MIDDLEBURY — It was almost six years ago that Jackie Rose became top dog at the Addison County Humane Society (ACHS).
She will leave that position next week with a great sense of accomplishment, having boosted programs and spearheaded a more than $1 million campaign that tripled the size of the ACHS’s Homeward Bound Animal Welfare Center at 236 Boardman St.
“Without a doubt, this has been the most rewarding professional experience I have ever had,” Rose said on Wednesday as she showed the ropes to her successor, Jessica Danyow.
“This community embraces generosity as a skill-set and has been very gracious and accommodating to us as an organization.”
Rose is leaving to follow her husband, Craig Goldstein, who has landed a job in New York. They will be relocating to the Hudson Valley area, where Rose will serve as executive director of the Dutchess County SPCA in Hyde Park, N.Y. It’s an organization six times the size of the ACHS with a budget of around $2 million and 28 full-time workers. By comparison, the ACHS has an annual budget of around $415,000.
It was Craig who followed Jackie five-and-a-half years ago when they relocated from Florida so that she could take the ACHS leadership position. She immediately got to work fortifying programs and planning, along with board members, a renovation and expansion project to better accommodate the more than 140 animals — mostly cats — that are dropped off at the center.
With a lot of community support and after a lot of hard work, the ACHS last August cut the ribbon on the new, 7,500-square-foot animal welfare center.
Since the Homeward Bound center is a no-kill shelter, Rose and her colleagues have actively recruited foster families to care for animals for which there is not enough room on premises. During the next month or two, the center will place 40 to 50 pets in foster care, according to Rose.
“We will never euthanize an animal for space,” Rose said, though there are instances when the ACHS will put down an animal that is too sick to survive or that is extremely aggressive.
Rose will miss Addison County and the job she has loved.
“I have really enjoyed working with everyone and helping the agency,” Rose said. “I will miss the opportunity to work with these people and I will miss the chance to take this agency to the next level. I had a lot of plans. But at the same time, I am really confident that Jess (Danyow) will be able to step in and continue those efforts on behalf of the agency.”
Danyow, 45, has been the director of operations at the Rutland County Humane Society for the past 10 years and is a member of the Vermont Humane Federation. She has her master’s degree in Animals and Public Policy from Tuffs University School of Veterinary Medicine and is a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator.
“I was ready for a change,” Danyow, a Brandon resident, said of her jump to the ACHS. “Ten years is a long time in one position.”
She and her husband, Greg, a self-employed carpenter, have a young daughter named India. They share their home with two dogs and two cats.
Danyow saw the new job as a perfect opportunity nearby to join an organization on the rise.
“I really felt like I was being handed an opportunity on a silver platter,” Danyow said in describing the position she is inheriting thanks to Rose’s good stewardship. “I’m really hopeful to take everything I have learned in Rutland County and taking it to the next level here.”
That will, according to Danyow, involve expanding some of the programs to make Homeward Bound “the ‘go-to’ place for animal welfare in Addison County.”
Future programs, according to Danyow, could address extra supports for families who might be having a tough time caring for their pet. This might involve helping families with food and neutering expenses, as well as providing training services to make the pet more manageable. Such programs, Danyow explained, would help prevent households from relinquishing their pets.
“For so long, animal shelters have been the place where pets came when their owners were at the end of their rope,” Danyow said. “I think the animal shelter now needs to be the place people turn to so that they don’t get to the end of that rope.”
Danyow is inviting people to contact her with ideas and comments at [email protected].
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected]