humane extracted her inflamed teeth and performed two surgeries to remove her tumor. When we fell in love with her, they gave us medical records, counselled us honestly on her prognosis and provided information about further treatment options to increase her odds. Today, she’s a sweet, happy little dog who seems so grateful for her new home with us. And no sign of cancer.

Practically everyone here has loved at least one shelter pet. There are plenty of heartwarming stories about the thousands of lives Mountain Humane has saved. Its greatest kindness, though, might be the thousands of unwanted lives, and the suffering, it has prevented. Through a grant, it now brings free spaying and neutering to farm communities outside the county, so the same program that eliminated pet overpopulation in Blaine County now helps pets, people and other shelters in rural Idaho as well. If it can keep expanding this amazing program, “no-kill Idaho” could become a reality.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Supporting our animal shelter’s broader mission makes our valley a kinder, more civilized place.

Andrea Nelson, Hailey

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