Shelter Update from the Executive Director
I hope this letter finds you and your family happy and healthy, having enjoyed a pleasant start to 2023. Like many of you, I reflect at the beginning of each new year, reviewing accomplishments and challenges of the past year at Baypath, while implementing hopeful and positive changes for the months ahead. During this contemplation, one word continually came to the forefront – growth. Baypath experienced many facets of growth over the past twelve months, including flourishing, advancing, increasing in size and value, progressing and becoming greater over time:
In 2022, we reached a remarkable adoption milestone – over 1,000 animals found loving forever homes. During the first six months of the fiscal year, we welcomed 641 animals into our care. Despite the challenges of accommodating such a large number of animals in our small space, we utilized our incredible resources to meet this vital need, including our loving foster families, adoption match-making process, phenomenal volunteers and impressive outreach and social media teams. We currently average well over 100 adoptions per month, including cats and dogs with medical and behavioral challenges. These deserving animals find their way to Baypath through our expansive partnership network.
Over the past year, Baypath strengthened our local, national and international partnerships. Locally, we continued working alongside more than a dozen fellow shelters and animal control partners. Our national transport network also considerably expanded, as we added new partners around the country. Throughout the year, we also worked collaboratively with the world-renowned Humane Society of the United States, welcoming beagles originally bred for animal testing as well as vulnerable dogs saved from the South Korean dog meat industry.
Thanks to you, for the first time in our 45-year history, we raised over $1 million from contributions grants and events in fiscal year 2022. Our development practices, coupled with our outstanding community of supporters, made this great success possible. Last year, we increased our donor base by 93% compared to 2021! Many of these new supporters joined the Baypath family thanks to the Betty White Challenge and our new dynamic animal management software, which offers adopters the opportunity to make a gift when taking their new pet home.
As our mission has expanded beyond traditional adoptions, so have our innovative programs. Throughout last year, we advanced Baypath’s Behavior & Training Support offerings, specifically our comprehensive post-adoption support. Adopters are supported during the critical transition period of welcoming a shelter pet into their homes by our Director of Training & Behavior, Beth MacLeod, CPDT-KA, Cat Behaviorist Dr. Rachel Geller and materials from our new Adoption Success Kit. These outstanding resources aim to increase the bond between adopters and their new furry family members.
Positively impacting the local community is a responsibility and privilege we take to heart. Whether connecting families to the pet pantry at Project Just Because, offering compassionate rehoming support or providing free educational programming, Baypath is embedded in the local community. Our Community Liaison, Michelle Kreell, visits schools and community groups of all kinds, teaching empathetic an humane animal care. Educating the next generation of animal lovers brings Michelle all over the state – in a single week in November, she presented three distinct programs in three different towns across three counties!
We are fortunate to have highly-skilled staff deeply dedicated to Baypath’s mission. In 2022, several members of our exceptional team celebrated milestone organizational anniversaries: Cat Programs Coordinator Katie Farrell (17 years), Executive Director Liz Jefferis (11 years), Shelter Manager Nikki Baltas (10 years) and Operations Coordinator Lauren Maistros (10 years). Other staff members completed meaningful professional development, including In-Shelter Dog Programs Coordinator Emma Wailgum, who became a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP). Additionally, all in-shelter staff became Fear Free Certified. Our Volunteer Program likewise flourished in 2022, with 93 new volunteers joining the Baypath team, including 16 veterinary transporters, 15 shelter cleaners and 62 animal caretakers. Over 10,000 volunteer hours were completed, nearly doubling 2021’s total.
This past June, Baypath was granted a 50-year lease by the Town of Hopkinton for five acres of property on Fruit Street, on which we will build a state-of-the-art facility within the next few years. We are excited about the potential this new facility holds, including the expansion of programs that are currently helping our community, but are limited by space. Our future facility will allow us to better fulfill the organization’s mission and further strengthen local and national collaborations. As this exciting project progresses, we look forward to sharing updates with you!
Thank you for allowing us to continue to grow. Because of you, I envision a brighter future for animals and the people who love them.
Baypath Humane Society