Elizabeth Jefferis began volunteering as a dog walker in 2010 at Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton, and was hired as assistant manager the following year. The Hopkinton resident, who has since been appointed executive director, says her background in the financial industry helps her maintain fiscal responsibility and maximize donor dollars.
Q. What goes on at Baypath?
A. We adopt out animals and take in rescues, strays from Animal Control, and surrenders when people can’t keep their pets for whatever reason. We only have dogs and cats for space reasons — up to 20 dogs and 25 cats, with another 10 to 12 dogs and 70 to 80 cats at times in foster homes. We’re very fortunate to have so much community support and collaboration to enhance the lives of these animals.
Q. What are some other examples?
A. Paws in Motion in Natick and Northborough Canine Rehabilitation & Fitness Center donate water therapy sessions, Best Friends Pet Care in Ashland provides access to its indoor play area, volunteers take dogs to obedience training and play dates, and groups of all demographics have fund-raisers. Everyone works together to mitigate the stress that comes naturally from being in a shelter and increase the animals’ chances of getting adopted.
Q. How is Baypath funded?
A. We receive individual donations, adoption fees, and a few grants. We get no state or government funding, other than a small contract for kennel space from Hopkinton Animal Control.
Q. Do you have pets of your own?
A. Yes, I do. Help me! I have a parrot, two cats from Baypath, and four 75-pound dogs. Three are rescues, but my first dog is a golden retriever that I bought after I was denied by a shelter because I was young and living in an apartment. I know what it’s like to be denied, so I take extra time to work with applicants so their [adoption] plans work out.
Q. Aside from adoptions, how can the public help?
A. We always need new foster families and donations, and we have a wish list on our website. We’re in this tiny little building, but our incredible staff and core of 120 active volunteers allow us to do a phenomenal amount with limited resources. There are a lot of good people in the world.
Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton is located at 5 Rafferty Road. Call 508-435-6938 or visit baypathhumane.org or facebook.com/baypathhumane.Cindy Cantrell may be reached at email@example.com.