Humane Society management gone to the dogs

Contrary to the accusations in an anonymous email sent to Pronews 7, it appears the new executive director at the Amarillo Panhandle Humane Society has brought nothing but positive changes to the non-profit organization.

According to the email, adoption numbers have decreased from hundreds per month to fewer than 20 a week. But Humane Society Vice President Sunny Hodge-Campbell looked at the numbers and says that is not the case.

"For the month of May so far, the first ten days of May, we've had 80 animals- 65 dogs, 11 cats and 4 rescues- that we've gotten out the door," she stated. So, that's huge. I mean, those are looking at, so far for the month of May, that could be record-breaking numbers."

Since Jena McFall took over the reins at the Humane Society about three months ago, the focus of the non-profit has changed. Getting as many animals as possible out the door is still the main goal, but little things that could make that goal more attainable have been given more attention. Customer service, for example, has been stressed to the employees and volunteers. McFall has also reached out to the local media and other businesses for support. And the animals at the shelter are getting the opportunities to step out of their kennels for some exercise and socializing.

"We have one employee who works solely with the animals," Hodge-Campbell pointed out. "So, he makes sure we're getting them out of their kennels multiple times a day. They're running, they're exercising, they're walking on a leash, we're playing ball with them. So, they're not just confined to a kennel all day."

The Humane Society works closely with the municipal shelter, and Amarillo Animal Control Executive Director Mike McGee feels McFall was just what the organization needed.

"We've challenged them to do different things that the old regime, we could not get to do," McGee said, "and this new group is very, very aggressive and all about change and very proactive and want to get more of the animals out."

McGee added that McFall is working with different veterinarians and is also trying to mend relationships that have been broken in the past.

"The relationship that has been built in the last three months with the new management at the Humane Society and the support from their exec board is phenomenal. I can only see things getting better and better for the animals and the community."

The Humane Society participated in a national adoption event a few weeks ago, and Hodge-Campbell says that event was very successful. So successful, in fact, that the North Shore Animal League has invited them to take part in another event this fall. The organization has stopped hosting adoptions at PetSmart, but McFall is planning other adoption events.

"One of the other good things is we're getting more and and more animals out to rescues," Hodge-Campbell added. "We've dropped fees down to sometimes, I think, there's no fees at all, just to move the animals out. And that's something new that we've done in the past three months and those numbers have actually increased."