Stafford Animal Shelter Selected For Prestigious Shelter Fellowship

Development Director Alicia Davis and Executive Director Steve Leach play with abandoned puppies found on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Stafford works with a rescue group in Browning, Montana to transport homeless dog to the safety of the shelter and help find them homes. Photo: Rachel Leathe – Bozeman Daily Chronicle

We are so proud to announce that Stafford Animal Shelter was accepted into the University of Wisconsin-Madison Shelter Medicine Program’s Northern Tier Shelter Fellowship. The Shelter Fellowship program was created in conjunction with the University of California-Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to build a learning community that provides training and support for animal shelter administrators to deliver life-saving knowledge and services to the nation’s homeless pets and communities. The prestigious fellowship provides a unique opportunity for administrators to work directly with academic and clinical instructors from both institutions as well as national animal welfare organizations, to benefit from their expertise on diseases, shelter procedures, community programming and more.

Alicia Davis and Steve Leach introduce two of Staffords newest canine residents, Buck and Heidi. Photo: Nate Howard – Livingston Enterprise

Steve Leach our Executive Director and Alicia Davis our Development Director will serve as the shelter’s representatives for the fellowship and will attend the training courses in Madison Wisconsin as well as participate in continuing education with Shelter staff. Says Steve “It is an honor we were selected in this highly competitive process. We are proud to be one of the four shelters in the entire Northern Tier who will participate.” He continued, “The University of Wisconsin is leading the nation in shelter medicine and animal welfare protocols. We have called on them several times to assist with situations here at Stafford. Our participation in this ongoing fellowship will undoubtedly thrust Stafford into the upper echelon of cutting-edge animal welfare operations which will help benefit our community and most importantly the homeless pets entrusted to us.”

Chloe, an adoptable cat from Stafford Animal Shelter, peers from the top of her perch. Photo: Rachel Leathe Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Aleisha Swartz, DVM serves as an outreach Veterinarian for the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Swartz has visited Livingston and consulted for Stafford Animal Shelter. She says of the fellowship acceptance “Congratulations to Stafford for all they have accomplished. We are happy to have them and our team is looking forward to working together this year”. The fellowship begins on June 4th, 2018 with a travel expense paid trip to the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Stafford Animal Shelter is an open-door shelter that accepts every pet in need regardless of species, breed or medical condition. They have no restrictions on length of stay and pets are provided a safe haven for as long as it takes to find them a new home. Stafford has served South Western Montana since 1999 providing care to lost and unwanted animals as well as providing valuable community resources such as veterinary assistance funds, temporary crisis sheltering, behavior training and pet food for low-income families.

Alicia Davis plays fetch with Zelda, a rescue through Stafford’s “Pure Bred Rez Dog” program. Photo: Rachel Leathe Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

We were happy to receive press on our fellowship from The Livingston EnterpriseBozeman Daily Chronicle and Big Timber Pioneer.   Thank you all for your congratulatory messages, including Governor Bullock’s and Senator Jon Tester’s offices (below) and donations for our Shelter.    We are excited to start our fellowship and will post updates along the way for you to learn along with us.

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