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Stafford Animal Shelter Has New Pack Leader


Photo of Steve Leach with Jacob, who was just adopted, by Melanie Renee Photography

Stafford Animal Shelter in Livingston is pleased to introduce its new Executive Director, Steve Leach. Leach comes to Stafford with a strong business background and a lifelong love of animals. He believes his extensive experience as a marketing executive for some of the nation’s top magazine publishers (including Time, Inc., Hearst, and Conde Nast) will translate well into promoting Stafford and the important work it does.

Leach is impressed with the facility at Stafford, its dedicated and caring staff and board, the cadre of compassionate volunteers, and the services Stafford provides the community. “One of my first visitors was a veterinarian who has worked at Stafford and other shelters. He told me that for most animals that end up here, it’s the best day of their lives. I am committed to ensuring that statement remains true. I couldn’t be more proud or excited to be joining the Stafford team and to have the opportunity to make a difference.”

Board President, Sue Dailey, says Stafford shares Leach’s enthusiasm. “The members of the SAS board feel very fortunate to have Steve on board as our new Executive Director. His wealth of experience and enthusiasm will be a great addition to the Stafford team!” Stafford Animal Shelter, built in 1999, is there for you when your pet is lost, you’re ready to adopt a friend for life, or have animal behavior questions. The only nonprofit animal shelter in Park County, they 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 but small and exotic pets too. Stop by 3 Business Park Road east of Livingston Tuesday through Saturday between noon and 5 pm to meet the new Executive Director and the many pets waiting for homes – from puppies to parrots to barn cats to bunnies. To contact the new director, phone 406/222-1311 or email

Shelter Broken Into

breakin2Between 6 pm on Thursday February 5, 2015 and 8 am Friday, February 6 Stafford Animal Shelter was broken into by person/persons unknown. They pried open a kennel and forced a dog door to get in; all entry points have now been triple reinforced and will be nearly impossible to breach. While we are happy to report that no animals were hurt, we are very sad that someone chose to target a nonprofit serving pets. Stafford Animal Shelter keeps no cash, other than a few coins in a donation box, nor veterinary medications on the premises. While unhurt, the pets in the Shelter were traumatized and still exhibiting stress the next morning and a great deal of destruction was wrecked on the Shelter.

Stafford Animal Shelter was closed Friday, February 6th while the police breakin1investigated and the destruction was cleaned up. The Shelter will be OPEN for business again during normal business hours Saturday the 7th at noon.

Anyone with any information that may shed light on the crime is encouraged to contact the Park County Sheriff’s Office at 406/222-2050. The animals that experienced the break in are unable to shed light on the perpetrators. “There are forty eye witnesses but nobody’s talking,” says Executive Director Steve Leach referring to the Shelter pets we wish could tell us who the culprit was.

As Stafford Animal Shelter is in an isolated, nonresidential area we have been broken into three times before and would like to invest in a surveillance system to help prevent, and to prosecute, future crimes at the Shelter. Donors may make a note on any donation they would like to go to this fund. Checks may be mailed to 3 Business Park Road, Livingston, MT 59047 and secure online donations can be made at

Stafford Animal Shelter thanks our wonderfully supportive, caring community and appreciates the public’s understanding in our temporary closure.

Thanks to our friends in the media, the Livingston Enterprise and Bozeman Daily Chronicle, for helping get the word out  and our many friends in the community who have expressed their concern and made donations to the Surveillance System Fund.

Follow up article in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and KZBK Channel 7.


Stafford Shelter Wins Award

KZBk imageStafford Animal Shelter is honored and pleased to have been nominated by members of the public for the KZBK and First Security Bank’s “Our Community First Award”. We received a fine plaque, donation from First Security Bank, and a television spot in which to talk about our services. See the video here and thanks to all our friends and supporters for thinking of us and the critters we serve with this award and every day with their support! Learn more and make year-end tax deductible donations here.

Rosie Fund Gets Help from the ASPCA ®

The Stafford Animal Shelter has a special fund just for animals who have one-time major medical needs called the Rosie Fund. It was created for Rosie, a dog who had fallen off the back of a pick-up and badly wounded her leg, which later needed to be amputated. We see a number of animals each year who need a considerable medical procedure like Rosie’s.

Before surgery

Before surgery

Earlier this year, we received a generous grant from the Lil BUB’s Big Fund for the ASPCA, to our Rosie Fund specifically for cats who needed special medical care.

Gracie May, who has been with us since September of 2013, developed entropion a few months ago. This is a condition in which the eyelids roll inward, causing lashes and hair to constantly scrape the surface of the eye. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness due to ulcers forming on the cornea, inflammation, or scaring. This irritating and painful condition can occur in young animals (some breeds, like pugs, are more predisposed to it) and is called “primary entropion.” Animals may also develop the condition later, which is referred to as “secondary entropion,” which is what Gracie had. Though the exact cause of hers is unknown, this can happen if there is an irritation to the eye causing eyelid spasms, trauma, or chronic inflammation. Gracie frequently squinted and had watery eyes, as can be seen in the “before” photo on the left. The hairs constantly scraping across her eye caused her pain. Like most other animals suffering from entropion, she required corrective surgery.

After surgery

After surgery

Thanks to Lil BUB and the ASPCA®, Gracie was able to have her surgery. She is now pain-free and feeling much happier; see her “after” photo on the right. Gracie May is a sweet, mellow girl who is still available for adoption!

Join Our Team!

Former Executive Director Vicki Blakeman

Former Executive Director Vicki Blakeman

Have you always wanted a job where you made a difference? Love pets? Then joining the team at Stafford Animal Shelter may be for you. There are several positions open for a wide range of skill sets.

Important position open at Stafford Animal Shelter until filled: Registered Veterinary Technician Supervisor (full time). Click on the title of the job to learn more about the requirements and application process. Join our fun, pet-loving team!

We are amidst our search for a dynamic new Executive Director. While we can never replace recently departed Executive Director Vicki Blakeman, Stafford Animal Shelter is searching for their next leader. Vicki left the Shelter in a strong, stable, and positive position and leaves a lasting legacy of community engagement and Shelter improvements. The Executive Director position plays a key role with the board, staff, community and supporters along with overseeing programs, fundraising and budgeting and long-term planning. The initial round of application reviews closed November 15, 2014 but if the position is not filled in this first round, we will reopen it.

We take animal care seriously but have fun too!