Rockwall Animal Shelter Under New ManagementPublished: August 01, 2012
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Animal lovers in Rockwall have been following Rockwall Shelter news for months and now it’s official. As of today the Rockwall Animal Adoption Center is no longer operating as a city-run facility. Wednesday, August 1, is the first day for the shelter’s new management -- the Collin County Humane Society.
CCHS is taking over the operation of the Adoption Center while the City remains in charge of Animal Control. Animal control officers, employed by the City of Rockwall, will continue to be responsible for responding to calls from the public regarding stray or wild animals, abuse, licensing and enforcement of city regulations. The agreement provides an immediate 15% savings for the taxpayers of Rockwall and Heath.
During the transition period earlier this week we were able to talk with the new shelter director, Molly Peterson. Molly shared with us some of their goals and the improvements they have planned for the Rockwall Shelter.
"Many people get us confused with Collin County Animal Services," said Molly, president and director of the Collin County Humane Society. "CCHS is not connected to the county in any way. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, not affiliated with any other entity." The group has been in operation for four years, and has over 140 volunteers and 92 foster homes along with a network of rescue organizations in the area to draw on as resources in increasing the adoption rate and reduce holding times for shelter pets. As for naming, the group will call the adoption center operation "CCHS at Rockwall" to affirm their new connection to the community while keeping the identity they have built over the years.
"As a 501(c)(3), we are every bit as accountable to the public as any government agency about what we spend, if not more so," Peterson stated. "The IRS requires our books to be open to the public. We are keeping a separate bank account for shelter operations which will be audited annually by the city. Also, we have developed relationships with area veterinarians and vendors for their services at much lower costs than the city had. We know how to operate on a budget."
Molly will be responsible for the overall management of the facility. Joining her is Ashley Pickering , manager of adoptions, animal intake, and the foster and volunteer programs. The shelter will not be open to the public on Sundays, but will be staffed by Lara Pitek for maintenance and animal care. Lara’s expertise in dog training will be a valuable asset to the shelter.
The first order of business for the new management is to improve efforts to market shelter residents to more potential adopters. "We have the experience and resources to do a much better job of marketing. We have a semi-professional photo studio that was donated to us, so we can send out more attractive pictures of the animals. We are developing a sponsorship program to get more people and businesses involved in the welfare of these pets."
Another priority is to remain deeply involved with the volunteer community. On August 11, CCHS will host an orientation for the public to answer questions and to sign up members for various opportunities to help. The event will be held at the Adoption Center at 1825 Airport Road in Rockwall.
Brad Griggs, Rockwall Director of Municipal Services, the department responsible for the shelter, stated, "We are excited to be working with CCHS on this transition. We interviewed several organizations in seeking bids on the project, and this group stood head and shoulders above the rest. We feel this relationship will greatly benefit the animals and the public alike."
Plan to drop in soon and give a big welcome to Molly and her crew. And while you're at it, take some time and get acquainted with some of the residents there. You just may meet your new best friend!
Posted Wednesday, August 01, 2012 Sharon Lewis in Living, Pets, Volunteers, Communities, City of Rockwall,