Siskiyou Humane Society adds six new board directors

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
“Here are our fosters,” wrote Shelly Cain on the Siskiyou Humane Society’s Facebook page. “(They) provided everything we need to care for these cuties. It’s work but it’s rewarding!”

Siskiyou Humane Society announced last week the addition of six new people to its Board of Directors. These additions fill several long-standing vacancies and three retirements, according to a press release from the organization.

In addition, the Humane Society is looking for local families willing to foster litters of kittens during this busy kitten season.

“All the female cats in our area are going into heat or they already have and are getting ready to have more babies,” SHS said on their Facebook page. “We already have quite the waiting list going, and there just isn’t any room for more cats and kittens in our facilities. We really need more local fosters! If we had more people to take just a few kittens for two or three weeks just until they get big enough to be spayed or neutered and put up for adoption we would be able to help so many more.”

The SHS takes care of the kittens’ vaccinations and any questions foster families have, as well as toys, litter and food.

“We just need people to open their homes and their hearts to these kittens so we can do our best to try and help these little guys out,” SHS said.

The main jobs of a foster parent are to socialize the kittens. One of the big reasons foster homes are so good for the kittens is that they get so much more exposure to different people and animals. Kittens are highly adaptable and if they are exposed to more at a younger age they become more adoptable,” the shelter said. “Just provide the basic care, love them, give them food and water, keep them clean.”

If you have any questions regarding foster, call the shelter at (530) 926-4052 or just go in and see them while they’re open:12:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 1208 N. Mt. Shasta Blvd, in Mount Shasta.

New board

“The board wants to recognize the outstanding work of its previous board members who worked diligently for many years, serving the needs of the animals and the community,” according to last week’s press release.

The board includes Melinda Garland (president), Holly Hand (vice president), Barbara Lovelace (treasurer), Anne-Marie Hosler (secretary), Terry McGraw, Julie Keil, Karin Sandberg and Suzanne Ducharme.

“The Siskiyou Humane Society is a direct extension and reflection of the community we serve,” said board member and acting secretary Anne-Marie Hosler. “We are funded by the generous donations of the people and businesses that make Siskiyou county so wonderful. We operate thanks to the service of the dedicated staff and volunteers that give selflessly and keep the Shelter and Thrift Stores operating. Our goal is to shift from a status of day-to-day survival, to an organization that is thriving and forging new pathways in animal sheltering.”

SHS relies on donations and bequests to provide services, the release continues. While income from the two SHS thrift stores help support the shelter, operating expenses exceed income by $20-30,000 each month.

A recent bequest from a generous donor offered a much-needed breath of hope for new developments at the shelter, the release said. Short term, the bequest ensures that the shelter facility can continue to focus on its mission to improve the lives of companion animals by sheltering, rehabilitating, reducing pet overpopulation and finding permanent homes.

“This donation is an answer to an immediate need. But it is not a long-term solution,” said board president Melinda Gardner. “Our new leadership team is committed to bringing more awareness of the needs of our organization to its beloved community. The power of what we can accomplish as a community is limitless ... We’ll soon begin fundraising for a new dog kennel, which is desperately needed for the health of the animals and the people who work in the facility each day. New housing for dogs is a top priority for Siskiyou Humane Society.”

Other challenges include staff and volunteer hiring and retention, monthly operational expense shortfalls, and overall operations.

The new board of directors has scheduled a strategic planning meeting for the end of June to establish priorities and develop tactics for addressing capital expenditures, staff and volunteer recognition and retention, fundraising, community outreach and public relations, budgeting, and operations. In addition, the directors will hold a public meeting on June 17 from 1-4 p.m. at the Lower Lodge in City Park. Community members are invited to attend and contribute to the future planning of SHS.

“This is a critical time for the Siskiyou Humane Society,” said Shelter Manager Kim Latos. “We are at maximum capacity, and we have long waiting lists for both dogs and cats. Kitten season has just started and this year we are seeing more than past years. The Board of Directors is working diligently to address these issues as quickly as possible. But we are also in constant need of volunteers, fosters, and donations. I encourage all animal lovers to connect with us and see how you can help.”