Wilson speaks up for animals

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Most of us are familiar with the tireless work of the Shelby County Humane Society and other similar groups, such as Sanctuary Animal Rescue in Alabaster and Joe Jackson’s Dog World located in Jemison.

Last Saturday, the three groups of volunteers, owners, directors, etc., had more than 60 animals available for adoption in a huge tent in front of PetSmart in Alabaster.

Shelby County Humane Society Executive Director Jenny Wilson holds one of her four-legged friends. (Contributed)

The animals had been given their appropriate shots, neutered or spayed and microchipped. If you are an animal lover, you could choose from the cutest, the smallest, the bravest (or so he looked), the calmest, the friskiest, the shyest or the biggest.

Brown, black, polka-dot, white, spotted and mottled were present. It was a very hot day, so there were kiddie swimming pools to cool off the animals and lots of volunteers to keep a constant “walkathon” readily available for the dogs. The heat was extreme — and cats will dash across the parking lot — so the cats were inside PetSmart instead of under the huge tent.

I talked with Humane Society Executive Director Jenny Wilson about her job. Wilson is a 1998 graduate of Thompson High School who chased a corporate dream.

She graduated from college, then got her law degree from Indiana University with a major in corporate banking and litigation.

Wilson decided to start anew by pursuing her need of “speaking up for the animal who cannot speak for himself.” After one year as the executive director, she said, “This is my purpose and my passion.”

As Wilson passed by the cages, she would call each animal by its name, and if I asked she would tell me what kind they were. I loved the info tag on each cage — age, mix or breed, personality and other tidbits you might need to know if considering adoption.

Several of the volunteers were actually rocking some of the dogs that seemed a little upset by the crowd.

The Shelby County Humane Society handles more than 5,000 animals per month. Friday, 24 were adopted, and at 11 a.m. on Saturday, six more had been approved.

Wilson’s hope was that 100 would be adopted during the three-day event.

With adoption, the new owner is given a packet of coupons worth $250, colorful collars and leashes, plus tons of advice.

If you are thinking about a pet for your children, grandchildren or yourself, please consider adopting one of these animals. For a very reasonable fee they come ready to go with all medical needs addressed and the gift pack.

The SCHS has an extensive website and Wilson would be happy to personally assist you.

Community columnist Sandra Thames can be reached by email at bobthames1942@yahoo.com.