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Kim Saunders was a practicing attorney when she decided to move into the animal welfare world full-time (after years of volunteering). She spent 15 years at Petfinder before moving into a more hands-on role at St. Hubert’s. She is now the Operations Director at Liberty Humane Society (LHS), the only licensed animal shelter in Hudson County, NJ, which one of most densely populated counties in the state. Hudson County has rich cultural and socioeconomic diversity, with 15% of the population falling under the poverty line. LHS provides all animal control services, as well as shelter and adoption services to the county.

In this interview, Stacy and Kim discuss how the recent government shutdown has impacted shelters, particularly pet retention programs. Kim is passionate about keeping animals that already have a home in those homes, and LHS offers a flexible pet retention program that assists with whatever people need—from super basic supplies like crates and litter to more complex needs like intensive medical care. During the government shutdown, LHS collaborated with another area group to make sure that the needs of local pet owners facing shutdown-related difficulties were being met.

LHS has also recently added a Community Cat Coordinator to its staff. This role, which is currently about 80% outreach, is tasked with coordinating and expanding the subsidized community cat spay/neuter program LHS began last year. They have a mobile spay/neuter clinic and they partner with another New Jersey group to provide services on that vehicle to both community cats and owned pets as well. The Community Cat Coordinator is in charge of community outreach regarding the spay/neuter program and community cat issues in general, and LHS plans to allow the position to grow and change to meet the current needs of the local community.

Liberty Humane is always glad to share what they’re doing and to hear about what others are doing. You can learn more about them or get in touch via their website.

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