Cheyenne Animal Shelter names Don Kremer new CEO
After a national search, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter Board of Directors named Cheyenne resident Don Kremer the organization’s new CEO effective February 11.
Currently an Animal Control Officer with the Shelter, Kremer is also Pastor of Sun Valley Community Church, the founder and CEO of World Missionary Outreach, and a former Lander, Wyoming police officer. He succeeds interim CEO Phil Kiner, who filled the position after the resignation of Bob Fecht last October.
“We conducted an intensive interview process and met with some very impressive candidates,” said CAS Board Chair Tammy Maas. “In the end, it was obvious that Don combined the experience, integrity, communication skills and leadership qualities we were looking for. We are excited about his vision for CAS and confident that he is the right leader at the right time for this organization. We also sincerely thank Phil Kiner for his outstanding work as interim-CEO over the past several months.”
Kremer has been an Animal Control Officer with CAS since 2014 and has earned the respect of staff as well as local law enforcement agencies (and judicial system). He is an accomplished public speaker, has appeared on national television, is a published author, provides spiritual counseling to his church, and delivers medical care and education to remote villages in Africa through the nonprofit Ministry he founded. He is a former U.S. and World Taekwondo Champion, a 4th Degree Black Belt, and a Certified Self-Defense Instructor.
“I am honored to be chosen by the Board to lead Cheyenne Animal Shelter,” said Kremer. “The past few months have been challenging for CAS but we are excited about the opportunity to move the organization forward. We have an outstanding staff of people who deeply care about the animals in our care and I can’t wait to get started working with them to make CAS a place that everyone in Cheyenne can be proud of.”
Kremer’s selection is one of several steps in the Board’s plan to address the concerns of the Cheyenne City Council after a pepper spray incident last fall. Since then the Board has completed an independent audit of policies and procedures, implemented new staff training, and developed a crisis management plan.
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter was founded nearly 45 years ago by a concerned group of local citizens eager to provide animal welfare services to the homeless and unwanted animals in the community. Each year, the Shelter cares for over 6,000 pets including puppies and kittens, cats and dogs, rabbits, birds and a variety of other critters.
Cheyenne Animal Shelter releases external audit results
Recently the City of Cheyenne City Council and Mayor tasked the Cheyenne Animal Shelter Board of Directors to have an external animal sheltering professional review of the Shelter’s operating procedures.
Trish McMillan with Loehr Animal Behavior, based in North Carolina, came to Cheyenne in early December 2018 to visit the Cheyenne Animal Shelter and review its current policies and procedures. She set forth goals for the Shelter and proposed a variety of ideas to streamline its behavior programs, which are detailed in her final audit report.
The Shelter can implement some of the changes at little or no cost, and staff is currently working on standard operating procedures to update employees on the new systems before they take effect. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing information via social media and our website to notify the public of the changes that are being made to improve animal placement and quality of life for animals.
McMillan holds a Master of Science degree in Animal Behavior from the University of Exeter in England. Her business, Loehr Animal Behavior, specializes in personalized training and behavior modification plans for dogs, cats, and horses. She worked for the ASPCA in a variety of roles for more than seven years, doing shelter work, writing and research. She also performed evaluations and did behavior work with animals from dogfighting and hoarding cases. Before working for the ASPCA, Trish trained and showed horses in a variety of disciplines, managed dog daycares, worked with shelter animals, taught obedience classes, and took in board-and-train dogs. She currently does some contract work with Dogs Playing for Life.
Cheyenne Animal Shelter revamping, resuming “The Big Fix” Spay/Neuter Program
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter has restructured its “Big Fix” spay/neuter program to utilize the Shelter’s medical team, a move that will allow for more animals to be altered and fewer litters of pets to be left in shelter care.
“The Big Fix” Program is an income-qualified service designed to offer a low-priced option for community members who need to have their pets altered and to ensure pets are protected from common viral illnesses through vaccinations.
Tessha Winsch, DVM and the Cheyenne Animal Shelter’s Medical Director says, “Spay/neutering and vaccinating helps to protect human health through the prevention of common zoonotic diseases and enables more people to reap the social and health benefits provided through pet ownership.”
The low prices offered through the Cheyenne Animal Shelter are subsidized through specialized grants and donations that help to offset the costs of this vital service. Community members may pick up an application from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter or print one from our website. Applicants then need to return the application with proof of income (first page of last year’s 1040 tax form) to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter for approval.
Applicants must be more than 18 years of age and be the owner of the pet. Applications will be approved based upon income levels established by the federal government and applicants must be a resident of Laramie County.
Once the application has been processed, an employee from the Cheyenne Animal Shelter will notify the applicant of his approval/denial status via email. Applicants have 30 days from the date of notification to redeem and schedule their approved services.
Veterinarians in Laramie County have performed the surgeries in the past, and we so appreciate the support we have received from the veterinarian community for more than a decade! Now that a second veterinarian has been hired at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, we’ll be bringing the program in-house, and surgeries will be performed at our facility located at 800 Southwest Drive. For more information about the Big Fix program, call 307-222-6353, email email@example.com or download an application here.
Upper Respiratory Infection Contained at Shelter
Officials at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter are pleased to announce that a serious upper respiratory infection that was discovered in one adult canine has been contained.
Tessha Winsch, DVM and the Shelter’s medical director, halted the adoption of all Shelter dogs for five days while every adult dog was treated to prevent the spread of the bacterial infection known as Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus.
“It was better to err on the safe side by closing access to all shelter dogs even if they had exhibited no signs of sickness,” Winsch said. “We provided antibiotics to every dog – approximately 85 — in our care for the five-day period. None have since tested positive and dog adoptions are back on track.
Local veterinarian Tiffany Healey, DVM, Cottonwood Veterinary Clinic, said that the Cheyenne Animal Shelter absolutely did the right thing in treating and securing the infection. “Dr. Winsch was really on top of what could have been a real tragedy,” Healey said. “She discovered the disease early and she and the veterinary team, as well as all of the animal care staff, did all they could to contain it. Things turned out very well and I’m impressed!”
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter wishes to thank the Wags and Menace Make a Difference Program Foundation for providing the funding necessary to cover the cost of antibiotics and testing for the original dog that tested positive, who is now on the mend.
A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Shelter’s website at www.cheyenneanimalshelter.org. As well, those who wish may donate to help cover the cost of pet medical treatment online at www.cheyenneanimalshelter.org or send a check to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, 800 Southwest Drive, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 82007.
Public Notice Regarding Upper Respiratory Infection at the Shelter
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is experiencing an increased number of adult canines with upper respiratory infection (URI) in our Shelter located at 800 Southwest Drive. Most of the cases are mild and easily overcome with standard antibiotics and treatment of symptoms. However, the Shelter has experienced one recent severe case caused by a bacteria known as Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus and will close dog adoptions until Monday, August 13th while the population is being treated.
Tessha Winsch, DVM and the Shelter’s medical director, says she wants to assure the community that Shelter staff will be working overtime to identify, treat, care for and cure ALL of the animals that may have been exposed to this illness. Owners of recently adopted dogs will receive a letter indicating symptoms to look for and what steps they can take to treat a URI if necessary.
“This is our busiest time of the year for the number of animals in need of our help,” Winsch said. “While we are taking an abundance of caution for the dogs currently in our care, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter asks that owners wishing to surrender their dogs please give us at least four days before doing so. Those that absolutely must surrender their dogs are asked to call ahead to make arrangements at 307-632-6655.”
Dogs that arrive at the Shelter before Monday will be housed in a separate area of the Shelter.
Winsch added that the URI disease has shown up recently at a number of other shelters around the country including Weld County, Colorado. “Together, we are working with these other shelters and local veterinarians to curb the spread of disease and to discover new ways to implement a diagnosis and management plan,” she said. “Diagnostic tests, the treatment of sick animals and preventive measures are expensive and donations are more important than ever!”
A list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Shelter’s website at www.cheyenneanimalshelter.org. As well, those who wish may donate to help cover the cost of their treatment online at www.cheyenneanimalshelter.org or send a check to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, 800 Southwest Drive, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 82007.
Fee Waived Pet Adoptions June 25 to July 4 at Cheyenne Animal Shelter
Cheyenne, Wyo. – Are you looking for a new best friend? Now is a great time to adopt a dog or cat for free. The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is teaming up with Best Friends Animal Society and more than 270 other partner rescue groups across the country to offer fee-waived adoptions, in hopes of finding homes for 10,000 pets in 10 days.
The adoption fees were covered by generous animal lovers who wanted to Pay It Forward and help send homeless cats and dogs home over the summer holiday.
“If you get excited when a stranger pays for your coffee, imagine the joy you’ll feel when adopting a pet whose adoption fee has been covered,” said Julie Castle, Chief Executive Officer of Best Friends Animal Society.
Getting adoptable pets into homes is crucial this time of year, as each July, shelters across the country flood with dogs and cats. Many of those intakes happen around the July 4th holiday, when, driven by a fearful reaction to fireworks and other loud sights and sounds, pets flee from their homes and end up in municipal animal shelters.
“We’re in the peak of kitten season, so our cat population is through the roof! We also have about a dozen dogs that have been in the Shelter for more than a month,” said Cheyenne Animal Shelter Manager, Stephanie Bilbro. “We’re hoping this promotion will help get some attention for all of our animals waiting for new homes.”
To preview adoptable pets at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter, visit https://www.cheyenneanimalshelter.org/. From playful youngsters to sweet seniors, pets from the Shelter are fixed, vaccinated and micro-chipped.
This adoption promotion is part of Best Friends Animal Society’s Save Them All campaign to save the lives of dogs and cats in America’s shelters. The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is a Best Friends Network Partner. For more information, visit www.save-them-all.org.
Cheyenne Animal Shelter joins Pets for Patriots Companion Pet Adoption Program for Military Veterans
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The Cheyenne Animal Shelter has partnered with Pets for Patriots, Inc., a nonprofit that saves the lives of people and pets through companion pet adoption for United States military veterans. The Cheyenne Animal Shelter is the first shelter in the state of Wyoming to partner with this organization.
Working with Pets for Patriots, the Shelter will give local veterans, active duty military members and their families the gift of unconditional love while providing the most overlooked cats and dogs a second chance at life.
“For every day that a pet is in our Shelter, it costs us approximately $50; more if they need extra medical care,” says Stephanie Bilbro, Cheyenne Animal Shelter Manager. “By working with Pets for Patriots, we hope to inspire our local veterans and service members to give these animals a loving home. This will help us place more hard-to-adopt pets with good people who need or want a companion pet and save these innocent animals from becoming permanent shelter residents.”
Individuals are welcome from all United States armed forces and at any stage of their careers. Eligible pets must meet one of three criteria: cat or dog two years or older, cat or dog with special needs, or dog over 40 pounds.
Joining Pets for Patriots is entirely free to veterans, though they are responsible for the Shelter’s adoption fee. To reduce the chance that these pets are surrendered, the charity sends a $150 gift card upon proof of eligible adoption to help with food and other essentials, and it also provides access to local veterinary partners who agree to offer ongoing discounted care. For patrons enrolled in this program, the Shelter offers a member patriot special of 50% off the adoption fee and a 10% military discount in the store as a thank you for their service. Cheyenne Pet Clinic is the veterinary partner in the Cheyenne, Wyoming Pets for Patriots program. The Clinic will provide 10% off veterinarian care for those enrolled in the program.
The Cheyenne Animal Shelter quickly saw the potential to find hard-to-adopt cats and dogs permanent homes with service members. “We are able to place almost 3,000 pets each year,” says Bilbro, “Through our partnership with Pets for Patriots, we hope to provide forever homes to even more loving animals with the many service members and veterans in our area.”
Individuals must first apply through Pets for Patriots and provide relevant eligibility documents. Approval typically takes no more than two business days, after which they can visit the Shelter to find their new best friend.
“Our goal is to help our adoption partners re-home harder-to-place pets that still have years of love and life to give,” says Beth Zimmerman, Founder and Executive Director of Pets for Patriots. “While at the same time making it more affordable for military personnel to bring a pet into their lives. We’re delighted to work with the Cheyenne Animal Shelter to give these last-chance pets a second chance at life and, in so doing, to enhance the lives of veterans in the community. Everybody wins.”
To help cover costs associated with the program, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter has new sponsorship opportunities. Patrons can sponsor an animal eligible for the program by making a monetary donation, which will then lower the cost for military members and give more opportunities for our servicemen and servicewomen to gain four-legged friends. To learn more details on how to sponsor an animal, please contact Director of Development, Sue Castaneda at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 307-269-0970.
AKC Pet Disaster Relief rolls out help for pets in Cheyenne
Cheyenne, Wyoming is now equipped with an AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailer that will be available to dispatch to any disaster scene that needs assistance sheltering pets. This is the first trailer in the state of Wyoming, with only a handful in our time zone.
AKC Pet Disaster Relief, a national program that is dedicated to keeping pets and their owners safe in response to natural or civil disasters, joined forces with local American Kennel Club dog clubs and dog lovers to present an emergency trailer to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter.
The AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers help to create a safe, temporary home-base for at least 65 pets during the first 72 hours after a disaster is declared. The trailers house and deliver essential animal care items including crates and carriers, AKC Reunite microchips and an AKC Reunite universal microchip scanner, bowls, collars and leashes as well as fans, lighting and a generator, cleaning supplies and maintenance items. These supplies can be used as co-location shelters, where people can evacuate with their pets, as well as emergency animal shelters for displaced animals.
“This is the 66th AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer donated through this incredible program. The trailer will provide critically important resources to help the Cheyenne Animal Shelter quickly care for its citizens and their pets when responding to natural disasters,” said Tom Sharp, AKC Reunite CEO. “Safe, effective pet sheltering solutions are crucial following a disaster, and AKC Reunite is pleased to offer this trailer as a vital tool to assist the shelter when disaster strikes.”
The purchase of the trailer was made possible by donations from the Cheyenne Kennel Club, the Dog Judges Association of America, the Petco Foundation, the Cheyenne Animal Shelter and AKC Reunite, the nation’s largest non-profit pet identification and recovery service.
“We are grateful to these AKC dog clubs and AKC Reunite for providing us with such a significant resource for our community,” said Robert Fecht, President of Cheyenne Animal Shelter. “Now our team is better prepared to help pets and pet owners during times of disaster”.
“Our Association is honored to be a part of the group helping to prepare the Cheyenne Animal Shelter for a disaster by bringing them an invaluable tool like the AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer,” said Bonnie Spiece, President of the Cheyenne Kennel Club.
“We’re delighted to help bring an AKC Pet Disaster Relief Trailer to the Cheyenne Animal Shelter. The trailer helps assure residents of Cheyenne and surrounding areas that their pets will be safe in the event of a disaster,” said Joe Purkhiser, President of the Dog Judges Association of America.
Learn more about how to get involved in AKC Pet Disaster Relief at www.akcreunite.org/relief.
Learn how you can assist with disaster relief at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter at https://www.cheyenneanimalshelter.org.