2020 Year-End Review

From the Desk of the Executive Director

This past year has been unlike anything we have ever seen before. We were forced to re-evaluate all aspects of our operations to ensure that we could still save the lives of as many animals as possible throughout the pandemic, and continue to fulfill the mission of Heartland. I would like to thank all of you for your unwavering support. Your willingness to adapt to our adjusted operations, generous monetary contributions, and how-can-we-help attitude made it possible for us to continue our life-saving work. We could not have done any of this without you!

As a community, we came together to make certain that, even through hardship and change, animals were finding their way into forever homes. In the face of adversity, our community of animal lovers and volunteers did not slow down but rather created new ways of bridging the gaps left in the wake of the initial shutdown and the subsequent phases of reopening.

One of the silver-linings of the pandemic is that animal shelters throughout the country saw not only a record number of adoptions, but also increased interest in fostering (we received over 4,500 applications!) and registered a record low number of returns and owner surrenders. We saw the human-animal bond grow in ways that we never thought possible, and new ways of animal sheltering were born. The world changed, but our life-saving efforts never stopped and we ended the year with some incredible intake and adoption stories!

As someone who has worked in animal welfare for over 17 years, I am very hopeful and excited about what this new year has in store for us here at Heartland. This upcoming year, our goals include increasing our life-saving efforts and working collaboratively with the community around us, through our community-based programs, to increase our impact. We know this upcoming year will inevitably present new and continuing challenges, so I am especially excited to expand our community outreach and to keep pursuing partnerships with other local animal welfare organizations to better address the unique needs of our community.

We look forward to reconnecting with everyone in person very soon. I know that together, with your unrelenting support, we will continue to evolve, grow, and fulfill the Heartland mission.

Gabriella Keresi-Uresti
Executive Director
Heartland Animal Shelter