|Adoption specialist enjoys a new challenge|
Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston:
Cindy Brooks is the new animal adoption specialist at the Franklin County Animal Shelter. Above, standing in front with Brooks, left, are Kristal Smith and Jasper, a lab/shepherd mix who needs a home. In the back row are Aubery Mays, Ben Lamm and Marvin Woods, along with two puppies who were recently found abandoned at a local dumpster.
Friday, January 25, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Cindy Brooks is the new animal adoption specialist for the Franklin County Animal Shelter.
She replaces Faye Hicks, who retired last fall after four years of service.
Originally from Roanoke, Brooks was raised on a horse farm and has always loved animals.
"I was an avid horse competitor," she said. "I've also bred, raised and shown Great Danes."
Over the years, Brooks has volunteered at many animal shelters and local SPCAs.
She also used to own a boarding facility for horses and taught riding lessons.
"After it (the boarding facility) dissolved two years ago, I went to work at Tractor Supply in Bedford," she said.
"After my training there, I transferred to the Rocky Mount store and became their assistant manager."
The Franklin County Animal Shelter works with other agencies to find homes for abandoned and unwanted animals.
"This job is something different for me," said Brooks. "It is a new challenge. The euthanasia rate here has dropped significantly and the adoption rate is up. I see a bright future for the shelter and for the animals."
Brooks is hoping that, in the near future, a new building with additional space for the puppy room and cat room will be added.
"This way, we can house and help more animals and keep them in a more updated and roomy facility," she said.
Brooks lives in Burnt Chimney with her husband, Keith. The couple has one daughter, Emily, who is a student at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, three miniature dachshunds and a Chihuahua.
The staff at the shelter is small, but large in their love of animals.
Relatively new to the staff is Ben Lamm, an animal control officer. Lamm has also been an animal lover his whole life and said he sees his work as a way to "help the animals and educate the public at the same time."
Kristal Smith, who has been the shelter's administrative assistant for over four years, is available to answer any questions the public may have.
"If anyone has found a stray animal or is missing a pet, they should call here first," said Brooks. "Kristal can let them know if their animal is on our lost and found list."
Also available to assist with questions is Capt. Marvin Woods and Aubery Mays, who keeps the kennels clean and the animals fed.
The Franklin County Animal Shelter accepts all abandoned and stray animals within the county and is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. There is a $25 fee to adopt an animal.
"We also offer financial help with spay and neutering for those that need it," said Brooks. "We even work with an animal food pantry that will help those who are having trouble affording food for their pet."
To contact the shelter, call 540-483-7440 or visit www.franklincountyva.org. Once on the website, a link to the shelter's Facebook page is also available.