For the unwanted, discarded, homeless and hungry cats and dogs of New York’s St. Lawrence county, Potsdam Humane Society (PHS) is a beacon of life. Each year, the no-kill shelter delivers services and protection to more than 1,200 furry companions.
It’s a daunting task, but one Alysia Maynard, the organization’s executive director, fully embraces. “Growing up, I always wanted to work with animals,” she explains, but it might be her work with people that ultimately delivers the greatest impact.
From education programs in area schools to providing low-cost veterinary services (and a well-stocked pet food pantry), PHS serves as a valuable resource for pet owners. Still, Alysia worries about the growing need.
In 2017, PHS housed an average of 89 cats and kittens, and 24 dogs and puppies per month. While they averaged 480 feline and 240 canine adoptions annually, the shelter has a persistent waiting list for voluntary surrenders, and the number of days when it reaches maximum capacity continues to increase. Those realities make services like PHS’ low-cost spay and neutering all the more important, as a tool to combat pet overpopulation.
Despite the challenges, Alysia remains hopeful. “The compassionate, humane care PHS provides makes our community better,” she explains, “as the kindness we extend to animals will inevitability influence our lives in immeasurable ways.”