photography of three dogs looking up
Photo by Nancy Guth on

Meet the Friends of the Choteau Community Dog Park Board of Directors!

Polly Cunningham, President

Polly and her husband Bill moved to Choteau from Missoula with several dogs in 1997. Polly, a retired teacher from St. Louis, and Bill owned High Country Adventures, a backpack outfitting company, until 2012. In the off-season, Polly worked for care-giving facilities in Choteau – Choteau Activities, Beehive Home, the Teton County Nursing Home. Polly has volunteered at Bright Eyes, and served on the board. She is currently on the board of the Old Trail Museum and the Friends of the Choteau Library. Community involvement is what makes a town like Choteau a great place to live in. She and Bill live with two dogs, Dora and Cooper, and a cat, Harriet. Winter travels to Utah and Arizona with the dogs revealed the joys of socialization at community dog parks, for both canines and humans.

Sarah Richardson, Vice President

Sarah grew up in Pendroy, and went to school in Choteau. As an adult, she has lived in Choteau for 16 years. She has 2 kids, one dog, and a cat. She works at the Senior Center with enthusiasm, bringing delicious meals and joy to the active elderly.

Cheyenne Browning, Secretary

Cheyenne has lived in Choteau her whole life. She’s always had dogs, of all sizes and breeds, both working dogs and family dogs. She is very enthusiastic about creating a dog park so owners in Choteau have someplace to take their dogs where they will be safe. Cheyenne works as the Clerk of the Court in the Choteau Courthouse.

Susan Hillstrom, Treasurer

Susan Hillstrom and her two corgis

Susan grew up with family dogs. Sandy, a Rough Collie was her constant companion and protector when she was a toddler. At twenty-one her self-birthday present was six week old German shepherd, Eva, followed through the years by three Labs and two Corgis, all adopted. A 4-H Dog Leader in obedience and agility, she guided the Trout Creek Dog Club to winning participation at the Sanders County Fair, MT. Her corgis attained ribbons in dog agility trials in Great Falls and Helena, MT. Her dogs also enjoy hiking, floating, biking, snowshoeing, skiing, and skijouring. She is retired from the Lewis and Clark National Forest and lives with her dogs in Choteau on the Rocky Mountain Front.

Anne Carlson

Anne was originally trained as a wildlife biologist, and spent 15 years developing research and conservation projects on numerous large and small carnivore, primate, elephant, and antelope species across sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. She has now been with The Wilderness Society in Montana for 13 years, where she oversees work to protect, restore, and connect the Crown of the Continent’s wild places, and to ensure equitable access to public lands for all communities. Anne previously served on the Board of Working Dogs for Conservation for seven years, and lives with her husband and way too many animals in Choteau, Montana.

Lisa Hudnutt

Former naturalist, science teacher, high school principal and Red Bus Driver (in Glacier National Park), Lisa Hudnutt has had dogs in her family all her life. Her current canine partner is a rescue of indeterminate heritage named Barnaby. Barnaby’s favorite activities include belly rubs, swimming, playing chase and gnawing on his favorite canine friends. When Lisa is out fishing Barnaby often dives into the pools to save the fish from being caught.

In retirement Lisa came to the community of Choteau to enjoy all that is has to offer along the Rocky Mountain Front. She has been involved with Choteau Public Schools, Bright Eyes Animal Rescue Shelter, Friends of the Library and other community organizations.

Butch van der Reit

Butch was born in Montana. In his teens he moved to Washington. He drove trucks for Weyerhaeuser for many years. Finally he retired to Fort Shaw, MT, and discovered his love, Mona Johnson. They married and moved to Choteau. They have 2 dogs and 2 cats, as well as numerous grandchildren. He still is driving trucks ands is involved in many community activities, such as the Senior Center and the new dog park.