For Immediate Release
Press Inquiries Please Contact:
Barbara Ann Downs, Board President
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July 5, 2017

Taos, New Mexico - The Humane Society of Taos, dba Stray Hearts Animal Shelter announced today that Jennifer Gfeller has officially resigned from her post as Executive Director effective immediately.

"Jennifer decided that this was not the appropriate opportunity for her," explained Barbara Ann Downs, Board President. "When she accepted the position she hoped her main focus would be on shelter operations. The reality of our tough financial situation and the required emphasis on fundraising and budget management was ultimately not what she wanted to do." added Downs.

"The stress of our lack of adequate funding is never-ending," said Diane Padoven, who served as interim ED from August 2016 - April 2017. "The perfect person for this job is someone who has great leadership skills, financial & budgeting experience, thrives in stressful business situations and has a strong background in animal welfare and shelter requirements. We will find that person," Padoven emphasized.

The Board of Directors at Stray Hearts is currently creating a recruitment plan to fill Gfeller's position. In the interim, the Board of Directors has stepped in to serve as the shelter leaders until a suitable replacement is hired. Most of the board members have been long time active volunteers and are experienced in fulfilling the day-to-day shelter duties.

"The board's priorities will be to recruit the next shelter leader and work with the staff to ensure our animals continue to receive excellent care," stated Kay Kimmel, Board Treasurer. "In addition, we are working with our volunteer consultants to create a new business model for Stray Hearts. One that includes regular, consistent revenue streams to complement our fundraisers and donor contributions. The Stray Hearts budget is $56k per month, and we cannot survive with grants and donations alone." stated Kimmel.

The Humane Society of Taos, Inc., dba Stray Hearts Animal Shelter, is a 501c3 non-profit organization whose mission is dedicated to interim compassionate and humane care for lost and abandoned canines and felines. Our goal is to provide a safe, secure and healthy shelter in which we offer enrichment while animals are in residence. SHAS firmly believes that animals, domestic and wild alike, deserve compassion and are a vital part of the community whose needs should be accommodated. SHAS primarily focuses on the needs of dogs and cats within the communities we serve. The organization’s many programs and services are designed to address their needs—and to provide support, education, and assistance for all the people who care about them.