BAHS is a limited admission shelter. This means we intake adoptable animals and never euthanize for shelter space.
Mission: The Belleville Area Humane Society strives to improve the lives of homeless animals in our community through adoption, humane education, and community outreach.
Vision: Homeless animals in our community are valued, cared for, and treated with compassion.
Values: Compassion, Education, Community, and Collaboration
BAHS is a limited admission shelter. This means we intake adoptable animals and never euthanize for shelter space.
We have been housing animals in our community since 1959. Thousands of homeless animals have been adopted since that time.
Shelters: approximately 35 dogs and 30 cats.
Adoptions: approximately 600 annually.
We are 100% donor funded and receive no government support.
The Belleville Area Humane Society provides humane education and community outreach in order to promote animal welfare and eliminate overpopulation.
We are thankful to the hundreds of volunteers in our community who work closely with BAHS to provide the best possible care for our animals.
The Belleville Area Humane Society prides itself on providing a safe and clean shelter that is comfortable for our animals.
Position: Executive Director
I was on the BAHS board before joining the staff. Every day brings new challenges and new successes, and I am proud to be a part of the work that we do.
It is hard not to be touched by the dogs and cats that pass through our doors. My two dogs, Milo and Daisy, are such an important part of my family and I want each and every one of the animals at BAHS to find that kind of love and security. I am thankful to the staff and volunteers who work so hard to improve the lives of the animals that pass through our doors.
Business manager Ryan Moore brings experience in money and business management to his job. Aside from BAHS, he is a financial empowerment and literacy coach.
Ryan and his wife Stephanie are parents to three children – Ally and toddler twins, Cole and Easton. But it is their dog, Milo, who runs the house.
“He is a mutt,” Ryan said, proudly. “We call him a terrorist because he’s a terrier mix. He was supposed to be a cross between a Yorkie and Shih Tzu, but he’s 27 pounds.” He’s also very demanding so it’s a good thing he’s cute. “Everybody comes to the house to see him,” Ryan admitted. “If you don’t come to see him, he’ll cry till you acknowledge him.”
Like the Cowardly Lion, Milo is a tough guy who gets nervous sometimes. “Milo suffers from separation anxiety and we recently lost his four legged brother, so we’ve decided he needs a friend,” Ryan said. “Instead of taking home another dog permanently, my wife and I are going to foster a shelter dog and see how it goes. I’ve already warned the staff we’ll probably be a ‘foster fail.’ So get the paperwork ready.”
Position: Social Media Coordinator & Adoption Counselor
I have been fortunate to learn many jobs since I began working at BAHS in August of 2011. Currently, my focus is on animal care, photography, and social media.
I have always had a passion for charitable work with an emphasis on the most vulnerable in the community. No one is more vulnerable than our four-legged friends, and I’m privileged to be able to return the love they so selflessly give us.
Outside of my work here, I volunteer with CARES, another animal-focused non-profit, and spend time with my goofy English Bulldog, Lenore.
Position: Marketing Manager
BAHS marketing and development manager Shannon Gastreich brings a plethora of experience and expertise to her job. As a former co-owner of the Weingarten – a thriving Freeburg winery founded by her family – Shannon comes complete with business development, marketing and event planning skills.
“My job is a new position for BAHS, which is a sign of how much the shelter is growing,” she said.
Shannon’s family – which includes husband, Jeff, and daughter Stella, 4 – may be growing soon as well.“We have a cat named Bootie who we rescued from under the hood of a car,” she said, “but my
daughter would love to get a kitten.
One of Shannon’s best friends, Kaite Flamm, is co-founder of the St. Louis-based New Year for Strays trivia night, an annual event that raises thousands of dollars to benefit area shelters.
“Kaite inspired me to get involved with the animal welfare industry,” Shannon said. “Her love of pit bulls opened my eyes to the fact that they are gentle giants. I’m really excited for the opportunity to join the BAHS team!”
Position: Adoption Counselor
Adoption counselor Amanda Roos is a lifelong animal lover and the mother of three cats. She also feeds the feral kitties and wildlife that visit her yard. Don’t judge. It’s in her blood.
“My grandmother always had three or four dogs or three or four cats running around her home,” Amanda, 22, said and smiled. “They kept her company. And she fed the squirrels and the birds and raccoons too. So I guess I come by it naturally.”
A former college admission counselor, Amanda now spends her days doing animal enrichment, matching potential adopters with animals and working on community outreach, among other tasks.
A newlywed whose husband, Elliott, also loves animals, she doesn’t hesitate when asked her favorite part of her job.
“When a dog is adopted and their new parents come to pick them up, we give them a new collar and new leash. I get to go back and put their garb on them. I always love on them for a second and say, ‘Be good!’”
Then together, they take “The Freedom Walk.”
“We leave the kennel and turn the corner. The new family is standing there smiling and the dog licks their faces. His tail is wagging. His butt is wiggling. Up to this point in my life – getting my college degree and my past jobs included — nothing tops ‘The Freedom Walk.’”
Shelter manager Dawn Blackwell has a shadow. A bulldog mix who looks more like a bullfrog, Wilma waddles behind the front desk giving “hugs” and melting hearts.
“It was kind of hard to resist her,” admitted Dawn, who adopted the snorting 2-year-old after starting work at the shelter last year.
Truth be told, Dawn finds most animals irresistible. “I was raised at the end of a dead-end street where people dumped off their unwanted cats and dogs. I found all of them homes after I vetted them. I guess that’s where my career in rescue began.”
These days, Dawn fosters puppies, kittens and special needs animals for BAHS and Gateway Pet Guardians, when she’s not rolling up her sleeves to manage the shelter.
Her husband, Ryan, and daughter, Maddie, 15, support her in her efforts.
“I won’t tell you how many pets I have,” she said and smiled, “but it’s a lot. It just kind of came natural, my love of animals. I like big, square heads.”
She also likes the saying, “Adopt a Pit. Don’t Listen to the Bull.”
Wilma likes that saying too.
“You can find just about any animal you’re looking for in a shelter. Big or small. And some of the biggest dogs can be some of the sweetest ones. I tell people not to pay attention to breeds. Pay attention to personalities.”
Position: Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteer coordinator Kelly Turner says she has found her niche.
“I really enjoy what I do,” said Kelly, a former public information specialist. “There’s never a dull moment when you work with people and animals.”
Some volunteers enjoy walking dogs and playing with cats, while others prefer cleaning and doing laundry. “We need volunteers to help with yard work, maintenance work, you name it. Not every job is glamorous but they are all really important.”
Each volunteer brings his own unique talents to the table. But loving animals is something everyone has in common.
At the moment, Kelly, who also mans the shelter’s front desk, is mother to Suzy, a 13-year-old dachshund and FooFoo, a 13-year-cat.
“I guess you could say 13 is my lucky number,” she said and laughed.
Married with four bonus kids and 11 grandchildren, Kelly also enjoys cuddling with Macy, a boxer-mix puppy she adopted after starting work at BAHS.
“My brother told me, ‘You can’t save them all,’” she said. “I know we’re full up at our house. But a great part of my job is seeing animals go to other good homes. There’s nothing better than watching a dog or cat ‘pick’ their people.”
After receiving an animal science degree from the University of Illinois, Jorden Guldner went to work on a pig farm. The pigs were great but their futures were abysmal. Eventually, the heartbreak took its toll.
“Working with pigs that are going to be eaten is not a great job for someone who loves animals,” Jorden, 26, recalled. “I saw a lot of death. A lot of sadness. After three years, I was ready to go to a place where the animals I cared for had a future.”
That place was BAHS. Today, the energetic adoption counselor and community coordinator makes a difference in the lives of both humans and animals.
“Our dogs and cats go to great homes and we get to be part that process,” she said. “We also get to educate the public, offer spay/neuter and vaccine clinics and help the low income families who come to our Pet Panty.
“People will break down crying and say thank you. When someone is living paycheck to paycheck, a bag of dog food or flea protection for their pet can really make a difference.”
When she’s not at the shelter, Jorden is mother to a terrier-mix named Kylie, a cat called Luna and a recently-adopted BAHS alum puppy named Sully. If that weren’t enough, she brings home foster animals every chance she gets.
“My boyfriend is great,” she said, proudly. “He’s very supportive of me. Basically as long as I ask him beforehand, he’ll go along with just about anything. We’re both animal lovers so it works out really well.”
Our Board Members
Board President David Padgett combined his two passions – ice hockey and dog rescue – when naming his athletically-gifted pooches. Lab mix, Backes, is named for former Blues Captain David Backes. And Lab mix, Gordon, is the namesake of Hockey Hall of Famer Gordie Howe.
“I know firsthand the joy that companion animals bring into people’s lives,” David said, “and I want to help give other people this gift.”
Just as he played ice hockey competitively in high school and college, David plays hardball when it comes to saving animals’ lives. As part owner of Padgett Building and Remodeling Inc., he is instrumental in overseeing building maintenance at the shelter, when he’s not sharing his expertise on financial and membership drive committees. So deep is his dedication, he even encouraged his sister-in-law, Kristina Boron, and stepbrother, Steve Seibert, to join the board.
David’s wife Kim, an RN at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in St. Louis, loves animals and ice hockey as much he does. The couple’s other shared passion — their new daughter Stella Lucille –is sure to follow in her parents’ footsteps!
Position: Vice President
Known as the board’s resident cheerleader, Tricia’s optimism is contagious. From donning a giant bunny costume at our annual Doggy Easter Egg Hunt to skillfully manning silent auction checkouts, Tricia is up for anything and everything.
“My love of animals and great experiences with fellow volunteers has kept me enthusiastic about the Humane Society,” explained the real estate broker, who works for her family’s business, Tialdo Realty in Belleville.
Tricia joined the board in 2011 after seeing the slogan “Until they all have homes” on the BAHS website. After years of helping people find their forever homes, she felt compelled to help animals do the same.
A member of the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois (RASI), Tricia was named the organization’s 2005 realtor of the year, as well as its 2013 community award recipient. She also served as the association’s 2014 president.
Her four-legged son, a black Lab named Trapper, couldn’t be more proud of her efforts.
After eight years of owning and operating Big Daddy’s in Edwardsville, Steve Seibert finally could relax long enough to catch his breath.
“When I had the time, I wanted to have a cause to support, one I really cared about,” said Steve, who joined the board in 2016 at the prompting of his stepbrother, board Vice President David Padgett. “I’ve always had dogs and I wanted to help the homeless animals out there.”
His present pup is a brilliant and energetic Golden Retriever rescue named Tripp. The two take long runs together in an effort to wear each other out.
Soon after joining the board, Steve launched BAHS’s newest fundraiser, Dog’s Day of Summer. “It was a happy hour on the patio at Silver Creek in Belleville,” Steve explained. “People brought their pets out and enjoyed food and drinks.”
The day was hot and the drinks were cold. We plan to do it again next year!
Journalist Michelle Meehan Schrader often writes about the antics of her colorful rescues in a bi-weekly column for the Belleville News-Democrat. BAHS’s longest-sitting (and sometimes standing) board member, she became a director in 2002 after seeing a pregnant dog running along the highway in rush hour traffic.
“Cars were whizzing by at 70 miles an hour,” she remembered. “I tried but there was no way I could get to her. This haunted me for weeks until I realized I couldn’t go back in time and rescue that dog — but there were other dogs I could help.”
Editor of the shelter’s newsletter and contributing feature writer for the BAHS website, Michelle can often be seen walking in BAHS parades, hawking our T-shirts and assisting with adoption and fundraising efforts. A lifelong animal lover, she lives in Smithton with her husband Mark, an Belleville attorney, and their two-legged son Sam.
Her four-legged children include a former farm cat named Malcolm and three BAHS alum: Lenny, a neurotic spaniel mix; Lola, a bossy Chihuahua with a penchant for frilly pink tutus and Captain Jack, a one-eyed Shih Tzu (whose story you can find on our website!)
Position: Board Member
As a child, board Secretary Shelly Korves brought home every injured rodent she could find. As an adult, the vivacious owner of Tribout Carnival Supply in Belleville is still saving homeless animals through her strong commitment to fostering and fundraising.
“I have a huge soft spot for the ‘silver muzzles,’” admits Shelly, a tireless animal welfare advocate, who has fostered countless dogs since joining the BAHS board in 2008. “I just love the senior dogs. I tell everyone what amazing pets they make.”
The shelter’s resident carnie, Shelly can throw a party like nobody’s business. Race for the Rescues, Glo Bingo, the Howl’oween pet parade, the Doggy Easter Egg Hunt and the Doggy Ice Cream Social each bear her signature touch.
Married to BAHS volunteer Jack Korves, she is the proud mother of three two-legged children – Kayla, Brett and Todd; six four-legged children – Diesel, Jose, Gus, Pebbles, Penny and Molly; and one spoiled rotten three-legged baby – Nemo, an adorable Dachshund mix who gets around just fine.
All of Shelly’s pets are rescues and if it were up to her, yours would be too!
Position: Board Member
As a little girl, Noelle Miles dreamed of being a veterinarian. Her dreams came true – and so did ours – when this talented and compassionate professional began volunteering with BAHS.
“BAHS is an important part of my life because I am a companion animal veterinarian and took an oath to relieve animal suffering,” explained Dr. Miles, who works for Mueller Veterinary Services in Columbia, IL. “Many of the animals we take in have been neglected and are suffering both physically and emotionally.”
Since joining our board a dozen years ago, Dr. Miles has treated hundreds of homeless animals pro bono. The mother of BAHS alum Fenway, a border collie, and HSMO rescue Charlie, a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, she visits the shelter on her days off to perform spays and neuters. An avid runner, Dr. Miles also assists with our annual Race for Rescues.
We cannot thank her enough!
Position: Board Member
A lifelong animal lover, Kathy Simmons is the proud mother of three rescue dogs – Phoebe, the princess, Jessie, the cuddler and Bunny, the party girl. Casa Simmons also serves as a bed-and-breakfast for several pampered kitties, including June Bug, who never met a stranger and Coco who takes a while to warm up to you – but when she does watch out!
A former Allsup corporate account manager, Kathy resides in Belleville with her husband Greg, a fellow rescue enthusiast who moonlights as an orthopedic surgeon. She joined the board in 2010 and has become a fundraiser extraordinaire. She is the heart and soul behind “Wine for Whiskers,” BAHS’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and recently rolled up her sleeves to launch our newest fundraiser, “Bags for Wags.”
A tireless spreadsheet charter and organizer, Kathy begins prepping for events months before they occur. Is it any wonder her dining room table has earned the nickname “Wine for Whiskers Central?”
“Over the last 20 years, my husband and I have adopted seven animals from BAHS,” Kathy said proudly. “Helping homeless animals find their forever families day after day brings great joy and gratitude.”
Cori Jurgensmeyer can’t imagine her life without pets.
“I don’t’ have children. I have two dogs – Mack and Charlie,” she said. “They’re my babies.”
Before joining the BAHS board, Cori, who works in finance for Nestle Purina, was a dedicated shelter volunteer.
“I started volunteering after participating in the Slumber Pawty fundraiser. I would do Dog Day Out – taking a dog out for a day trip – or weekend fostering.”
When the pandemic struck and Cori began working from home, she transitioned into fulltime fostering.
“The first time one of my foster’s got adopted, I cried,” she remembered. “It’s still hard but I always feel better when I see them go into a good home. It’s great when they become part of a family.”
Cori’s four-legged family — Mack and Charlie – will travel with her returns to the office.
“We can bring our pets to work, as long as they’re well behaved,” she said. “I have two beds in my cube area – one on one side and one on the other side. It’s nice to have them with me.”
Cori’s dedication to animals traces back to her childhood.
“I would spend the summers with my grandma. She lived on a farm and she had dogs and cats and cows and chickens. I believe I got my passion for animals from her.”
Helping animals find homes brings Cori great joy and fulfillment. “I joined the board because I wanted to do something to help the shelter and give back to the community,” she said. “BAHS is doing some great programs. I want to be part of that. And I hope I can continue fostering in the future.”
Position: Board Member
A newcomer to BAHS, Kristina came “on board” at the encouragement of her brother-in-law, board Vice President David Padgett. Because her adorable 6-year-old beagle mix, Captain, is a BAHS alum, she knows firsthand the joy adoption can bring.
“I knew that when I was ready to adopt in 2010, it would be from BAHS,” she said proudly. “I recognized the organization from all the fundraising efforts they held throughout the year. I joined the board in 2016 to help make a difference in the lives of shelter animals.”
A Risk Compliance Audit Consultant Officer for a bank that monitors the importance of treating customers properly, Kristina says her company encourages employees to volunteer within their community.
“I strongly believe that owning a shelter dog brings joy and entertainment,” she said. “They display an appreciation and loyalty that makes them a valuable asset to any family.”
Belleville business owner and animal lover Cathy Dervalis played a role in BAHS’s success long before she joined our Board of Directors. The proprietor of Dog Day Afternoon pet supply store and grooming has long- hosted an annual Doggy Ice Cream Social at her shop to benefit the shelter. Over the years, she also has sponsored various BAHS events and selflessly volunteered to groom shelter dogs on her days off.
Cathy and her husband, Dan, have two adult children – son, Jacob and daughter, Dani – five grandchildren, three dogs, a cat and a blue-fronted Amazon Parrot named Grady.
Because parrots can live up to 50 years, Cathy – who has been involved with parrot rescue – has made plans for her daughter to adopt Grady should the bird outlive her. Finding homes for wayward animals has always been her passion.
“I used to belong to Gateway Golden Rescue,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many Golden Retrievers I’ve had in my house over the years. I would do pick-ups and home checks. When my grooming clients can’t keep their pets, I help them find good homes for them.
“I’ve just always loved animals – all kinds of animals,” added the business owner, who is a talented amateur photographer. “There is such a need for rescue. I’m excited to join the BAHS board.”
Position: Board Member
As a child, board member Edith Gray would ride her tricycle around the neighborhood, looking for animals to befriend.
“There was this really mean dognamed Bonzo,” Edith recalled. “My mother said one day I pedaled up to him and she was alarmed for my safety. She said, ‘What are you doing?’ I said, ‘I was talking to Bonzo. But he doesn’t talk so much.’”
Known for her outgoing personality and huge smile, Edith serves as assistant director of human resources for the SIUE East St. Louis campus, when she isn’t teaching fitness classes. Despite her hectic schedule, she always finds time to help animals.
“All my dogs are recues,” she said. “They’re like my children. I can’t imaginelife without them.”
Her four-legged family includes Grayson, a schnauzer-sheltie mix; Lauren, a white schnauzer and Keegan, a wild-and-crazy West Highland terrier. “Keegan is my devil dog from hell. But I love him. What can I say?”
She also loves the shelter’s initiatives, including adoption, education, spay and neuter and helping keep pets in their forever homes.
“I’ve always wanted to volunteer, to give back,” she said, proudly. “And this is a perfect way to do it.”
BAHS’ save rate is 98%. This is determined by subtracting our shelter euthanasia rate from our total intake and then dividing by total intake.BAHS is a limited admission shelter. This means we intake adoptable animals and never euthanize for shelter space. Please contact us at 1-866-951-0247 with any questions.