Fenu Excited About Opportunity As New Executive Director Of Morrison County Animal Humane Society | Morrison County Register


These are Tessa Fenu’s top two priorities as she embarks on the final stage of her career – Executive Director of the Morrison County Animal Humane Society in Little Falls.

“I really like what I’m doing here,” she said. “I love working with animals and I love working with people and I love spreading the educational message and the community side of things. It’s something very natural for me. I really like talking to people and having that empathetic side, but also the understanding side.

Fenu, originally from Minneapolis, began in his new role on March 22. Before coming to Little Falls, she worked in many zoos, with a lot of experience in animal shelters along the way. Her dog, Bella, is a rescue, and she and her husband have hosted several animals for Homeward Animal Shelter in Fargo.

She currently lives in Hawley, so she spends her weeks working and weekends at home with her husband, who owns InLine Motion, a manufacturer of stainless steel equipment for the food industry.

“I wasn’t planning on starting full time but honestly I think the universe was just like, ‘You’re not ready for a break. You have to go, girl, ”she said. “… I couldn’t be happier that they chose me.” I love this job. This is incredible. “

One problem that most shelters face is minimal funding. It is no different in Morrison County. And Fenu is quick to point out that in order to make the changes she hopes to bring and implement new services for the community, having the money to do so is crucial.

She has several ideas for fundraisers, including an express pet wash – which will likely take place in early June – and perhaps events like “Dinner with the Dogs”.

In doing so – she hopes to include both events for families and those 21 and over – she wants to allow the community to engage more with the shelter and vice versa.

“I want to bring the community in,” Fenu said. “I want the community to participate in things. I hope to have many events to come.

“We have to work together,” she continued. “I think some people don’t understand that you need a village. Everyone says it takes a village to raise a child, well we rely on our community and our community should be able to count on us to help together.

Besides the cash donations, she also wants the community to be able to take part in the day-to-day operations. This is where his experience working in zoo education comes in.

Fenu said she hopes the shelter can partner with local businesses for events and other promotions to bond.

She hopes to someday offer programs such as chances for Girl Scouts and Girl Scouts to volunteer to earn their Pets 101 badges while learning about the important work of an animal shelter. She also said that with some of the work being done on the shelter itself, people in the community are encouraged to call the shelter if they are interested in painting a scene in the cat colony, or anything from the shelter. kind.

“My biggest thing is education,” Fenu said. “I want to teach people what it means to be a refuge. I want to start offering outlets so that people come to visit more often. We need people to enrich ourselves, we need people to be trained, we need people who take care of them. And not just in a way to poop, feed and drink, but to stimulate them mentally and stimulate them physically.

The first major fundraiser that the shelter will host during its tenure will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27, when Jordan’s Way visits the shelter for an online event. A nonprofit focused on raising funds for small shelters, Jordan’s Way is currently touring 50 states. He stops at eight small rural shelters in each state for a four-hour Facebook Live fundraiser.

Fenu said a board member alerted her to the tour and that she applied. Seeing how many candidates there were, however, she fell short of her hopes. But, after sending photos of the shelter and briefing officials with the organization of operations in Morrison County, she got the good news on April 18.

“They’re basically saying, ‘We really want to help the people who need it,’” she said of Jordan’s Way. “And we really need help, especially in our community. The best part is that they are watched nationwide and some international. Getting this exposure is going to be amazing. “

To check out the fundraiser, which will include face pies, ice bucket challenges, and lots of fun games and antics, according to Fenu, visit Jordan’s Way or the Morrison County Animal Humane Society on Facebook. Anyone wishing to donate can do so directly through Facebook.

“We have a lot of work to do here and we need everyone’s help to make it happen so that we can also welcome people again with a little more cheerful vibe,” she said. . “I want us all to be proud of our little refuge.”

It is also a task that Fenu is prepared to tackle head on.

After accepting the position, she quickly became aware of some bad feelings that exist in the community surrounding the shelter. She admits that the organization has been “lost in our place”, which is why she places such a high priority on community and making connections, whether with individuals or businesses.

As a foreigner, she hopes to start over with a clean slate.

“I try to come in an impartial manner, and I want to have a chance to make things better,” Fenu said. “I want to meet people on a whole unbiased state that I’m brand new, it’s brand new. Our staff have turned out pretty well too, so the staff are brand new. We are all just ready and motivated to keep going, improving it and making a name for ourselves that is no longer negative.

She said the people who work there love animals and consider them a “second family.” It’s part of what made his Little Falls experience great, so far.

Entering with positivity and a lot of enthusiasm, Fenu is ready to get down to work educating and rebuilding bridges between the shelter and the community.

“It’s almost my life,” she says. “This lifestyle is a passion. When I arrive at work, it is not always a feeling of work. It’s the feeling of doing not only what makes me happy, but I hit a point of passion; something that really excites me.

“I’m more than happy to be here,” Fenu continued. “I’m more than excited and can’t wait to see where we will be in a year from now.”

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