The Clay County Humane Society has two new administrators. Matt Moss, the new shelter administrator, and Tammy Wildman, the new kennel manager, who love spending time with animals. On Thursday, they took Lacey, a 5 year-old black and white Lab mix, and Georgie, a 2 year-old pure-bred Pug, for a walk outside the shelter.
By IVY HERRON
The Clay County Humane Society wanted people who cared about animals when they hired two new administrators in July. Matt Moss, who previously worked with Pug Rescue in Indianapolis and Kokomo, and Tammy Wildman, an animal lover all her life, fit the bill.
Moss and Wildman replaced Rick Moore, who resigned at the Clay County Humane Society's July board meeting.
"We think we're moving in the right direction with these two people," said Bill Bell, president of the Clay County Humane Society. "We are excited to have them on board."
Moss comes to the position full of excitement.
"I have loved animals all my life. It's my hope that people will learn to treat animals in a more humane way - not just as a dog or a cat, but as a part of their family," Moss said. "My goal is to one day come to work at the shelter and not find any animals because they've all been adopted."
He has several ideas for future growth for the facility and plans to reach out to the community with fun events and ways to educate the public about animal care.
"I would like to get more volunteers involved at the shelter so we can do more events in the community, like pet adoption days and have more shot clinics," he said. "We also need to better educate the community about vaccination awareness and spay and neuter issues."
The creation of a 'doggie park/play area' in the county, and a possible pet fair so pet owners can enjoy a fun and educational outing with their pets, are projects that Moss thinks pet owners would support.
But all pet owners are not ready for the commitment of having an animal join their family.
"Saving an animal (from harm) is like saving a child -- the reward is incredible. Adopting an animal into your family is a commitment to take care of and love that animal as a family member," Moss said. "If you don't have time or the money to care for a pet by providing food, water, shelter and routine veterinary care for the animal, don't get a pet."
Wildman, the new kennel manager, agrees.
"I love working here, but it's sad sometime," Wildman said. "(The shelter is) packed with animals that need homes. We only have a few moments to give them attention, usually while we are feeding them or cleaning their cages, and they want so much to be loved."
There were so many animals at the shelter Thursday that Wildman was unable to provide an accurate count.
"I'm not sure how many animals are here right now," she said. "One cat just had kittens a couple days ago, another that had a litter yesterday and we have another one that is due any time."
Avid animal lovers, Wildman's family likes to come to work with her to be with the animals.
"My whole family volunteers to help out here," Wildman said. "My daughter is in with the cats now. With school coming they will have to volunteer on the weekends. My husband loves animals. He helps out when there are calls to rescue animals. The other day he went along to help rescue a wounded duck."
Wildman is looking forward to the upcoming renovation and repairs that will be done at the shelter, but she knows that limited space means overcrowded cages as the steady flow of unwanted animals coming into the shelter continues.
"These animals are being fed, taken care of and are not in the streets. That's a good thing, but we have two or three animals (depending on size) living in a single cage," she said. "They're all right, but there's no room for them to play. I hope people will come to the shelter and give these pets a home."