New co-directors Michael Sorrels and Brenda Gaskill began working in January toward creating a clean, safe and fun family environment at the shelter. Although Gaskill is currently out of town due to family illness, Sorrels recently spoke to The Brazil Times.
"We want to make this place all about the animals," Sorrels, who lives in Brazil, said. "I've only been here a short time and I've realized that the employees and volunteers here really care about the animals."
After a career in funeral services and recently selling his restaurant in Waveland, Ind., Sorrels wanted to do something to help animals.
"I was off for five weeks and was bored out of my mind. I'm looking forward to being here and feel that, with my prior business experience, I can bring a lot this job. I have a passion for animals," Sorrels said. "I believe I can share more compassion with people with animal issues and do a lot to help the animals themselves."
Although finding funding for the shelter during hard economic times is a major concern, Sorrels said there's a lot to look forward to, including plans for an outdoor dog run and a new transport van by the end of the 2010 summer along with a gift shop and future goals of a new addition to the facility.
"There are several fundraisers planned throughout this year to support the projects and the shelter," Sorrels said. "One of our newest is a new low cost pet grooming program."
Shelter volunteer Heather Beatty approached the shelter about providing her 22 years of grooming experience as a way to raise money.
"I love animals and enjoy any time I can spend with them," Beatty said. "I wanted to help the shelter and the animals. So often, people don't always care for their animals the way they should. This way, I can help."
Beatty said she could groom almost any animal a pet owner might have in need of some pampering, including dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and rats. She urges people to call the shelter (446-5126) during normal business hours to see what services she can provide for their unique pet.
"We also have Humane Society membership cards that let people take advantage of special savings from local businesses," Sorrels said about the cards that feature discounts at Brazil Grill, Pizza Hut, Forest Park Golf Course, Subway, Papa John's and at the Clay City Plaza A&W. "The annual fish fry is in the spring and we are always willing to accept donations to help the animals."
There's even a new "CCHC Wish List" pamphlet that highlights frequently used cleaning supplies, pet supplies, office materials and other necessities along with information on how to organize supply drives, fundraisers and how to volunteer at the shelter. The information pamphlet is available during normal business hours (noon to 5 p.m., Tues.-Sat.) at the CCHS facility located just off White Rock Road at 8280 North County Road 125 West.
"We've had people visiting and adopting more animals recently, and I believe it's because of a new awareness in the community about our selection of animals," Sorrels said. "We're at capacity all the time. Our main purpose is the animals. They come first."
For more information about the Clay County Humane Society, log onto www.clayhumane.com.