About Us

We are a no-kill shelter, with an open-door policy. There is no charge, nor judgment, if you need to drop off a stray that you've found, or a beloved pet that is no longer able to stay with its family, no matter the situation. We serve several different counties around Southwest Montana, and network with other shelters in the Rocky Mountain West, working together to help the animals in our care get the best chance of finding a new home.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

- Anatole France

Richard Melle

Chairman of the Board

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Meet the Board of Directors

Quarterly board meetings are open to the public on the first Tuesday of every third month (March, June, September, December) at 12:00.

We are meeting virtually due to Covid-19. Please contact us for meeting information.

Ross Miller

Vice Chairman

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Ellen Foster

Board Member

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Cecil Jones

Cecil is a professor of business at UMW and a practicing attorney within our community. Cecil and his wife are avid animal lovers and he jumped at the opportunity to help the shelter achieve fiscal goals and pave the way for animal sheltering in Montana.

Board Member

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Lauren Johnson


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Joyce Pollastro

Board Member

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Senior Staff


Executive Director

Nikki Knight

Nikki Knight grew up on a rag-tag hobby farm, and has been surrounded by animals ever since. She brings years of animal-related experience to her role of Executive Director, including work at a petting zoo and sanctuary for displaced farm animals, and her studies in Natural Horsemanship at UMW. She’s spent many summers tuning up outfitters’ riding stock and pulling troubled horses from auctions; giving them a second chance to shine. Providing shelter and resources to the animals of our community is just second nature to her. When she’s not working at the shelter, Nikki and her family enjoy riding the backcountry of Montana and training their birddogs. 

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Operations Director

Elizabeth Nutzman

A native to Twin Bridges, MT, Elizabeth has strong ties to the Beaverhead and Madison County regions. Her family has been sheltering animals in need for decades, and she’s eager to share her “tricks of the trade” for the benefit of the animals in our care. Elizabeth is not one to back down from a challenge, and you’ll often find her knee-deep in a project that needs a creative solution. She prides herself in community involvement and welcomes guests to come alongside her in efforts to make a difference for the animals of SW Montana. 

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Success Stories

We love to stay updated on animals previously in our care! Please share your photos and stories of your shelter alumni here.