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My Time With a True Lifesaver

My Time With a True Lifesaver

When I first came to work for the Central Missouri Humane Society, the shelter had been searching for a new executive director for months. In the spring of 2012, the board of directors settled on hiring Mary Pat Boatfield, so I began my employment under one of the best bosses and animal care professionals that one could ever ask for.

Mary Pat was know as a turnaround specialist in the animal care industry. She had been running animal shelters in Toledo, Ohio, and Nashville, Tennessee, for more than three decades. Everywhere she went, she reduced euthanasia rates, built new shelters and made the organizations she ran more financially stable. Running the CMHS was no exception in her streak. Working under her guise, I saw a veritable change take place at the shelter that has been putting pets with people for more than 70 years. During Mary Pat’s time as director, I saw CMHS transform from a functional entity into a shelter that mid-Missouri residents can be proud of. We are on better financial footing, and our dog live-release rate is at an all-time high: 92 percent from January to June 2014.

On the evening of June 17, 2014, Mary Pat passed away unexpectedly. I had never known someone with whom I had worked so closely to pass so suddenly. Although she was known in Columbia, I don’t think any obituary or statement could fully explicate the amazing work this woman did while she was on this planet. Tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of animals were saved under the guidance of this woman. My one consolation in this tragic moment is that she continued her work in the animal care industry up until the moment she passed. We should all be so lucky to do what we love for as long as she did.

Although she is not with us anymore, our mission to alleviate the suffering of mid-Missouri’s adoptable animals is stronger than ever. The staff at CMHS is determined to take what we learned from this wonderful woman and continue to rehome every cat, dog and small animal that we can. The loss seems insurmountable at this time, but we know Mary Pat would want us to continue building upon the groundwork she laid for us. After all, there is still work to be done.

Rest in Peace, Mary Pat.

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