When a single person makes a difference, it's often because of a combination of following their passions while being open to life's winding path. This is definitely true for Linda Glaudel, who sat down to talk with us about the good work going on at the Barstow Humane Society.
What led you to become the Executive Director of Barstow Humane Society (BHS)? Did you ever see yourself doing this?
I've loved animals my whole life. As a rescuer with my own nonprofit, North Star Pet Assistance, I’ve been exposed to Barstow Humane Society for a number of years. I had never considered the possibility of running the shelter, but when the opportunity arose and I was contacted to apply I gladly seized the opportunity. There have been many challenges, but I am loving the position.
We have an amazing group of staff. Some are long time employees that were inherited when I came aboard. The remaining staff is a mix of Barstow area residents who expressed a sincere desire to help the animals. I am also fortunate to have employees who are willing to drive long distances to work here at the shelter. All employees have a huge love for animals and show it every day.
What is one thing that most people don’t understand about the BHS that you feel they should?
We get frequent concerns over what appear to be over-crowded conditions. Yes, at times we are overcrowded. But we will gladly take periods of over-population and know that we have the lowest euthanasia rate in the high desert. It’s a lot of extra work, but well worth the effort.
We’re working to further reduce and maintain lower euthanasia rates. As part of that, we want to strengthen our bond with the community and other shelter/rescue groups. Ideally, one day we can lock the shelter and not return because there are no more unwanted pets to care for!
What is the most fulfilling part of working at the BHS?
As a long time lover of all types of pets, the most invigorating moments are when pets we have cared for over an extended period of time, finally find their new permanent homes.
There was a great story this past May that got a huge amount of response from the community. Hobo, the homeless dog who sat at Peggy Sue’s Diner for years looking for handouts and scraps, was trapped and brought to our shelter. When she got to the shelter, she just shut down completely. Then one day Dale, a trucker who had fed her every time he came through the area, came to the shelter to look for her. Hobo was so excited to see her “knight in shining armor!” Dale came to sit with her and walk her every week, and finally adopted her to be his driving buddy.
How can the community help if they are interested?
By spaying/neutering their pets to avoid unwanted litters, supplying us with unneeded linens rather than throwing them away, and continuing to bring us newspapers and financial donations. We can always use volunteers to take pictures of our pets so that we can get the word out and help them find homes.
And of course, come meet our amazing pets and see if there’s one they want to provide a home for!