Archived Story

Veterinarian tech takes over operations of OTC Humane Society [UPDATED]

Published 11:01am Wednesday, February 20, 2013 Updated 11:02am Wednesday, February 20, 2013


With the upcoming departure of Joanna Watson, Jaclyn Keenan was hired to direct operations at the Humane Society of Otter Tail County. She began training Wednesday.

Keenan has been a veterinarian technician with Weckwerth Animal Hospital in Pelican Rapids, according to HSOTC board president Missy Rogers.

“Her vet tech experience will be a good fit for the shelter,” she said. “She’s enthusiastic, and she’s smart; I think she’ll do a good job.”

Watson, who has served as executive director at the Humane Society since mid June, will head south when Keenan no longer needs her, she said.

“When Jaclyn is ready for me to leave, I’m going back home to Florida,” Watson said.

Keenan is the fourth manager in about a year, according Rogers, so staff and board members are working to strengthen the shelter’s continuity.

“We are all relatively new to the board,” Rogers said, “so we are working to get everyone on the same page.”

The shelter’s mission is to protect animals from cruelty, ignorance, and harm through public education and advocacy, but there is so much more to operating the non-profit shelter, Rogers said.

“(Shelter manager) is a really involved job,” she said. “There’s the non-profit part, and it has to be run like a business. Then we also have the animal element and caring for them. The manager has to wear a lot of hats, in a lot of different areas.”

Watson well knows the demands of running the shelter.

“There are one million things to do everyday,” she said.

To get through the workload, the shelter employs two full-time employees and 2 part-time staff, and coordinates a host of volunteers to clean and care for the animals.

With so much work to be done and so many needs, a spaghetti dinner and silent auction fundraiser is planned March 18, to raise awareness and money for the shelter. Dinner will be served from 4:30 to 7 p.m., with the auction running throughout, at the VFW in Fergus Falls.

This year’s event is in memory of Butler, a corgi, who died in December.

Donations and silent auction items are needed. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering for the event may contact the Humane Society at 218-739-3494 or Jerry Mortenson at 218-998-3005 or

Shelter hours are Mondays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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