The High Plateau Humane Society (HPHS) is an All-Volunteer Organization, whose members work hard to help Modoc Animals in need. Please consider joining the HPHS TEAM as a Volunteer or Supporting Member. Here are some of the great people you will meet if you do!
|Kim Marchant with canine friends Tex and Loki|
Kim Marchant was born in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1958 when it was still a territory. She loved the outdoors and happily lived with her family in a log house just outside of town. Kim’s parents were animal lovers and passed that love on to her. They kept a menagerie of horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, ducks, and chickens, and Kim was always rescuing birds and squirrels that she found wounded. It was an amazing childhood that helped shape her as an adult.
After high school, Kim moved to Fairbanks, eventually getting work on the Alaska pipeline. Good pay, but very isolating. So, after three years in Fairbanks, Kim moved back to Anchorage. Tired of the rain, dark and cold, Kim moved to Oakland, CA, in 1984, and was hired right away as a driver for UPS. She was with them for 28 years before retiring. It was a demanding job, long hours, and left little time for much else. She volunteered for the Milo Foundation (a rescue in the Bay Area) when she had time, but felt she didn’t do enough and vowed to volunteer with animal rescues more after retirement.
Kim retired in 2012 and moved to her dream home in the mountain forests near Alturas. Once settled, she started volunteering for the High Plateau Humane Society (HPHS) by helping with various projects. When the President of HPHS left in 2018, and the organization was on the brink of closure, Kim stepped in and took over store operations, joined the Board, accepted the office of President, and shepherded HPHS through significant organizational changes, a major building remodel, and the establishment of our first organizationally-owned dog care facility.
Although funding is still an everyday challenge, and there is much more to do, Kim notes “This is not a one-person job. Nothing would have happened without the dedicated volunteer team we have today. Without them HPHS would simply not exist. I am really proud of our team, but I know we need more help. We need more volunteers to help walk and train dogs, care for cats, work as retail help in the Thrift Store and spearhead fundraising events. We also need community members to join us by contributing ongoing financial support. Still, we are very grateful to the community, and hope to keep helping the dogs and cats of Modoc County for many years to come.”
BOARD MEMBER, BOARD SECRETARY/TREASURER AND
DOG PROGRAM MANAGER
|Jennifer with foster dog Tilly|
Prior to her work with HPHS, Jenn received an Engineering degree from the University of California at San Diego, and went on to complete a Master in Public Administration degree from San Diego State University while working as a City Planner and Redevelopment Specialist with the County of San Diego. She later worked for the Cities of San Leandro and Fremont in the Bay Area of California before going into private practice in 2007.
After retiring from City Planning and coming to Alturas, Jenn came out of retirement and worked for a few years as a City Planner with the City of Alturas. However, she says the most fulfilling work she has ever done is her unpaid work in dog rescue, which she has been involved with for over 20 years. She is particularly proud of the herding dog rescue she founded in the Bay Area known as "Cattle Dog Dreams", which operated for eight years and rescued and rehomed over 1,000 Australian Cattle Dogs and herding dog mixes.
"The great thing about large cities like those in the Bay Area is that many rescues can specialize in a particular breed and become known for that breed because there are a lot of rescues in the area and a lot of people who want to adopt dogs. This really helps dogs get adopted quickly," notes Jennifer. "The problem with running a rescue in Alturas is just the opposite. There are no other rescues within a hundred miles, and very few local people are looking to adopt dogs. If all the adoptable dogs are to be helped, we need to take them in, regardless of breed, and send most of our dogs out of the area to other rescues to get them into homes. This is a very costly and labor-intensive process, but we are becoming known for our friendly canines, and so have become very successful at it."
In the coming years, Jenn hopes to get more people to join the HPHS Team as either Volunteers or Supporting Members so that the work of rescue can be spread out over more people, and the cost of rescue is more reliably supported.
TNR PROGRAM MANAGER
|Dudley and Karen Haines|
In 2006, Karen and her husband “discovered” and fell in love with Alturas and Modoc County. They bought some undeveloped property and were finally able to make the move in 2013. They continue to work on projects to make the property their dream retirement home. With a strong interest in volunteering, Karen joined the Alturas Garden Club and served two years as Secretary and one year as President. During this time she spearheaded the formation of the annual Seed Swap and chaired the project for six years.
Although a lifelong animal lover, she was reluctant to get into the field of animal welfare. She had the perception that doing so would be to face endless cases of cruelty and neglect situations and knew it would be difficult to cope with these challenges. “While occasionally there are these type of situations, the vast majority of the work I do is more about providing resources and helping people and cats,” observes Karen. After learning about Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR) in 2019, it became clear that this was the answer for managing the unowned, outdoor community cat overpopulation.
As volunteer Manager of the High Plateau Human Society’s TNR Program, Karen says, “Achieving fewer unowned, free-roaming cats, keeping them healthy, and diminishing the number of kittens born outside are the goals of the TNR Program. It is gratifying work to approach each situation without judgment, to solve problems, and know that both people and cat’s lives are being positively impacted.”
Karen lives with her husband, Dudley, two horses - a Norwegian Fjord and a Mustang - four Nigerian Dwarf goats, a flock of chickens and a posse of cats who keep the rodent population under control.