I have been a volunteer for the shelter for over six years. I am heartbroken that our shelter is closing. I have worked through three different shelter administrations. I have seen mismanagement in the past but have stayed involved because of my love for the animals. Each time we got new management my hopes went up that this time we would get it right. Recently with our new director Barbara Faulkner, a new board and Randy Schmidt, I again had great hopes. I saw Barbara and Randy take on an enormous responsibility, trying to dig us out once again. I saw firsthand their commitment to turning our shelter around against insurmountable odds. The shelter struggles to overcome a reputation of mistrust and mismanagement in addition to a lack of funding.
I know our shelter has had many problems in the past. This time I saw us moving in a positive direction. Barbara took over a thankless job and worked full-time hours on a part-time salary to try to save our shelter. The staff and volunteers are the most amazing, generous, giving people I have ever known. They spend hours walking dogs to get them out of their kennels, loving them so that they would not fear people and taking them on endless adoption events, giving up their weekends to do so.
I have learned that no matter how hard you try, when your community does not support your efforts, you are doomed to fail. The shelter survives on a combination of dog license fees, fundraisers, income from bingo, help from some of our local businesses and donations.
- Written by Becky Babyak, Bellefontaine