BTN FEATURE: Meredith retires from Butler County Animal Shelter
During the five years that Susan Meredith was the Director of the Butler County Animal Shelter several changes took place that were both beneficial to the animals and residents alike. While speaking with Susan, I asked what she felt was the biggest changes she was able to enact to make the shelter a better place than when she first took it over. One big change was the amount of people that have begun to ask about donating and volunteering their time to the shelter. By utilizing social media and networking within the community, more people have realized how important the shelter has become. With the amount of people willing to help now, various fundraisers such as the dog wash and the pet portraits have helped grow funding to buy the many essentials that the animals need. One of those needs when Susan first took over were beds for the dogs. Now all dogs have Karanda beds, which keep them elevated off the kennel floors. They are easy to clean and reusable. Previously the rescue efforts were geared more towards dogs only, however, Susan has a large heart for all animals including cats and she has helped change the mentality at the shelter regarding the cat population. Now they can find several homes for the cats as well as dogs.
Donations and fundraising have been such a vital part of the shelter during Susan’s management. They depend on this kindness when the budget runs thin for the never-ending care of the pets. Currently the shelter is in dire need for a new van for transports. Several pets find homes via transports. The pets are taken to meet other rescues that then disperse them to other shelters in other states where they may have a better chance at adoption. Right now, the staff at the shelter has to say a silent prayer each time they make a long trek in the van, because with over 200,000 miles on it to date, it could break down at any moment. Any support the community could offer the shelter is greatly appreciated.
However, after the 31st of the month, Susan will the pass the torch to Ruby Fooks. An exceptional choice for the position, Ruby has worked for several years at Heritage Animal Hospital and has an associate degree in Veterinary Medicine. Her passion, experience, and education will enable her take over the helm of the shelter and continue to make it a positive, safe environment for shelter pets.
When asked what she will do when her retirement begins, Susan jokingly said that she was going to finally have time to give her own dogs a bath. In addition to having more quality time with her own fur babies, she looks forward to having time to garden as well. Even though she will be leaving the shelter, Susan was very adamant that she would still visit to help the shelter out when she could as well as assist in fundraising efforts because the need for the pets is never ending. Susan’s compassion and determination are appreciated. This position is not for the faint of heart. The daily cleaning of the kennels alone could leave you reeling, not to mention the emotional portion of seeing animals come to them abandoned, abused, and sick. Individuals like Susan are rare because they have the will and ability to get up every morning and continue to do this tedious job because they want to make a difference. The bright spot in their day is when they can unite a pet and a human together, because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about finding homes for the pets and testing humanity to care.