A Small Group on a Mission
The shelter was founded more than 40 years ago. Before then, approximately 50 stray dogs per year were taken by the dog officer and, after the required five-day hold, were sold to laboratories for experiments. There was no town facility for strays, no leash law, and no spay/neuter program. Animal control officers did their best to find homes for the dogs whenever they could, but without a shelter, they were limited in the help they could offer.
In 1977, the animal control officer worked alongside local citizens and the Hopkinton Board of Selectmen to address this situation. They began to bring the animals into their homes and barns. Eventually, they were able to set up two separate trailers to keep the dogs and cats safe while they tried to find them new homes. However, the trailers had to be located across town from one another, which was tough for volunteers to manage. Dogs were kept on Fruit Street and cats were kept near the Ashland town line. Thanks to the generosity and perseverance of this group, they secured a lease on land from the local utility company and had a shelter designed and built entirely from volunteer labor and donated materials and funds. This group of animal lovers formed the Hopkinton Humane Society and set up shop on Rafferty Road (now Legacy Farms North).
From those early beginnings, this humane society has grown to serve the community and surrounding towns and has extended its reach to serve more animals in need. In 1990 it officially became Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton, Inc. Today, this volunteer-built shelter still serves as the home for Baypath and includes 18 dog kennels and 20 cat cages. The physical facility is used to triage incoming animals and move the easier-to-adopt dogs and cats to the adoption floor and into loving homes. The support of the community is leveraged to move animals out of the facility, where appropriate, and get them into a less-stressful environment with foster families. This is especially crucial for long-stay dogs, which are classified as those who have been in shelter for more than two months.