Stephanie Shain joined the staff of the Washington Humane Society in Washington, DC in September 2010 as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer.
Stephanie left a career running a major campaign for a large national animal welfare group, but she just couldn’t say no when the position opened up at WHS. “I’d been a supporter of WHS for years, and had adopted both my dogs there, so I already knew this was an organization that was working very hard for animals,” says Shain. “But what attracted me enough to leave a job I really loved were the changes I had started seeing at WHS under the leadership of the new CEO Lisa LaFontaine in 2007.” Some of those changes that attracted Stephanie included a change to the pit bull adoption policy (formerly there hadn’t been one), expanded use of foster homes for nursing kittens, and the CatNiPP program which offers free spay/neuter and vaccine services for feral cats in DC. Stephanie likes to involve others in helping animals who may not think of the shelter. She’s helped Brownies make toys and beds for cats and dogs, collects cardboard tubes for hamster and gerbil shelters, and plays “personal matchmaker” to people her meets who are looking for a certain kind of animal.
Stephanie took advantage of a personal milestone, turning 40, to raise funds so that each dog in the shelter could have a Kuranda bed. The organization was able to buy 59 new beds as well as replacement parts for 7 of the beds they already had. “Every time I walk through the shelter I get a smile on my face when I see the dogs using their beds,” says a beaming Stephanie. “It’s a small thing in a way, but a huge thing as well. Coming to a shelter can be a very hard transition for animals, so giving the dogs a comfortable place to rest was very important to me.”
You can learn more about the Washington Humane Society and its adoptable pets at: www.washhumane.org.