Baypath Humane Society granted 50-year lease on town of Hopkinton’s Fruit Street Property
Shelter sets long-term vision for animal care and community services
Hopkinton, Mass. – The Town of Hopkinton granted Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton, Inc. a 50-year lease for five acres of property at 66 Fruit Street. The town’s Select Board approved the grant during its June meeting and the Town Manager executed the lease.
“This agreement with the town of Hopkinton represents the future of Baypath and our ability to meet the evolving needs of our community and the animals we serve,” says Elizabeth Jefferis, Baypath Executive Director. “It is also reflective of the partnership we have built with the town, and the animal welfare support we are honored to provide to Hopkinton and the surrounding area.”
Baypath’s desire to move from its current location at 500 Legacy Farms North is due to not owning the land (it is owned by Eversource) and not having enough space to expand adequately to accommodate the shelter’s growing portfolio of community services. After more than 40 years in the current building, Baypath sought a location that would help sustain its long-term vision for animal care and community services.
The lease is the culmination of years of negotiations between Baypath’s leadership and the town of Hopkinton in support of this move. Since 2015, Baypath leaders have been collaborating with the Planning Board, Zoning Advisory Committee, Town Manager’s Office, Department of Public Works, and Health Department. Baypath also garnered public support from Hopkinton residents at annual Town Meetings.
Baypath, which was founded in 1977, cares for more than 1,000 dogs and cats each year, and provides a range of services for the community, including animal adoptions, education and awareness, pet rehoming, law enforcement assistance for hoarding and neglect cases, and support for local animal control agencies.
“Although we outgrew our physical building years ago, we have been making due with modular extensions like our Real Life Room and offsite partnerships such as our Spay/Neuter Clinic at VCA Animal Hospital in Westborough and community events and training hosted at the Hopkinton Library or Hopkinton Center for the Arts,” Jefferis says. “Our administrative staff works offsite because we don’t have sufficient office space.”
The sustainable, state-of-the-art facility Baypath plans to build in the next few years will include: a health & wellness suite; larger areas for animal housing and care; private areas for adoption counseling and animal rehoming discussions; meeting rooms to host community groups, including youth organizations; animal behavior training; and more.
“Our future building, and the surrounding land, will support our mission of creating a stress-free environment for the dogs and cats in our care. It will also foster a better, more effective environment for our staff and volunteers. And it will allow us to create stronger bonds with our community by being able to host them onsite,” says Courtney McFarland, President of Baypath’s Board of Directors.
“We have so many requests from the community to come visit with the animals, volunteer onsite, and to learn more about our mission – this land and the future building will help us meet this demand and create more innovative enrichment programs to improve animal welfare,” Jefferis says.
Over the past few years, Baypath has expanded its mission well beyond traditional adoptions as a direct response to the community’s needs. In addition to spay/neuter clinics, the shelter has created Baypath Educates, a program that helps the community, especially young people, learn about safe animal handling and animal welfare; Home-to-Home, which helps transition dogs between homes when their owners must give them up; Behavior and Training programs tailored to the individual needs of our dogs and cats; a robust Foster Care program; and a Pet Food Pantry, which is currently hosted within Project Just Because.
For more information, contact:
Sandra Gittlen, Board Member Emeritus