SANDPOINT — Mandy Evans, executive director of Panhandle Animal Shelter, was selected as one of the 50 honorees for Idaho Business Review’s 2018 Women of the Year.
The honor puts her in the running to be chosen as IBR's Woman of the Year in March.
"The other 49 women being honored are outstanding individuals," Evans said in an email to the Daily Bee. "I'm humbled by their contributions and efforts while at the same time incredibly proud to be in their company for this award."
For the 13th year, peers, colleagues, and mentors nominated outstanding Idaho women for IBR’s 2018 Women of the Year. Eighty-four nominees applied, sending in detailed applications with resumes, letters of recommendation and personal statements. The applications were evaluated by a cadre of former honorees on nine selection committees.
The judges scored using five categories — professional achievements, leadership, mentorship to other women, community service work and community leadership.
Evans has served in a leadership role at PAS since January 2011. During her tenure, the shelter has become a more prominent non-profit in North Idaho, which has allowed PAS to increase the number of animals assisted from 1,200 to more than 5,000 a year, according to a statement from Chris Shafer, communications manager for PAS.
While the number of animals housed at the shelter each day has been decreased from 215 to less than 100, it has allowed for more detailed attention to be given to each pet housed there. It also allows for more resources to be provided to the community to help people keep their pets, Shafer said in the statement. The dogs and cats are not only finding homes faster, they are staying in those homes.
In 2011, dogs, on average, were staying at the shelter 35 days and cats 70 days. Now, dogs typically stay less than two weeks and cats less than a month. Kittens skew the cat number a bit because they come in so young and they need to be cared for until they can be adopted, Shafer said in the statement.
PAS is also recognized for its innovative approach to animal welfare. Evans believes PAS’s focus should be on supporting the community to prevent animals from having to enter the shelter. The shelter's Home to Home program aims to do just that. Home to Home is a website managed by PAS where the North Idaho community can post pictures and information about their pets online for free. The animal can then be adopted, for free, without ever having to go through the shelter. The pets go right from one home to another, hence the name Home to Home.
Additionally, the shelter launched a helpline that, in 2017, fielded more than 1,400 phone calls, emails and texts. Through the low-income spay and neuter program and the feral cat program, more than 1,700 dogs and cats were spayed or neutered in 2017, and the shelter's pet food bank has supplied more than two tons of dog and cat food, according to Shafer's statement.
Evans said she is proud of the shelter's accomplishments over the years and credits the staff and volunteers for its success.
"I have the opportunity to be passionate and excited about my work," Evans said. "The crew at the shelter and thrift store, volunteers and staff alike, are a fantastic, dedicated and enthusiastic group of people. We work together to help our community, its members and pets. Together we create a positive, happy environment where animals and people thrive. I simply love it."
From the region, Elizabeth Montgomery of Coeur d'Alene, executive director of the Inland Northwest SIDS Foundation, was chosen as one of the 50 honorees as well.
The women will be honored during a March 8 event at the Boise Centre, where one of the 50 women will be named Idaho Business Review Woman of the Year. Her name will be revealed at the end of the evening by 2017 IBR Woman of the Year, Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong. All of the women will be profiled in a magazine published with the March 9 Idaho Business Review.
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