New Humane Society Polk County Board making changes

Mike Christopherson
Crookston Times

    There is new leadership at the Humane Society of Polk County in Crookston, and with the new leaders, significant changes to the animal shelter on East Robert Street and how it’s operated are also in store.

    Serena Stoeck, vice president of the HSPC Board of Directors and one of seven new board members recently elected, says the new board is “working diligently” to create an “improved living space for the animals” at the shelter and “working hard to renovate and make improvements” to the facility.

    The new board has decided to close the humane society’s thrift store located on the second floor of the building. Once closed, the space will be cleared, and a new board committee will continue to discuss how to utilize the second floor space for animals. (Because of this change, Stoeck says that donations to the thrift store will no longer be accepted.)

    The board also green-lighted the launching of a Foster Pilot Program, which board members say is crucial for the well-being and quality of life of the animals at the HSPC. Stoeck and Johanna Sunder, new HSPC manager, will jointly coordinate the new program. Anyone interested in becoming a potential foster family for an animal at the HSPC is encouraged to contact Stoeck at or 320 766-4380.

    Stoeck says the new board is excited about the changes and that “we cannot wait to see this facility grow and blossom.”

    The seven new board members include:

    • Diane Christianson – President

    • Serena Stoeck – Vice President

    • Nancy Sykes – Treasurer

    • Tim Menard – Member at Large

    • Angelika Huglen – Member at Large

    • Arianna Wambach – Member at Large

    • Mary Solberg – Member at Large

    Carol Weber will continue as board secretary.

    In addition to looking to improve the overall management of the HSPC, including record-keeping and donation records, the revamped board wants the organization to have a higher profile and be more involved in the community. As part of that effort, Stoeck says new committees have been formed in the areas of beautification, grant-writing, donations and community involvement, including the Ox Cart Days Festival in August, in which the HSPC will be involved somehow. Upcoming HSPC beautification and volunteer events are in the works as well. If you’d like to be involved, contact Stoeck, call Sunder at the HSPC at 281-7225, or stop in to fill out a volunteer request form. That goes for making a donation as well.

    Volunteers and donations are always accepted at the non-profit agency with the mission of “prevention of cruelty to animals, the relief of suffering among animals, and the extension of humane education.” the HSPC’s policy is to “provide humane care and treatment for all animals needing protection in Polk County; to seek to return lost animals to their owners; to seek suitable homes for animals without owners and to provide euthanasia when necessary.”

    You can also become a member of the HSPC by stopping by and signing up. Single memberships are $15 a year, family memberships are $25 a year, affiliate memberships are $50 a year, and lifetime memberships are a $250 one-time fee.

    The HSPC Board will next meet on July 15. If anyone has questions or concerns they’d like to see brought up at that meeting, they are encouraged to reach out using the contact information previously listed.