Shelter We Love Award for Johnston County Animal Shelter
Ernie Wilkinson: Johnston County Animal Services is an amazing example of what can be accomplished with determination and a love for animals. Ernie has worked to create robust volunteer and community outreach programs. Ernie is always willing to reach out to other agencies to share knowledge and build coalitions to benefit the animals in NC. His nominations were not only from the animal advocate community, but from Animal Control Officers in other counties. This speaks volumes about his coalition building! Ask Ernie about his spay/neuter program! He is truly a community leader and an asset to our animal welfare agencies throughout the state.
Ernie (and his team) are one of four winners this year. Mark Balestra of Char/Meck Animal Care and Control gave Ernie his award at a press conference at 9:00 am on April 12th in front of the Legislative Building in Raleigh. Ernie was nominated not only by animal advocates but also by fellow animal control officers. It is really good to see the animal advocates and animal welfare folks all participating.
In an effort to celebrate our shelters and bring awareness to the shelter crisis in NC, North Carolina Voters for Animal Welfare and the HSUS have created a Shelters We Love Campaign.
The goal is to ask animal advocates and animal welfare workers to nominate shelters and animal control agencies for one of 4 awards to be given annually at NC Humane Lobby Day (April 12th this year).
To qualify a shelter must excel in forming coalitions, creating and/or supporting policy to improve the lives of animals, fostering community relationships and working on innovative ways to help combat our shelter crisis. Our shelters are working harder than ever with limited resources...we want to show our appreciation and support. Last year shelter staff in NC were forced to euthanize close to 260,000 animals. The cost to shelters to euthanize unwanted pets is approximately $30 million annually. This crisis requires our immediate attention not only to animals at risk but also the men and women that we ask to perform this monumental task. The Shelters We Love Program will draw attention to the people within our community shelters, something drastically lacking at this point.