Beth Doyle knew at a very early age that she had a passion to help animals and people. Beth’s dream was two-fold. First, as a kid, she wanted to join the National Guard so she could assist with natural disasters, and she also wanted to become a Humane Law Enforcement Officer. She didn’t know where or how to begin fulfilling her dream, but one thing was for sure – she was driven. She began her journey knowing that animal welfare starts with proper education, and helping a community begins with providing services to people so they can properly care for their pets. She found employment at a pet boarding facility and then moved on to a position as a veterinary technician. As enjoyable as it was to be working directly with animals, she knew she needed to move to a place where she could continue to pursue her dream and really make a big difference.
Beth was volunteering at Monadnock Humane Society in 2009 “shadowing” the Animal Cruelty Investigator (ACI), Stephanie Frommer, and recalls a pivotal moment from that time. “We went to visit an elderly man who had far too many cats and was in over his head. He really needed our help. A trusting relationship had been built with this gentleman and it made him feel comfortable, not threatened, when MHS staff visited his home. That was one of the moments that I felt led me to where I should be.” She applied for a staff position at MHS and was hired as a shelter technician in the Adoption Center caring for the animals and doing adoptions. She then was promoted to canine manager, then assistant manager. During this time, she assisted with animal cruelty/neglect investigations whenever needed.
Beth continued to grow and evolve at MHS while cultivating relationships and participating with many other organizations. After experiencing the damage and distress in the community from a serious ice storm, she joined the Rindge Fire Department in 2009 and became a New Hampshire Certified Firefighter. Beth rose to the rank of Lieutenant, became an EMT, and she trained with FEMA and earned multiple FEMA certifications. This experience gave her an understanding of proper incident command systems and smooth operations during natural disasters or other crises.
Unfortunately, in 2015, due to budget cuts, the ACI position at MHS was eliminated and animal cruelty/neglect investigations were transitioned to local police departments. MHS directed people with animal welfare concerns to work directly with local authorities in their town. MHS maintained a small role with these investigations, despite no longer having a designated staff person to do so. Emily Kerylow, MHS Director of Shelter Operations, said that “Animal welfare calls continued to come to us. We knew the local authorities were stretched very thin and may not have had the time or specialized training to handle every case.” Over time, it became very clear from the frequency and volume of calls and inquiries, that an MHS Humane Agent position needed to be revisited as soon as possible.
MHS had a goal to reinstate this position. They conducted a thorough review of the issues and resources needed to address animal welfare concerns in the area. MHS completed their research which included gathering data and statistics, working closely with local towns, and evaluating fundraising options needed for any related expenses. The review confirmed that the community needed a qualified, well-trained Humane Agent. Earlier this year, MHS leadership approved the position, and a search began to recruit and hire for this role. It didn’t take long to identify the best person for the job – she was already at MHS. Beth interviewed for the opportunity and was selected.
Emily said, “Beth is very experienced with handling all types of animals as well as working with different members of our community. Her passion for the well-being of animals and people makes her an excellent choice for this position. She has played a large role in many of the calls and cases we’ve handled (including a case where 52 Labrador retrievers were surrendered to MHS at the same time), giving her foundational knowledge and expertise needed for this role.” Emily adds that MHS plans to give Beth ongoing support and resources through education and training in this specific field. She will complete her certification with the National Animal Control Association and work alongside other Humane Agents in the state, as well as with local police departments, and other Animal Control Officers.
Beth, in her role as the new MHS Humane Agent, will be responsible for responding to animal cruelty and neglect concerns. Many of the calls received by MHS are from well-intentioned citizens who just need a little bit of help. She will be able to provide guidance, education, and resources to members of our community. She will also be available to answer questions, work to resolve issues and concerns, and provide animals in need with the help they deserve. When a serious animal cruelty case is discovered, she will assist in the investigation in conjunction with the authorities. Beth will now be one of four (4) Humane Agents in New Hampshire working to address the community needs regarding animal welfare concerns.
“We are very pleased to have a designated, well-trained staff member assigned to these calls and one who will take the lead in assisting our local authorities to ensure all animal welfare needs are met in our community,” Emily said. “We also have a special fund – the Wratchford Family Anti-Cruelty Fund – that was created to help offset costs involved in caring for animals at MHS who have come to us from cruelty/neglect situations. The Monadnock Region is fortunate to have these resources to serve the community, and very fortunate to have Beth Doyle in this role!”
If you would like more information about how to report an animal cruelty/neglect concern, or if you would like to support this work through the Wratchford Family Anti-Cruelty Fund, please visit our website: www.monadnockhumanesociety.org