‘Dumpster Diver' Does It For Dogs



Some people only know her as the Dumpster Diver, and that's just fine with Lisa Boyle.

"I am the original Dumpster Diver, but (the Payson Humane Society) did have an aluminum can recycling program when I first got involved," Boyle said. "It just kind of evolved over the years."


Lisa Boyle

Boyle, who serves on the shelter's board of directors, also supervises that recycling program.

"Permanently we have cans at town hall, Payson Campground, Payson Golf Course and Payson Humane Society," she said. "Then for special events like the rodeos we'll take cans out.

"In the early days, the volunteers snuck into the rodeo grounds real early in the morning and skimmed the tops of the dumpsters. It was my regime that started dumping the dumpsters to get every aluminum can. We pushed it up a notch."

Today, all the aluminum can receptacles are painted white with black spots to emulate a Dalmatian, an innovation born of necessity, according to Boyle.

"At the rodeo we had trouble making people understand the difference between the garbage cans and our recycling cans, so I thought perhaps if we made them outlandish it would be easier for the public to tell the difference."

The recycling program raises more money than you might think.

"We go down about once every week-and-a-half or so and we'll bring home close to 300 bucks," she said. "It's free money."

Boyle's involvement with the Payson Humane Society is a labor of love.

"Dogs and cats are just so pure," she said. "They have no voice of their own. They can't say why I'm homeless. It's just a cause I enjoy and find important.

"I've always had a dog, and I have five now," she said. "Three with special needs are from the shelter. My husband, Craig, calls it Lisa's Nursing Home for Dogs."

Among them is Slim, a lab-hound mix who came close to starving to death at the shelter.

"It's hard over there for those guys," Boyle said. "When they're feeding they're coming out with a grocery cart stacked with bowls of food and they open the cage and put down two bowls, two bowls, two bowls. It gets started and the bowls get knocked over.

"It's just a hard place to eat, especially if you're real high strung. He just failed to thrive.

"I brought him home to fatten him up and find him another home, but he's such a special dog. He would need lots of room or he'd end up back at the shelter, so I decided what the heck, what's one more dog."

Then there's Bumper, a "mostly lab" dog who is blind.

"He does really well in the yard," Boyle said. "He's memorized it.

"But the other day Craig threw a garden hose out of the shed. Bumper comes walking along and got into it and that confused him some."

Boyle grew up in Payson, moving here from the Valley when she was 6. Her father bought the Richfield station where Whiting Brothers is now.

"I moved away in the 80s like all small town kids," she said. "I just kind of traveled around. Then I moved back in 1991."

That's when she met and married Craig.

"He's a guy who can happily live his whole life and never have a pet, and oddly enough he married me," she said. "He tolerates the dogs."

Boyle, who is serving her second year on the society's board, revealed that the organization is looking into another site for its new shelter rather than the one on the north side of Longhorn just west of Highway 260.

"The subdivision in the area (Timber Ridge) is already discussing us at their association meeting," she said. "The people in the nearby apartments aren't real crazy about us.

"We don't want to be out of town because that's out of mind, but you have to be careful not to set yourself in a nuisance position because then you have adversaries."

Another reason the board wants another site is because the Longhorn property is too small.

"We need a yard where we can bust four or five dogs out at a time and let them run and run and play and play," she said. "Now we have to transport them to the dog park for exercise, and when their kennel is being cleaned they're in there.

"I just don't think the place on Longhorn is the right place. It would be different if we were going to euthanize everybody and just keep 25 dogs and 25 cats and have the cute little pet store thing going on, but we're warehousing and working on trying to change the future of the homeless pets in this area.

"There are those that stay with us for months at a time because we believe in them. We have to have a place that can humanely handle that."

As always, the shelter needs all the community support it can get. Besides its annual food drive, which is currently under way, contributions can be made to several different funds, including the building fund, spay and neuter fund, rabies fund and general fund.

Another fund that always needs more support is called the second chance fund.

"This money is for senior animals with, say, a fatty tumor or rotten teeth so we can repair those things and give them a chance to be adopted. We also use it to fix up injured animals that come in. They aren't mutilated but maybe got a leg caught in a trap."

The shelter is also looking for a volunteer who has some experience with grant writing. For more information on how you can help, call the shelter at 474-5590.


Name: Lisa Boyle

Occupation: Pet sitter, cleaning lady

Employer: Self employed

Age: 43

Birthplace: Phoenix

Family: Husband Craig, three stepsons, one daughter, two grandchildren, my father and five dogs.

Personal Motto: Advance confidently toward your dreams and they will happen.

Inspiration: The good Lord and just watching it happen. If you push toward it long enough, it happens.

Greatest feat: My daughter and my grandchildren.

Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Messing around with dogs.

Three words that describe me best: Won't back down.

Person in history I'd most like to meet: Georgia Lee, the most successful prostitute during the Alaska gold rush. They made prostitution legal because they had like four women and 50,000 men. She managed her money and founded the Fairbanks Humane Society up there.

Luxury defined: Having my family with me in my comfortable home.

Dream vacation spot: I like beautiful, big mountains.

Why Payson? It's my hometown. I believe in it. I want to see it grow smart.

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