By Stephen Dawkins
Scott Missildine wants animals at the Chilton County Humane Society to be adopted.
That’s no secret. In fact, adoption is one of the shelter’s basic missions.
While much time, effort and money has gone into making sure the animals are adoptable, the Humane Society has also taken steps to ensure the dogs and cats–and even a bird and a snake–are as comfortable as possible while they’re staying at the shelter in Clanton.
Missildine is relatively new to the director position. He started in Dec. 2011 after spending time at the humane societies in Prattville/Autauga and Montgomery. He’s also working with an almost entirely new board of directors: Jenny Milwee (president), Raymond Jones (vice-president), Tom Cuthbert (treasurer), Gina LeCroy (secretary), Jeff Hall, Mary Hurst, Rick Hurst, Kelly Maddox, Erika Manning, Kim McCulla, Tammy Messer, Leslie Miles, Kathy Plier and Jim Shannon.
“These are some fresh faces, some people that want to make a change and help this place move in the right direction,” Missildine said.
One of the first projects undertaken by the new director and board was improving the appearance of the front of the shelter. The area was landscaped and the building painted.
An addition to the front of the building was Dottie, a cartoon dog that has turned into a sort of mascot for the Humane Society.
“Now, people come in and say, ‘This place is nice; let’s go there,'” Missildine said. “Before, it was just kind of grass and trees. We don’t have a lot of money right now, so we’re just kind of doing things as we can.”
Alabama Power donated desks, chairs and a dry erase board for the shelter’s lobby. The company also donated a large air conditioning unit that keeps the front part of the building noticeably cooler.
Missildine has begun letting out the female dogs that are up for adoption.
“It’s good for them to run around and play and actually be dogs,” he said. “I’ve found that that calms them down a lot more. I hate keeping them in the cages.”
The shelter has also built shelves in two large rooms that belong to the cats. The cats enjoy their new perches, and they also help keep down sickness.
The Chilton County Humane Society is running a special on cats: $50, including spaying or neutering and insertion of a microchip.
For those who want to help but don’t want to adopt, the shelter also offers a foster program. Those interested in fostering should visit the Humane Society at 139 Shade Tree Drive, Clanton.
“It helps with personalization,” Missildine said. “When they’re here, they get put in pens or cages. When they can be in a home, they can adjust a lot more. There’s not as much stress when they do get adopted.”
The humane society has always offered a foster program, but Missildine gave it more structure and emphasis. Like everything else he does, it’s an effort to help the animals.
“I’ve always been interested in wildlife and animals in general–the connection that they have to people,” he said. “It’s rewarding because we see them come in here scared to death, and you get to see them change. They help people, too. Animals bring out the good in people.”