|One year ago, I “took the reins” as President of the SRAS Board of Directors. And what a ride it’s been! I am proud to announce that 559 dogs, 264 cats, 7 rabbits, 4 guinea pigs, and 2 birds found new homes through SRAS in 2016! A total of 831 animals! As our Mission Statement says, SRAS is “improving and saving animal lives by promoting quality care and compassion through adoption and education in the Upper Snake River Valley.”
More updates: we have an excellent staff including Executive Director, Executive Assistant, Operations Manager (joining us mid-month), Canine Kennel Technician, Feline Kennel Technician, and part-time Kennel Technician. This is one and one-half more staff than last January. We have an active 15-member Board of Directors. We have Executive, Education, Marketing, and Operations Committees. We have a Foster Coordinator, and a Volunteer Coordinator; both programs are undergoing positive changes and growth. We have a Trainer/Behaviorist who assists regularly with special cases. We have contracted with our local Veterinarians’ Association for ongoing vet care. We have relationships with local, state, and national animal organizations. We have shared animals with some of them as well as taken animals from them in order to promote more adoptions. We are forming partnerships with breed-specific animal rescues to utilize their expertise and ability to reach a wider number of prospective adopters. We are part of the Eastern Idaho Spay Neuter Coalition and work collaboratively to host events to raise funds to ensure people in our area can afford the cost of spay and neuter. We received a scholarship to send three of us to the ASPCA Animal Expo in Las Vegas, providing a wonderful opportunity to network and learn. We sent three representatives to the Best Friends conference in Salt Lake City. On September 22, 2016, I had the great honor of accepting a coveted Award of Excellence from the Idaho Non-Profit Association in Boise. SRAS was also chosen by community vote as favorite non-profit in a locally sponsored contest.
Our Policies and Procedures Manual, and our Employee Handbook have been revised and are in place. Meetings are regular and a way of life at SRAS. Board Retreats, and a Staff Retreat were held. SRAS provides educational opportunities for Staff, Volunteers, Board, and the public.
Reaching out to young people by providing opportunities to learn and participate is important at SRAS. We have a “Reading to Rescues” program, and have had numerous field trips to our facility. Several students targeted SRAS for their Senior Projects, and young peoples’ groups have visited here.
We have established Endowment, Cinderella, and Medical Funds. We have held many fundraisers and events including Monthly Sponsors, Food Drives, Fur Ball (coming in March – a community favorite!), our annual Rummage/Bake Sale (we’re already collecting!), VIP Appreciation Night, Ice Cream Social, Mutt Strut, and Holiday Open House. We tripled 2015’s giving on Idaho Gives Day, raised funds for our cause at Beer Fest, and the Alternative Giving Fair. Local businesses and our community have embraced SRAS with generous donations, both monetary and in-kind.
Changes to the facility include a security system, a drainage system, a “superhighway” for feline amusement, a kennel for pregnant/nursing cats, and more play-yard space for the dogs. A wonderful addition to SRAS is a transport vehicle gained through a grant from the CHC Foundation and assistance from our good friends from Teton Volkswagon.
SRAS continues to complete our landscaping plan. Outdoor kennels have been improved. A pathway heading north from the shelter culminating in a bench was built to honor donor/benefactor Bill Maeck and his dog. A storage shed was built. Help for these projects was provided by a local real estate agency, green houses and construction companies.
It’s 2017. What now? Keep on keeping on. Our goals include increasing our budget to run 60% from adoptions and operations, and 40% from donations/grants, continuing our status as a “no-kill shelter” (defined by “a shelter that does not kill healthy or treatable animals even when the shelter is full, reserving euthanasia for terminally ill animals or those considered dangerous to public safety”), and celebrating our second anniversary next August. Be part of it, join us to “improve and save animal lives by promoting quality care and compassion through adoption and education in the Upper Snake River Valley.”