Animal shelter board approves strategic plan

Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, October 6, 2021

The Beaverhead Animal Shelter now has a plan highlighting its goals for the foreseeable future.

The shelter board unanimously approved the strategic plan at its Sept. 28 meeting.

The new plan stresses financial solvency and the importance of providing high quality animal care while pets await placement. It is designed to be a “living document” that the board reviews and updates frequently, board member Ellen Foster said.

“In our first 18 months, I felt like we were digging ourselves out of a hole and trying to take care of debt, remove overcrowding and rebuild trust in the public as a place where we will care for animals,” she said. “Now we’re placing a foundation of where we want to go in the future.”

The plan outlines five main goals: providing quality animal care based on best industry practices; creating a strong, trusting relationship with the community; achieving and sustaining financial and operational stability; creating a workplace where employees receive resources that empower them to meet their assigned responsibilities; and establishing a successful development plan to reliably meet and current future funding requirements.

To meet the financial goal, the board intends to provide regular financial accounting and reporting, Foster said. The work staff and board members are doing to set up animal care protocols and engage with the community focuses on two of the other priorities.

Board members want to create a strong volunteer and animal fostering program, and providing staff and management support at the shelter itself as another priority.

“We want to put resources in place to support them, both personally and in the execution of their jobs,” she said. That includes clarifying the boards’ role at the shelter, and how it can best help in operations.

Foster said her hope is to have the board discuss the strategic plan and goals at every meeting, to ensure the information doesn’t sit in a corner and gather dust.

“There will always be something we are thinking of. But if we use this as a tool at each board meeting to keep us focused, then we’ll know when to add those, and agree as a group as to what’s more or less important,” she said.