Chavarria ensuring quality of life for animals throughout county
By Carole Robinson, Senior Staff Writer
Darrell Waltrip presents the December Hometown Hero trophy and a $500 check to Laura Chavarria, Williamson County Animal Control & Adoption Center director with County Mayor Rogers Anderson, WCAC Community Relations Coordinator Mark Basenberg and Executive General Manager & VP Darrell Waltrip Automotive Group on hand.
There’s no doubt about it, Williamson County love their animals, but sometimes even much-loved pets have to be surrendered.
Under the new leadership of director Laura Chavarria, the shelter at Williamson County Animal Control and Adoption Center in Franklin has a new look and a renewed purpose.
Those residents facing the trauma of giving up or those interested in adopting a pet are benefitting from Chavarria’s fresh perspective and passion for service to the community.
For her efforts in improving the conditions for shelter animals, employees and clients, Chavarria was named Darrell Waltrip’s Hometown hero for December.
“All of my family are animal lovers and have always wanted to start an adoption center,” said Waltrip during the award presentation at his automotive dealership.
“I think I should send them to help you. We learned if you want a sweet animal adopt them. They are the best and will always love you.”
Along with improving the general cleanliness and appearance of the shelter with lobby TV monitors and skylights, Chavarria also implemented a marketing plan that includes monthly adoption promotions and the use of social media to bring more visibility to the shelter.
With only 10 employees to care for the more than 4,000 animals passing through the shelter annually, Chavarria relies heavily on a team of volunteers.
They are essential when it comes to interacting with shelter residents and preparing them for a new home.
According to Chavarria, WCAC makes every effort to be a no-kill shelter by regularly reaching out to the community with adoption days to find loving homes for her charges.
She stresses education and outreach to residents to explain the temperament of various breeds, including the American Pit Bull Terrier, which has acquired a bad reputation.
“Her level of enthusiasm is contagious and she brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise which will continue to make our shelter the best in the state,” said County Mayor Rogers Anderson, “Laura takes great pride and ownership in each of the shelter animals and diligently reaches out to the community scheduling adoption days.”
Chavarria graduated from Ohio State University with a major in biology and animal science and served as quality assurance officer for East Tennessee Clinical Research, a veterinary pharmaceutical company.
She went on to join Lee County (Ft. Myers, Fla.) Domestic Animal Services where she was an animal care specialist, animal control officer and served in a supervisory role.
“I a looking forward to continue to serve the citizens of Williamson County and will endeavor to provide high quality programs and services to our community,” Chavarria said. “I have many dreams and visions for the shelter and I am looking forward to carrying them out.”
The award included a trophy and a $500 check, which will go towards dog and cat food at the shelter.
Williamson County Animal Control and Adoption Center is located at 106 Claude Yates Dr. in Franklin. Personnel at the Center answer calls about strays, lost pets and investigate cruelty and neglect. The on-site veterinarian provides for the health of incoming animals and spay /neuter surgeries to animals owned by county residents – free to those who qualify.
Many of the lost pets are reunited with their owners while the others are put into the adoption program. The center is open for adoptions Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Check out some of the adoptable animals at www.adoptwcac.org.
For information about volunteer opportunities or adopting an animal, call 790-5590.
Posted on: 12/26/2013