About Stafford Animal Shelter

MISSION STATEMENT: “The Stafford Animal Shelter prevents animal distress by caring for displaced animals, facilitating adoptions and reunions, minimizing pet overpopulation and pioneering humane education & community outreach.”

Stafford Animal Shelter is a no-kill, open-door shelter that accepts all pets in need regardless of age, species, breed or medical condition.  We have no length of stay restrictions so animals are welcome with us until they find their forever homes. 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 including Gallatin, Sweet Grass, Stillwater, Meagher, Fergus counties and beyond. As the only Shelter in the region that accepts all lost or unwanted pets; not just dogs and cats, we have a “Zoo” where we can care for a wide range of pets from exotics to rodents to birds to small mammals.  We also serve as the care facility for animals running at large, cruelty cases, and emergencies by city and county animal control officers. Of all the animals we take in approximately half are reclaimed and half are adopted. Every adoptable cat, dog, kitten and puppy are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed and microchipped prior to adoption.


Francis Stafford and her first dog
Frances Stafford and her first dog

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 (previously The Humane Society of Park County) 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 Shelter expansion project – all funded by an anonymous grantor – was completed with the construction of a multi-purpose building to house rescues,  hoarding populations & evacuation cases.  Realizing the need for truly infectious disease quarantine unit and raised, indoor/outdoor dog kennels, “The Bon K9 Rescue Center” was opened in 2016 in the existing multi-purpose building through a generous donation from the Bonnie Allchin.  The Shelter now has the ability to properly isolate, house and help more incoming dogs.

Mr. and Mrs. Stafford and Trudy

Stafford Animal Shelter receives no federal, state government or national organization support and are funded almost entirely by small donations, local business partnerships and grants.

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.


Dedicated R.S.V.P. Volunteer Kitty Hall

We endorse the Spay Neuter Project and 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 and community Spay/Neuter Clinics. They are a good resource for owned animals who have not been adopted from Stafford.  Stafford Animal Shelter spays & neuters all our animals before they are adopted into the community.

We also have close working relationships with local veterinarians; spay and neuter project logo cardwe refer adopters to them and they give adopters free initial exams.  We are fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers from the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and appreciate all their support.

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)


Our entire staff is the heart of our organization & mission. They provide physical and emotional well-being to the over 1000+ animals we care for each year as well as to the community members we provide services for. Please take time to thank them for their hard work when you see them!
Steve Leach, Executive Director Steve 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. Steve ensures the shelter is financially sound, well staffed and aligned to carry our live-saving mission into the future. For information on overall Shelter operations please contact him at 406-222-1311 or email him at sleach@staffordanimalshelter.orgAlicia Davis, Director of Operations & Outreach Alicia was a volunteer and foster for several years before joining Stafford as a director in 2015. 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 community outreach, marketing, volunteering, fostering, fundraising and events at 406-222-1313 or email: adavis@staffordanimalshelter.org
Sara Shier, Animal Care Supervisor & Veterinary Assistant Sara, oversees the Animal Care Technicians, pet medical records, trains staff, conducts behavior assessments, assists with surgeries and medical treatments and works closely with our Veterinarian to ensure all animals are happy & healthy. Email: animalcare@staffordanimalshelter.org or 406-222-0897Alyson Kleine, Grants Coordinator & Administration Manager Alyson helps 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. Contact her at 406-222-7976 or admin@staffordanimalshelter.org
Dr. Julie Kappes, DVM
Lisa Lobosco, Customer Service Manager
Charles Worth, Facilities Manager
Animal Care Technicians (ACT) have the some of the dirtiest, difficult and emotionally challenging duties in the shelter, but they are fulfilled knowing they help homeless animals feel safe, loved (and fed!) during a difficult time in their lives. ACTs treat each animal as their own & lovingly take care of them on a daily basis until the day comes where they match them with their forever families.
Nick Radovich, Dog Trainer
Liz Kever, Assistant Animal Care Supervisor
Alex Delorey, ACT
Lolee Nave, ACT
Evin King, ACT
Kylee Tjensvold, ACT

Board Members

Sue Dailey, President, is a retired teacher and educational consultant.  She lives on the Shields River with her husband, Mike, their dog Stafford Alumni dog 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!

Cindy Black, Vice President, 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.

Karen Greathouse, Secretary & Treasurer 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 works at shelter business partner First Interstate Bank and fulfills her passion by serving on the board and volunteering at shelter events.

Nikki Fox,  lives part-time between Big Timber & Wisconsin with her husband, Peter, a delightful German Shepherd, Shotski 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 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.

Christopher “Chip” Njaa, is a real estate agent at Keller Williams in Livingston. Family members include his wife Janet and their two shelter dogs and three shelter cats.

Julimarie Wistey, joined the board in January of 2020.  For the past twenty years,  Julimarie has been a first-class flight attendant with American Airlines and when she’s not traveling the world she can be found volunteering at the shelter, fostering puppies through our “sleepover” program or collecting our donation boxes at local businesses.  She enjoys spending her free time with her “boys”:  her husband Chad and 3 Stafford Alumni dogs Walker, Wrigley & Tilly.

Dr. Johanna Barney Hanna was born and raised in Livingston, MT. She has been a board member since March of 2020. She is a co-owner and practicing optometrist at Eyecare Professionals in Livingston. Hanna has always had a love for animals and often volunteered as a dog walker at Stafford when she was a child.  In her time away from the office, she enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her family, friends, her 3 rescue dogs, Abby, Finley & Annie.



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 1,200 animals we shelter each year; euthanizing only animals suffering with untreatable illness or those who would be a danger to the community. We do not euthanize for length of stay at Shelter, breed, age 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 three (3) days, we will begin their health and behavior screening to prepare them for adoption.

Financial Information

Tax Exempt & Financial Information

The Stafford Animal Shelter is a tax-exempt non-profit organization:  Click to view our 501 (3) (c) nonprofit designation letter. Click to view our Form 990. We are dedicated to financially sound accounting practices and transparent accountability. If you have additional questions please contact our Executive Director at 406-222-1311 or email: sleach@staffordanimalshelter.org