COLUMBIA — Mary Pat Boatfield, who served as the executive director of the Central Missouri Humane Society for two years, died Wednesday, June 18, 2014. She was 64.
"She was more than our director," Richard Wallace, president of the society's board of directors, said. "She became a really good friend to every one of us."
Boatfield knew how to run animal shelters as well as she knew the back of her own hand, Wallace said. She served as the executive director of the Nashville Humane Society for 12 years. Before that, she headed the Toledo Humane Society for 14 years, according to her LinkedIn page.
In 2012, Boatfield became the executive director of the Central Missouri Humane Society. She was the right fit for the organization because of her experience with animal welfare and previous success, Chris Koukola, the vice president of the society’s board of directors, said at the time.
James Loveless, a member of the society's board of directors, said the Humane Society needed a leader like Boatfield. Throughout her career, she was known as a troubleshooter for organizations that needed exceptional building and correction, Loveless said.
"The Humane Society needed leadership of that caliber," Loveless said.
One of Boatfield's accomplishments was the higher placement of cats and dogs in permanent homes, Wallace said. She would even search for homes in other areas of the country for pets that couldn’t find placement locally, he said.
"Mary worked beautifully with the staff and the board and had an amazing amount accomplished in her short two years here," Wallace said.
Overall, Boatfield improved the society's standing with the community, Wallace said. She worked “beautifully” with city government and with other animal care organizations and also with the Humane Society's board, he said.
Loveless said Boatfield will be missed.
"I’m terribly saddened that she's left us," Loveless said. "Not only for the Humane Society but also for the animals that we are dedicated to. (It was) completely unexpected, and we will be challenged to find someone as competent as she, and it will probably take a long time."