About GIHS

Our Mission
     The Galveston Island Humane Society, Inc. is dedicated to promoting animal welfare and the protection and prevention of unwanted or homeless animals.

     The Galveston Island Humane Society, Inc. was formed in 1981 and much has changed in the past 34 years.  We are no longer "the pound" where animals are held for the legal limit. Today we have a humane shelter that is open to the public six days a week to facilitate reuniting pets with their families and to promote adoptions.

     GIHS is an "open admission" shelter for Galveston Island. That means we accept all homeless pets, even when the shelter is full. Our open admission status in a community with a disproportionately high number of homeless or unwanted pets leads to needless euthanasia of pets in our shelter. Even with that, we work hard to assure that adoptable pets are not held under a time limit. In a new policy, appointments are now required for owner surrenders as the shelter is consistently at capacity and owners are encouraged to attempt to re-home their pets on their own if possible.
     GIHS has some specific goals that we would like to accomplish in the future.
      The following are some of those goals:
  • To find good homes for all of our animals as an alternative to euthanasia.
  • Obtain additional funding to enhance our current programs and expand into other areas.
  • Initiate and coordinate a comprehensive spay/neuter programs for the City of Galveston to stop the influx of unwanted and homeless animals coming in to the shelter.
  • Provide education in the community focused on the long term care of pets as family members.
Executive Director - Caroline Dorsett-Pate

Administrative Manager - Vanessa Coggins 
Director of Development and Volunteer Services - Natalie Clarke
Lead Client Care Associate - Stephanie Tong
Client Care Associates - Danielle Nordstrom and Victoria Zulim 

Animal Health Manager - Dani Gavin
Animal Health Technicians - Johnathan Pineda and Destiny Auzston
Animal Care Manager -
Animal Care Staff - Debbie Radzieski, Amanda Alvarado, Marci Logue
Feral Cat Liaison - Vanessa Coggins
Volunteer Foster Coordinator - Thresea Russ



The GIHS Board of Directors consists of up to 20 volunteer members who assist with decisions about the shelter operations and policies. They also coordinate fundraisers and provide support to the shelter staff.

  GIHS Board of Directors

  • President - Joel Caldwell
  • President Elect - Shelby Scott
  • Secretary - Diana Barr
  • Treasurer - Becki Winchester-Habib
  • Past President - Liz Rogers-Alvarado
  Board Members 
  • Lea Fistein, DVM
  • Janet Hoffman
  • Lori Hoskins
  • Jeannie Hughes-Niederle
  • Jeannie Janota         
  • Kyle Knupple, DVM
  • Maureen McCutchen          
  • David Rogers
  • Stephanie Vasut
  • Ann Winkelmann  
  • Dana Wisko