News Briefs

Rutland County Humane society executive director to retire

It is with a heavy heart that the board of directors of the Rutland County Humane Society announces that their executive director, Gretchen Goodman, will be retiring at the end of 2017.
Goodman has served in the position of director for 13 years. The agency will be starting a search for her replacement in the near future.
During her tenure, programs were put in place to control pet over-population through low or no-cost cat spay/neuter surgery, TNR (Trap/Neuter and Release) services for feral cats, and a Spay the Mom program for unexpected litters of kittens and puppies.
Rutland County Humane Society (RCHS) was founded in 1958 by concerned citizens who operated out of a downtown bookstore and the farm of Ed Wheeler.  In 1968, the agency opened its shelter on Stevens Road in Pittsford.   Goodman oversaw extensive renovations to the shelter in 2009 to make it healthier for resident animals and to operate more efficiently.
The shelter served more than 1,400 animals in 2016 and accepts stray or owned companion animals from Rutland County.
Prior to coming to RCHS, Goodman worked for several non-profit agencies in the Rutland area including BROC and Rutland Mental Health. Her experience in animal welfare came from service as the director of operations for the Humane Society for Greater Nashua in Nashua, N.H.
According to Goodman, “The level of support we receive in Rutland County from businesses, veterinarians and the general public was such a surprise to me, as it far exceeded what I saw in other communities. We have tried to listen to the community and respond to their needs,” she said.
Goodman also stated, “There are sad and discouraging times in the animal welfare field but there are so many good people out there who adopt animals, including those with special needs, provide funds and supplies for our operation and volunteer their time and efforts. On a bad day we try to remember the kids who ask for donations to the shelter instead of birthday presents, or operate a lemonade stand  or other fund raiser to help animals in need. We think of the animals who waited for many months but eventually found that perfect home.”
The best thing about the job for Goodman is having the luxury of bringing a dog into your office or visit cats when things get hard. It’s also been having a dedicated and hard-working staff who always put the animals first. “Leaving will be hard,” she said “but it’s time, and I am confident that the board of directors, staff, volunteers and supporters will make sure this agency continues to help those animals who need us.”
Judy Taranovich, president of RCHS said, “Gretchen Goodman has not only been a wonderful asset to the shelter for the knowledge she brought to her job 13 years ago but has also been a  wonderful ambassador for the  Rutland County Humane Society ever since. We as a board will miss her greatly and realize we have big shoes to fill.”

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