Our Vision for the Future
Animal sheltering has advanced considerably in recent decades, from merely housing animals in the 1960s and 1970s, to creating communal housing in the 1980s to reduce shelter stress, to tackling the root causes of animal overpopulation, pet surrenders, and behavior issues in companion animals. Beginning in 2010, animal welfare professionals, including the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, developed standards of care to address the physical, mental, and behavioral needs of shelter animals. These are just a few of the important advances in animal sheltering since Baypath’s founding.
Like the animal sheltering field at large, Baypath has evolved tremendously since the early days. 2012 brought us the current leadership (including the Board President, Executive Director, and now-Shelter Manager), who arrived at a key transitional time for the organization. They had a drive to transform Baypath into a leader in animal welfare. And that drive continues today, with the goal of advancing the approach to sheltering and providing the most humane, compassionate care for the animals in a sustainable way. It involves continually asking: how can we do better by the animals we serve? What else can we do to help pet owners? And what more can we do to support the community?
It is through this lens that Baypath has set out to enact changes that will have a profound impact on virtually every aspect of the operation. The opportunity to secure land and build a new, modern, larger shelter facility is central to this vision.
For the new facility, the leadership team envisions a state-of-the-art community center offering a broad set of services – including:
- Isolation space for incoming dogs and cats from out-of-state
- Space to evaluate incoming dogs and cats for medical and behavioral issues
- Separate space for animals with wounds or other issues that require quarantine
- Private consultation for animal adoptions as well as animal surrenders
- Medical space to perform spays/neuters and general procedures such as vaccinations.
- An in-house training center used to teach dogs the skills they need to be polite companions in the home
- A pet food pantry to help families struggling financially to keep their pets in their home
- Enhanced training opportunities for staff, volunteers, and the public
Update: In late 2019 we submitted a 166-page response to an RFP issued by the Town of Hopkinton for a piece of land for the construction of a new shelter. In March of 2020 we were selected for the piece of land contingent upon successful lease negotiations. Obviously, the pandemic shifted everyone’s focus, but as of January 2021 lease negotiations are underway again. Stay tuned!