Foothills Humane Society moving in positive direction

Published 6:21 pm Tuesday, March 27, 2012

To the editor:
I have lived in this community for a long time, and I am friends with a lot of the shelter staff, volunteers and board members. Foothills has had its share of challenges in the past – every organization does!
There are two sides to every story. For seven years I have been a volunteer for Foothills Humane Society, and I have in the past twice been a member of the staff, including the positions of both foster and volunteer coordinator, where I worked with a myriad of people and animals in the community.
I have fostered hundreds of puppies and kittens and have adopted my fair share of both. I have worked in the office, cleaned cages and runs, hauled food, socialized dogs, pilled cats, trained people and animals, transported rescues and answered thousands of questions. Foothills is by far the best shelter I have ever seen, and they are definitely moving in the right direction – which is forward!
Foothills Humane Society has come a long way, thanks to the efforts of its volunteers, its staff, and its board of directors – all of them, past and present. They have worked hard to grow from a typical rural shelter where only 20 percent of the animals got out alive to an unbelievable 97 percent live release rate, which is better than most No-Kill shelters in the country and which has drawn the praise of national groups such as Maddie’s Fund and PetSmart Charities.
Foothills Humane Society’s decision to hire Selena Coffey as its first executive director was a brilliant move on the part of the board. Maddie’s Fund’s national blog praised the organization for its strength and foresightedness in hiring an ED from outside the sheltering community.
She has garnered kudos from many sectors since she has been with Foothills, and has been a much-needed breath of fresh air. Her stated goal, and that of the board of directors, is to save the lives of the animals, and to ensure that there are “No More Homeless Pets” in our community. I couldn’t think of a better goal myself.
I think Ms. Vare put it very well when she said that as she started volunteering, “We discovered a dedicated, caring and very knowledgeable staff and a lot of great dogs.” That has not changed.
However, people do move on, for a wide variety of reasons, and new ones are welcomed. In any group, people have different ideas of how to achieve goals, but it is always important to keep your eyes on the common goal.
The thing to remember here is that we are all doing this for the benefit of the animals. And not only is it beneficial for the animals, but it benefits the community at large.
And I, for one, am excited to see all the positive growth and change at Foothills Humane Society.
– Paula Drake Mullenax