Baypath Humane Society of Hopkinton is dedicated to providing shelter, care, humane treatment and loving homes for stray or unwanted companion animals. We seek to serve our community by fostering relationships, promoting education and making a positive impact on pet overpopulation.
Our organization is grounded in enduring principles of humane care and community service.
We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of volunteers, who ensure that the animals get plenty of daily exercise and playtime. The shelter also offers a stimulating environment for the animals. The cats can sun themselves in the screened in climbing area, while the dogs can enjoy a large fenced play area as well as miles of wooded trails. We also create tailored plans for dogs and cats who need more attention.
Positive reinforcement training
We believe in positive reinforcement, which essentially means using positive things like praise and treats to reinforce good behavior in dogs. This is a scientifically proven, humane approach to helping dogs learn good behaviors. Dogs who are taught using positive reinforcement methods are happier, more confident, better behaved, and more inclined to respond when you ask them to do something.
We’re proud to have built a network of foster families who provide loving care for dogs, cats, and kittens in their home. They not only enable us to rescue more animals in need, they provide special care that often isn’t possible in a shelter setting. For example, often dogs who are shy or undersocialized benefit from living in a temporary foster home where they can have the space to unwind and learn to trust people, or to learn new skills that will help them become a wonderful pet companion.
Our foster families also care for animals while they recover from illnesses or injuries. We are fortunate to have a tremendous network of kitten fosters, who care for orphaned kittens as well as pregnant moms and their kittens. Thanks to our kitten fosters, we were able to rescue more than 350 kittens in the past year alone.
Personalized approach to animal care
It’s our goal to help understand each individual animal’s situation and needs and develop a plan that works best for them. For example, some dogs may crave a calm environment while others have lots of energy and need lots of fun activities to keep them engaged. Many cats and dogs arrive at the shelter in a high state of stress. We give them a calm, safe space, and together with our animal behaviorist and training partners, we set up individual plans for our staff and volunteers to follow to help each animal stay happy and healthy.
Personalized approach to adoption
Our goal is to help you and your new pet have a happy life together. Each staff member is a hands-on animal care provider, and is available to assist you. Although we have an adoption application, we think the most important part of the adoption process is having a conversation to hear about your lifestyle, expectations, questions, and concerns. This helps immensely with ensuring the best match for you and your new pet.
Commitment to continual education
Our small but dedicated staff is trained in animal care, and is deeply committed to continual learning about animal welfare. They are not content with the status quo. Our staff is keenly interested in staying up-to-date on the latest animal welfare and sheltering practices, and we continually find new ways to improve the health and well being of the animals in our care.
We also recognize the importance of training our volunteers, and offer many hands-on training sessions throughout the year on topics such as animal body language, dog playgroups, and clicker training.
Our shelter was founded more than 40 years ago. Before that time, the situation in Hopkinton regarding stray animals was disastrous. About 50 stray dogs per year were taken by the dog officer and after the required five-day hold, were sold to labs for experiments. There was no town facility for strays, no leash law, and no spay/neuter program. Over the ensuing years, animal control officers did their best to find homes for the dogs whenever they could, but without a shelter, they were limited in the help they could offer.
In 1977 that all changed. Distressed by the situation, the new animal control officer worked alongside local citizens and the Hopkinton selectmen to address this challenge. Thanks to the generosity and perseverance of this group, they secured a lease on land from the utility company, and had a shelter designed and built, entirely from volunteer labor and donated materials and funds.
Today, that shelter still serves as home to Baypath Humane Society. Our mission has grown to include finding homes for both dogs and cats and to work together with the community to reduce animal over-population.
Thank you to everyone who donated to our 1977 Society in recognition of our 40th anniversary!
Visit the Baypath Humane Society website for more information.