New Website, Same Commitment to Saving Lives
By Hillary Roberts, Director of KVHS
I’ve always loved the start of a new year. New beginnings, clean slate, fresh start. It’s a time to set goals, and if you’re anything like me, to make lists.
I started my journey as the Executive Director at KVHS nearly 8 years ago. Let me tell you, in that time I’ve set a lot of goals and made a lot of lists. Along with a Board of Directors committed to greatness and success, a staff with an outpouring of devotion to animals and skill sets that continue to grow, and a team of volunteers who inspire me to give back every day, we are accomplishing so much. I find myself checking things off my list that I didn’t think would be possible.
Let’s talk about my favorite thing that my big red pen is checking off. For two years now, KVHS has had a life release rate, or placement rate, consistent with that of a “no kill” shelter. In 2015 we placed 92% of our shelter pets, and in 2016 we placed 96% of these furry residents.
If you’re reading this blog, we probably share something in common: a love of animals. So when I tell you that we place 96% of our animals, I’m hoping that it inspires you, that it moves you and that you FEEL something about it. I can tell you right now, the journey to this placement rate has been one of, if not the, most gratifying achievements of my professional career. I LOVE that we are saving lives.
Saving lives is complex work. Some animals arriving at our facility in need of safe haven and that life-saving second chance require long term medical care or behavioral modification because of health issues, abuse or neglect. We have raised the bar, year after year, in how far we can go to meet the health and behavioral needs of our animals. We have provided complicated surgeries, long term treatment plans, and life changing medical care for animals in our care. In addition, we have hired a certified dog trainer to not only assess the temperament of our dogs, but to create plans and a training structure to improve their adoptability and make them better community animals.
And it doesn’t stop there… KVHS has a public spay neuter program to help reduce pet overpopulation in our community, we regularly conduct educational and outreach activities to teach citizens about our work and humane care for animals, and we have created programs to strengthen opportunities for our most vulnerable animals like feral cats and senior animals through ongoing support and fee waived or reduced adoptions. Can you tell I love what I do? Sometimes when I talk about my amazing team, our work, and our animals I tend to go on and on… but hey, you’re still reading, so hopefully you think this life saving stuff is as cool as I do!
Saving lives is rewarding, it’s gratifying, it builds a strong bond between our community of animal lovers—but it isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hands, a lot of hearts, and a lot of money. Every day at KVHS we need donor, volunteers, and adopters. We need open hearts to join us in our mission.
So I ask you this, my fellow animal lover: As we start this new year together, this fresh start, will you join me and my team as we continue to save lives? Together, the sky is the limit for what we can do for animals.