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Petitioning Bibb County (Georgia) Commissioners

Hire Van VanDeWalker as the Director of MBCAW

Communities generally do not want their municipal shelter to be nothing but a warehouse for animals waiting to die, but a place where homeless animals have an opportunity to be rescued or adopted. Rescues and volunteers are vital to the success of any animal shelter when saving lives is considered an integral part of the shelter’s mission. Van VanDeWalker brings with him a solid working relationship with area rescue groups and volunteers. This rapport is essential to keeping the shelter population down and reducing euthanasia.

Further, the willing participation of volunteers who feed, water, exercise and socialize the animals as well as helping to clean the shelter reduces costs and frees staff to concentrate on other tasks. If the shelter runs low on food, cat litter, cleaning supplies or other items, he has a willing support network of volunteers, rescue groups and individual animal lovers who immediately step in to assist, which also helps keep operating costs in check.

In Bibb County, education must be considered a key factor in reducing the number of homeless dogs and cats. AC Pup is a paradigm not only of what happens to many orphaned and abandoned puppies and dogs, but of what can happen when humans make the effort to show compassion. Van VanDeWalker is an excellent speaker, and along with AC Pup, has spent many hours in our schools, teaching the children to have compassion for animals. Their efforts at education may not be readily apparent, but continued work teaching children to care for animals is an investment in the future of animal welfare in this county that should not be underestimated.

In addition, Van VanDeWalker and AC Pup bring the marketing skills and fundraising ability of Central Georgia CARES. Public service television commercials and fundraising for special events and services are invaluable assets that cost the County nothing yet bring huge rewards. AC Pup is a popular "public figure" for both adults and children, and his position as shelter mascot helps attract potential adopters to the shelter.

As a director with the full support of the County Commission and taxpayers, Van VanDeWalker can propose and implement innovative ways to combat pet overpopulation, apply for grants, enhance adoptions, expand education initiatives and promote programs to spay/neuter and vaccinate pets.

In the past, he has been more than willing to listen to any ideas from the public as well as rescue groups that can help reduce overpopulation and euthanasia while raising adoption rates. As an ACO, and even as interim director, he did not have the power to fully explore, much less propose or implement these initiatives.

Working hand-in-hand with the Commission, with CARES, volunteers, rescue groups and the public, the shelter can explore options and institute programs that improve animal welfare without draining the budget.

Van's ability to lead and motivate, somthing that all shelters desperately need, has been a proven success at the shelter.  He has successfully gotten the community involved before (Central City Park, the fumigation [0% capacity], numerous adoptions, and has drastically diminished the number of euthanasias due to that community support) and has had great success in support from the community and other shelters.

As citizens of Macon/Bibb County, we urge you, the Bibb County Commissioners, to seriously consider giving Mr. VanDeWalker the position of Director of Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare.

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  • Bibb County (Georgia) Commissioners

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