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 cat, dog, and rabbit 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 Frances 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 clinics and expand the Shelter’s ability to respond to any number of crises in the community for decades 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 have recently introduced “the Happiness Project” to enhance the social interaction, play, exercise and well being of pets while they wait for their forever homes. 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 were the fiscal sponsors for The Spay Neuter Project until they received their own 501(c)(3) status 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 Park County and work with Sweetgrass County to house all their impounded animals.
Call us at 406-222-2111 and visit us Wednesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 5 PM at 3 Business Park Road east of Livingston. (Map)
Executive Director – Steve Leach joined us in January 2015. He brings many years of experience in the business world, volunteering for non-profits and a lifelong love of animals. For information on Shelter operations please contact him at 406-222-1311 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Development Director – Alicia Davis was a volunteer and foster for several years before joining Stafford as the Development Director. In addition to her passion for animals, she has a strong creative and business background which she uses to advocate for animals in our community. Contact her regarding marketing, volunteering, fundraising and events at 406-222-1313 or email: email@example.com
Gwen Strachan has the toughest job with front desk triage of animal intake, reclamation and adoption. She is friendly and positive and helps many people every day with information referrals, reclaiming pets and adopting a friend for life. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alyson Kleine is our Grants Coordinator & Administration Manager helping us secure much needed funds to run & maintain the shelter. Coming from a global banking background she is also an excellent match as our bookkeeper.
Kylee Jeffers is our veterinary technician. She oversees the health and wellbeing of each animal and assists the veterinarian with surgeries and treatments.
Nick Radovich, Charles Worth, Rachel Flury, Cameshia Mitchell, Tony Marcuzzo, Peggy Weisgerber, Morgan Elmore & Sara Shier 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!
(L to R: Alicia, Gwen, Steve, Kylee, Cameshia, Rachel, Peggy, Nick, Alyson, Tony & Charles)
Sue Dailey-President, is a retired teacher and educational consultant. She lives on the Shields River with her husband, Mike, their dogs Piper and Cub, two horses, and a flock of chickens. She loves to read, hike, garden, cross-country ski, and especially to spend time with her four grandchildren, who all love animals as much as she does!
Christopher “Chip” Njaa -Vice President, owns the Livingston Kite Company while also working as a licensed sales agent for Small Dog Realty. Realtors at Small Dog donate 5% of net profits to animal shelters across Montana. Family members include his partner Janet and their two rescue dogs and three rescue cats.
Nikki Fox-Secretary, lives in the Shields Valley with her husband, Peter, a delightful German Shepherd, Klaus and two horses, Ben and Big Red – a reference to her Wisconsin roots. A retired special educator and member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, she is thrilled to be involved with the dynamic team at the Stafford Animal Shelter.
Andy Art is the longest serving Board member having joined in 2004. She works at part time at Chico Hot Springs Restaurant and enjoys spending the rest of her time with her family including her pets which currently comprise of has 6 rescue dogs, 3 cats, some chickens and a turkey that followed her home from a dog walk and never left! The shelter is very near and dear to her heart and in her free time she enjoys making pottery for friends and Shelter fundraisers, traveling, skiing, hiking, biking paddle boarding, fishing and walking her pack of dogs.
Cindy Black has been a board member with Stafford Animal Shelter since the fall of 2010 and has three dogs. Cindy grew up in Livingston. She is a co-owner of Mark’s In and Out in Livingston. She has two grown children, Reggie and Sylvia, and a new grandson Daniel. Cindy has always cared deeply for animals and is happy to serve on the Stafford Animal Shelter board to help give them a voice.
Jim Bynum lives in Livingston with wife Kerri, a chiweeni named Calli and cat Tabbi both rescues from Stafford. Jim & Kerri, have six grown children and ten grandchildren. Jim loves sports and currently alpine skis, plays pickleball, rafts on the Yellowstone, hikes, and is a retired computer professional doing volunteer computer work for several Livingston organizations.
Kelly Engel is a dog trainer, behaviorist and founder of Know Thy Dog based in Bozeman, MT. She has 31 years of dogs training and handling experience from competing in AKC rings, to an animal control officer, to a professional handler. Kelly was honored on the Oprah show for her animal rescue efforts following Hurricane Katrina and was featured on 60 Minutes, Seattle Times, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bozeman Magazine and Explore Big Sky for her dog expertise. In addition, she handles dogs for commercial photo shoots and television including West Paw, Massive Studios and Sony pictures. As a board member she works closely with staff and volunteers to evaluate and train Shelter dogs. Kelly has nine personal dogs of various breeds and backgrounds. Her dogs all serve an integral role in evaluating and rehabilitating her client’s and the Shelter’s troubled dogs. As a behaviorist and life coach, Kelly believes that “the dog is the reflection of the owner, always; even if you adopted that dog yesterday, you chose it for a reason.”
Karen Greathouse joined the board in September 2016. Karen has always had a love for animals, realizing the synergy and health benefits they bring to our lives. Until she reaches her life-long goal of co-owning a sanctuary for elderly 4-legged fur babies, she fulfills her passion by serving on the board.
Connie Ryan likes being on the Board because she gets to be part of a better future for the animals at the Shelter. Connie lives in Wilsall, MT with her husband Shaun Ryan who owns Battle Ridge Construction. They have two grown children, one grandchild, two Brittany Spaniels and several Stafford Animal Shelter cats.
We accept every domestic animal brought to us – pocket pets, birds and exotic pets 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.
Check our Facebook page and Lost & Found page to see the strays who have been brought to the Shelter. It’s also a good idea to call (406)222-2111 or email us with a description of your lost- or found- pet. Photos are great for helping the identification process.
There are reclamation fees for picking up your animal. These are set by the City or County (depending on where your pet was found) 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 Bite 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, 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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