Letters to the Editor

Viewpoint: Daniels thanked for society work

The board of directors at the North County Humane Society would like to publicly acknowledge and thank Kayce Daniels for her hard work and dedication to the humane society and the homeless cats of our community during her tenure at the shelter.

We are grateful for the service she has given us, and we wish Kayce and her family the very best.

Like many of us, the demands of work and our personal lives force us to make tough choices.

We recognize that Kayce’s decision to leave the employ of the humane society was difficult and we respect and understand the decision she has made.

We would also like to acknowledge and thank the committed and passionate staff who have continued their high standard of care of the animals at the shelter during this period of transition.

Many of these individuals have been with the shelter for many years and continue their unwavering dedication to the humane society and the animals we are responsible for.

When the current board of directors was elected to serve, the North County Humane Society was facing many challenges and was struggling to survive after years of financial difficulty.

As with many businesses, it was necessary to create a short term and long term strategic plan and to re-evaluate the direction the shelter was taking. It was critical that a sound business plan was developed while maintaining and instituting best practices for animal care.

In our efforts to create financial stability and improve public service, the board conducted exhaustive research, sought expert advice and attended animal welfare educational conferences. Some of the actions taken during this past year have included the following:

1. Volunteers have attended, at their own expense, the Animal Care Expo 2009 and the Petco conference on fundraising for animal shelters.

The information brought back to the shelter from these events has been invaluable.

2. At board expense, the executive director of the Humane Society of the Nature Coast of Brooksville, Florida, visited the shelter in an advisory capacity.

The Florida shelter has successfully weathered challenges similar to the ones we are facing and is now an award-winning financially strong animal shelter.

As this consultation was paid for by board members, it conserved vital community donations for animal care.

3. Employee job descriptions have been modified and cross training has been implemented to make the highest and best possible use of the talents of our staff and to operate the organization in a cost-effective manner.

4. New fundraising opportunities have been explored and implemented with the support of local businesses and volunteers to create financial long-term stability and to ensure continued service to the community and the cats we love.

5. New volunteers have been recruited and trained to provide staff support, increase community services and keep shelter costs to a minimum.

6. A new software program has been implemented at no cost, resulting in expedited adoptions and intake of animals, decreased staff paperwork and better tracking of an animal’s history.

This has allowed us to begin a program of microchipping our animals prior to adoption and to offer 30 days of free pet insurance with each adoption. We are grateful for the community’s continued support as we prepare for the coming year. We are continuing to modify our strategic plan so that it is fiscally responsible, provides quality care to the animals at the North County Humane Society and ensures the service that the public expects from us.

We invite the public to tour our facility and to contact us with any questions. We look forward to showcasing the improvements, goals and accomplishments of the North County Humane Society.

Priscilla Herzog is the North County Humane Society director at large