Tail-waggin’ thanks

Submitted photo

Thanksgiving is just TWO days away. I hope you have your turkey, casseroles and pumpkin pies ready to go. I sure don’t, but I’ll get there.

For now, it’s time to focus on the more important aspect of the holiday: the giving of thanks.

Writer William Arthur Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

So here is a small, newspaper-wrapped gift of appreciation to the people who make everything we do at the SPCA Albrecht Center possible.

To our fearless leader, President Barbara Nelson, and our exceptional management team – Shelter Manager Sybil Altman, Operations Manager Michelle Floyd, Training & Enrichment Director Ann Kinney, and Community Outreach Director Amy Banton – your dedication to this organization is amazing, and I am thrilled to be part of your team.

Thanks to our volunteer coordinator and receptionist team, Heather Dry and Kellyn Morrison. These ladies help keep our volunteers and clients happy and keep the front desk running smoothly.

Our maintenance team is composed of two hard-working gentlemen: Steve Ferguson and Jason Morrison, who take care of the daily cleaning, fixing and heavy-lifting. Thanks, guys, for always staying on top of your neverending to-do list!

The team in our clinic is still fairly new but already doing an excellent job taking excellent care of our shelter animals and our clients’ pets. Big thanks to Receptionist Heather Tager, Veterinary Assistants Courtney Arbaugh and Sherry Allocco, and Doctors Rick Williams and Jason Wright.

Our staff of animal caretakers do the job that many people think they want, but few are able to stick with. Highly rewarding but sometimes astonishingly unpleasant, this job takes a special kind of dedication. Thank you for all of your hard work: Adoption Coordinator Nate Darlington, Cat Care Specialist Emily Smith, and Pet Care Specialists Ashley Eidenier, Jevon Garcia, Karen Johnson, Lyndsey Leitch, Taylor Sawyer and Elaine Widener.

The SPCA Thrift Shops are a crucial component of our organization. There are no animals to care for in these stores, but there is plenty of work to do and money to be made to help us care for the animals in our shelter, and provide affordable veterinary care in our clinic. Thank you to our super store managers: Susan Behnke, Karen Boyd, Brittany Jackson, Jennifer McBride and John Sanders.

Finally, there is our amazing team of volunteers. Dog walkers and trainers, cat cuddlers, adoption ambassadors, office assistants, event helpers, retail volunteers and more. These people go above and beyond to help us with whatever we need and make sure our adoptable animals are well loved and socialized while they await adoption. I can’t name them all, but THANK YOU to each and every volunteer who contributes their time and energy to the cause we all hold dear.

Included in our volunteer team is our board of directors. This group of compassionate citizens makes sure we stay focused on our mission and remain dedicated to the cause, despite the obstacles and challenges that come our way. Thank you for your support!

Speaking of support, thank you to our gold sponsors: Aiken Saddlery, Auto Tech, City of Aiken Parks & Recreation, Cummings Insurance, the Dog & Hound, Linda’s Bistro, Malia’s, NBC 26, Return Engagement and Smith, Massey, Brodie, Guynn & Mayes LLC; and our silver sponsors: Atlantic Broadband and Hutson-Etherredge Companies.

Last but certainly not least, thank YOU – our donors, adopters, clients, visitors, friends, fans and advocates. The good we are able to do every single day would not be possible without your help and support.

I am grateful and honored to be part of this organization. You can be part of it too! Right now, we’re accepting applications for a pet care specialist; apply in person at 199 Willow Run Road or email sheltermgr@letlovelive.org.

We are also in great need of thrift shop volunteers. Make your own schedule and help in a variety of ways. Visit www.LetLoveLive.org/volunteer for information, or speak with any of our thrift shop managers. Stores are located at 1557 Whiskey Road in Mitchell Shopping Center, 1021 York St. and 404 Richland Ave.

From our family to yours, have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Sarah Neikam is the marketing director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare.

She previously held the role of volunteer coordinator and has a background in business administration. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her husband, Tom, mother, Cheryl and three adopted cats: Bastian, Eddie and Luna.