Shelter Staff is Woman of the Year

Photo of Venturino by Lynn Weaver

     Stafford Animal Shelter is proud to announce that on her 20th year as a Shelter volunteer, our own Yvonne Venturino is the Bozeman Daily Chronicle Balance Magazine’s Woman of the Year! Read the article here.
     Most of us want to make a difference but few make time to volunteer consistently or extensively. Fewer still are dedicated to a cause for two solid decades. Yvonne Venturino has donated thousands of hours and considerable skills to help the abandoned, abused and lost pets of our region since 1992 – and her involvement continues to expand.
     Venturino is a true renaissance woman who’s tapped into her leadership ability, bank account, creative talent, humor, knack for design, empathy, nursing skills, and – perhaps most astonishingly – continues to help do the dirtiest, poopiest, cleaning imaginable.
     Venturino began as a foster parent and advocate in the 1990’s when there was no animal shelter serving Park and Sweetgrass Counties and became an early Board member. A professional photographer whose work illustrates her husband’s vintage gun articles and books, she’s been the primary photographer of adoptable pets since the beginning.
Her patience and skill in capturing the unique personalities of animals including hedgehogs, three-legged dogs, skittish rabbits, solid-black cats, pythons and parrots is formidable. She raises the bar by collecting bright backdrops to pair with each pet’s coloring and uses props like miniature top hats, Christmas Sleighs, tiaras, feather boas and reading glasses. She can make rats cute. Venturino’s work has helped an estimated 10,000 pets get adopted and today a thousand people visit weekly to see her pet photos.
     Venturino’s involvement increased when the physical Stafford Animal Shelter was built in 1999. Cleaning kennels and rigorous medical protocol were added to her leadership, photography and fostering roles. Her forte is ‘Special Projects’; raising money with greeting cards and books of her photography, sewing and painting pet prayer flags and clothing for retail sale, taking paid pet portraits, creating lavish displays at fundraising auctions, crafting insulated doggy doors and cat hammocks and she’s currently spinning llama fur into pet beds. Seemingly, there’s nothing Venturino can’t do, and inspirationally, won’t do to help homeless pets. She does it all with flair but never fan fare.
     Congratulations to Yvonne Venturino on her well deserved award and for twenty years of dedicated service.

1 thought on “Shelter Staff is Woman of the Year”

  1. I am thrilled to see Yvonne Venturino celebrated in today’s Bozeman Chronicle, as the “Woman of the Year”…Hooray Yvonne! Thank you so much for everything you do on behalf of the animals, and people who are served by Stafford. The article is beautifully written, and the photos are terrific….you gotta love Brutus the Chihuahua, his sweet little face and carry coat is too cute. I am proud to know you all, and very blessed by the work you do. Sincere congratulations and all best wishes, I hope everyone reads this today!! Your biggest fan, Anne B., O’Rea Creek

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