The Stafford Animal Shelter is an ‘Open Door Shelter’
We accept every pet in need: abandoned or homeless, unwanted litters from unspayed and uneutered animals, and those confiscated by control officers for cruelty. The only nonprofit animal care facility in Park County, we serve the people and pets of the greater Southwestern Montana community as the only Shelter in the region that accepts all lost or unwanted pets; not just dogs and cats. We also serve as the care facility for animals impounded for being at large, cruelty cases, and emergencies by city and county animal control officers. We open our doors to nearly a thousand animals each year with approximately half being reclaimed and half adopted. Every adoptable pet is spayed or neutered prior to adoption.
The Humane Society of Park County was founded in 1986 by area individuals dedicated to animal welfare who initially found homes for displaced pets and educated the public about the importance of spaying and neutering to reduce animal overpopulation. We became the Stafford Animal Shelter in 1999 when a 4,500-square-foot facility was completed with a generous donation from Francis Stafford to house the community’s displaced pets and soon included the first in-house spay neuter clinic in the state. In 2009, a new cat wing was completed to more adequately house the community’s many abandoned cats. In 2011, the dog wing was enhanced and a separate “Zoo” was built for exotic and smaller pets like rabbits and hamsters as we are now the only Shelter in the region to care for pets in addition to dogs and cats. In 2012 the final phase of the Shelter upgrade/expansion project – all funded by an anonymous grantor – was completed with the construction of a multi-purpose building to house infectious rescue and hoarding populations, evacuation cases, perform Spay/Neuter clincs and expand the Shelter’s ability to respond to any number of crises in the community for deaces to come.
Stafford Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of Park County, has no affiliation with the national Humane Society and, like all other Humane Societies around the country, receives no funding from them. We receive no federal, state government or national organization support and are funded almost entirely by small local donations.
Since opening our doors, we’ve refined our animal care services in response to growing knowledge about animal health care, behavioral assessment, training and prevention techniques, and the community’s growing needs. We remain flexible in response to crisis, changing demographics, and community needs as they arise. We are the voice for animals in need, promoting humane treatment of pets through programs and education.
We are the fiscal sponsors for The Spay Neuter Project and support their development of a comprehensive regional spay/neuter program. Call them at 406/222-2134 for information about spay/neuter assistance including discount vouchers to have your pet altered at Sage Trail Veterinary Clinic in Wilsall, Colmey Veterinary Hospital and Livingston Veterinary Hospital, Spay/Neuter Clinics and “The Big Kitty Fix” focusing on on altering free roaming and barn cats. We also have close working relationships with local veterinarians; we refer adopters to them and they give adopters free initial exams. Colmey Veterinary Hospital and Livingston Veterinary Hospital provide medical care to our Special Medical Needs Fund recipients at a generous discount. We are fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers from Retired Senior Volunteer Program and appreciate all their support. We work closely with The Livingston Food Pantry to prevent pet surrenders, passing on pet food donated to us, as a large percentage of their low-income clients have pets. We also have contracts with the Cities of Livingston and Belgrade and Park County and work with Sweetgrass County to house all their impounded animals.
Call us at 406-222-2111 and visit us Tuesday through Saturday from 12 noon to 6 PM at 3 Business Park Road east of Livingston. (Map)
Executive Director, Vicki Blakeman has been with the Shelter since 2006. She believes the Stafford Animal Shelter is an integral part of the community and coordinates with other non-profits and local government to provide a comprehensive mix of services for community animals and their human friends. Phone 406-222-1311, email email@example.com
Development Director, Kris King has worked with nonprofits for 25 years and at Stafford Animal Shelter for seven. She oversees the volunteer program, advertising and outreach, newsletter, website maintenance, events, business sponsorships and overall fundraising efforts. She’s inspired by the hardworking staff and dedicated volunteers and loves being part of turning pets’ sad stories into happy ones. Contact her at 406-222-1313 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterinary Technician, Russ Himmelspach brings years of experience and exceptional efficiency in caring for the health needs of shelter animals and works closely with our Veterinarian, Mitch Childs. Russ’ alter ego ‘Ross’ also takes care of the Shelter’s Internet Technology needs.
Yvonne Venturino is a former Board Member, Animal Care Technician, special projects maven (including our handprinted pet prayer flags and clothing) and takes all of our excellent pet photographs as well as photographs for her husband’s business MLV Enterprises. She has been an integral part of the organization for twenty years and her work with the Shelter earned her Balance Magazine’s “Woman of the Year” award in 2012.
Angie Bieschke has the toughest job with front desk triage of animal intake, reclamation and adoption. She is friendly and organized; making sure we all have the information we need.
Amanda Herauf is our Animal Care Tech Supervisor/Administrative Assistant. Angela Thomas, Charles Worth, Karyn Tilton, and Alex Delorey are Animal Care Technicians. Together these folks are the heart of our organization and provide for the physical and emotional well-being of all the animals during their stay with us; please take the time to thank them for their hard work when you see them!
Christopher Meyer – President, is the principal of the CD Meyer Law Firm, PLLC. He is family to a pride of three cats.
Susan Dailey – Treasurer, lives on the Shields River with her husband, a golden retriever named Piper, one cat, four horses, and a flock of chickens. A newly retired teacher and a lover of animals, she is happy to have the opportunity to work with the caring staff at the Stafford Animal Shelter.
Andy Art – Past Vice President, is the restaurant manager at Chico Hot Springs and Day Spa. She has six dogs, three cats, a few chickens and a goldfish; primarily rescues. She loves to make pottery for friends and shelter fundraisers, traveling, biking, hiking and skiing.
Cindy Black has been a board member with Stafford Animal Shelter since the fall of 2010. Cindy grew up in Livingston. She and Scott Black own and operate Mark’s In and Out in Livingston. She has two grown children, Reggie and Sylvia. Cindy has always cared deeply for animals and is happy to serve on the Stafford Animal Shelter board to help give them a voice.
We accept every domestic animal brought to us – pocket pets, birds and exotics in addition to dogs and cats – and care for the physical and emotional well-being of the nearly 1,000 animals we shelter each year; euthanizing only animals with untreatable illness or those who would be a danger to the community. We do not euthanize for length of stay at Shelter, breed, or space constraints.
We work hard to match potential pet owners with their new best friend; discussing their lifestyle, environment, family, and ideal pet after the thorough adoption form has been filled out. All animals leave the Shelter on a test drive basis – a seven day commitment-free period that helps the adopter, any other pets, and the new animal determine if it is a good fit. We encourage an initial Veterinary visit to further screen the match.
Did you know nearly half the pets brought into the Shelter by Animal Control Officers and good citizens are reclaimed by their owners? Check out our Lost Pets page for more information and photos and call lost – or found – pet description in to: 406/222-2111. The reclamation fees are set by the City or County if brought in by an officer, not the Shelter, and we hope you will be respectful when picking up your pet that we’ve kept safe, housed and fed for you. We love happy reunions! If a pet is not reclaimed within a week, we will begin their health and behavior screening to prepare them for adoption.
Education and Outreach
Stafford Animal Shelter offers a range of education and outreach services to the community at no cost as part of our mission to enhance the relationship between pets and people.
Therapeutic Outreach:Dogs (and the occasional cat) are taken weekly to visit three local elder care homes and the day treatment facility in Livingston by a dedicated volunteer. This is therapeutically beneficial for both people and the pet!
Youth Education: classes are given on Dog Bit Prevention, Responsible Pet Care, and Wildlife Interaction to classrooms and community groups to prevent conflict and enhance humane animal care.
Community Education and Advice: we utilize multiple media outlets to offer free animal behavior advice and information to prevent surrenders and address problems with a family pet, nuisance animal, pet to pet introductions, seasonal topics and much more on our “Q & A” page, column in the Montana Pioneer, and briefs in the Livingston Enterprise, Livingston Current, Bozone, Facebook, and Twitter. Do not hesitate to call us at 406/222-2111 or email email@example.com with your question and we will have the appropriate person get back to you as soon as possible.
Tax Exempt & Financial Information
The Stafford Animal Shelter is a tax-exempt non-profit organization: Click to view our Form 990. Click to view our 501 (3) (c) nonprofit designation letter. We are dedicated to financially sound accounting practices and transparent accountability. You are welcome to set an appointment to learn more or look at our books if the above forms do not answer all your questions. Phone the Executive Director at 406/222-1311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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