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Chief Executive Officer, The Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society

Noetic Search Santa Fe, NM

  • Expired: April 30, 2021. Applications are no longer accepted.

MISSIONThe mission of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter is to support animals, save lives and spread compassion.BACKGROUNDThe Santa Fe Animal Shelter (the Shelter), a nonprofit, 501 (c)3, is the largest open admission, no-kill animal shelter and care facility in northern New Mexico. On average, the Shelter serves more than 5,000 lost, stray, abandoned or injured animals and offers services to more than 20,000 companion animals and their guardians each year. The Shelter contracts with the City and County of Santa Fe to care for homeless and stray animals, but also serves every animal brought through the front doors from any other source.

They work to reunite people with their lost animal companions, and re-home all animals it serves.  The Thaw Animal Hospital is open to the public providing high quality veterinary services at competitive prices and the low-cost spay/neuter clinic, situated off site, also provides micro-chipping, vaccinations, and other wellness services to the community.  The Shelter serves animals in need in Santa Fe and they also transport in pets from other parts of New Mexico and other shelters in New Mexico when those shelters cannot care for them. The Shelter is situated on a beautiful 100-acre campus with four distinct buildings. The Lapides Adoption Center provides an airy and comfortable area for potential adopters to meet healthy, adoptable animals in private rooms or in the outside fenced play yards.

Every detail of the shelter is designed for the comfort and health of the animals. The second building, the Robin Sommers Animal Receiving & Care Center, allows the Shelter more room to house stray and abandoned animals during their stay. High-tech ventilation systems allow the Shelter to better control the spread of contagious diseases and to safely treat the animals in their care more effectively.

A third building, the Clare Eddy Thaw Hospital, is a full service state-of-the-art veterinary clinic available to anyone looking for quality care for their pets and medical care for injured homeless animals. The Roddey Rehab Center is a one-of-a-kind facility built with animals with special behavioral needs in mind. This life-saving Center provides a safe, quiet environment for an exceptional behavior team to work one-on-one with animals with special behavioral needs.

The Shelter also has 25 acres of dog parks, which are made available for community use without charge, creating a place not just to adopt an animal or find a missing one, but one to visit over and over again. The Shelter is designed for the community to use as a resource and a place to find joy with the animals.In addition to receiving and caring for thousands of animals each year, the Shelter provides a wide variety of services and resources.The Adoption Program: Approximately 2,400 animals are adopted into new homes annually at the Shelter. All animals are spayed or neutered before leaving and receive the required age-appropriate vaccines.

The Behavior and Training Department: Behavior specialists assess every dog and cat shortly after admission. Any in need of behavior training receive special attention from specialists. Animals with special behavioral needs are moved to the Roddey Rehab Center away from other animals to allow specialists to focus on their needs.

 Humane Education: Pre-COVID, the Shelter brought in-person humane education programs to students in Santa Fe’s private and public schools, as well as adult clubs and organizations. During COVID, the volunteer-based humane education program created a series of educational videos to be used in the schools.The Pet Outreach Program: This program qualifies dogs to be therapy animals. Dogs who qualify for this program visit health care facilities, senior citizen centers, and schools.The operating budget for the Shelter in 2020 was approximately $7.1M.  Approximately 70% percent of the operating revenue was derived from earned income generated primarily from the Thaw Animal Clinic and the two highly successful resale stores, The Cat and The Cat South.

The remaining portion of the annual budget is raised through grants, contracts, investment income and private donations. Fundraising activities are focused on a range of efforts including contributions from major individual donors, bequests, and planned gifts as well as broad based and effective story telling campaigns that are disseminated through direct mail and on traditional and non-traditional media platforms. The Santa Fe Animal Shelter is governed by a 9-member Board of Directors, each of whom brings a deep commitment to the animals and people of our community.

The staff of the Shelter is exceptional and brings years of collective experience in animal welfare and related fields.ABOUT SANTA FESanta Fe has a long-standing reputation as a great place to live. It offers a diverse economy, moderate climate, stimulating cultural environment and a high quality of life. With a population of 84,000 the city has hundreds of years of history and small-town charm combined with the sophistication of a world-class destination.

Residents of Santa Fe enjoy the qualities of a healthy economy, high quality healthcare, schools, an abundance of retail shopping, a phenomenal food scene and numerous cultural and entertainment events.Santa Fe holds a powerful appeal for those who love arts and cultural activities, and the area holds equal advantages for those who love the outdoors, offering anything from beautifully groomed golf courses to a variety of other sports, including skiing and other snow-sports, hiking, cycling, trail-running, white water rafting, and fly-fishing.THE OPPORTUNITYWith a 95% live release rate, the Shelter is recognized as a progressive animal welfare organization that combines the tenets of both open admission and no kill. The exceptional behavior and training team and public clinic services also position the Shelter as a leader in the animal welfare field across the country.  With the leadership of Jennifer Steketee, DVM, the Shelter has become a stronger, fiscally sustainable organization. The new Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) will be able to take the Shelter to new levels by working with the Board on their new strategic plan with goals and actions items that will continue and increase the organization’s successes.Over the past five years, there has been an unrelenting focus on building visibility for the Shelter as well as closing the financial gap between the costs to run the Shelter and the earned and philanthropic support required to build a healthy, growing organization.

There has been thoughtful diligence put into cutting expenses while maintaining excellent outcomes for the shelter animals and the community at large.  Going forward, the focus will be on growing revenue.  Progress in this direction has been made as evidenced by the recently established endowment that already has a corpus of $1.2M.  To grow the potential support for the Shelter, fundraising outreach efforts have been legally expanded to reach states outside of New Mexico.  Going forward, there will continue to be a strong focus on growing the base of philanthropic support from all sources, individuals, corporations, and foundations.  Strengthening major and planned giving programs, refining the messaging around the “Shelter Different,” and clearly articulating the unique aspects of the Shelter are ongoing needs.On the earned revenue side of the house, the Thaw Animal Hospital has consistently seen profits grow through a reputation of excellent veterinary care at more affordable prices than private veterinary clinics, combined with strong internal management of resources.  The low cost spay/neuter clinic is an essential service to the community and is currently booked three months out.  Both clinics are working at capacity.  To grow revenues will require recruiting additional vet techs and veterinarians.  There are currently nine veterinarians (two of the nine will be new additions to the existing team).  While recruiting for veterinary staff is a challenge nationwide, the Shelter has been able to attract talented DVMs and vet techs.  Overall, recruiting and retaining staff, particularly hourly staff is increasingly a challenge. Competition for talent has increased significantly with the opening of big box stores that are able to pay a higher hourly rate than the Shelter.  The Shelter has increased pay, but more increases will be needed to reduce turnover and attract the best talent.  Success for the new CEO will be building new revenue streams and strengthening existing lines of business.  Historically, the two retail stores, The Cat and The Cat South, have been extremely profitable. In 2020, the revenue from the resale stores decreased significantly due to COVID restrictions but the difference was made up largely through the PPP Loan Forgiveness program.    Rebuilding the stores revenue to pre-Covid numbers will take time.

Changes in consumer purchasing practices have not significantly impacted the shops as many of the customers are purchasing items for their own resale purposes.Through contracts with the City and County of Santa Fe, the Shelter cares for all the animals that are brought in by the animal control teams.  These teams are housed at the Shelter, but they are not shelter employees which can be confusing to the public.  Continuing to build awareness for the work of the Shelter, as separate and distinct from animal control is ongoing.  The role of the Shelter in advocacy and legislation is an area of exploration.The new CEO has the opportunity to become one of the leaders in the Santa Fe corporate, social and nonprofit communities. There is a lively, energetic population living in Santa Fe, both as full time and part time residents. There is a sophistication that is evidenced by the many art galleries, the world-renowned opera and chamber music compan...

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