Bethel Friends of Canines co-founder and president Joan Dewey is stepping down after leading the organization since its beginning in 2011. A press release from the nonprofit attributes the decision to “years of being overworked and overstressed.” During her tenure Dewey helped approximately 2,000 dogs and cats in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta find new homes.
In the coming year, former Bethel resident Edie Barbour will serve as Interim President from her home in Fairbanks.
As the New Year starts, Bethel Friends of Canines will work to increase its animal foster network. The number of available foster homes will determine how many animals the organization will accept from villages outside Bethel. The group will continue rescuing animals from Bethel and the City Pound to send to homes in Anchorage. It will also continue providing low-income spay, neuter, and vaccination services as funding allows.
Interim President Edie Barbour advises Bethel residents to call the police department to capture stray dogs.
Anyone wanting to volunteer with Bethel Friends of Canines can attend its upcoming meeting in January. The time and place has yet to be announced.
Correction: This story has been corrected to show that Bethel Friends of Canines will continue to accept animals from villages outside Bethel, but that acceptance rate will be limited by the number of foster homes available in Bethel.