(March 14, 2014) Four months after the ouster of its former board president, the Worcester County Humane Society has named a new director.
“It’s a new day and I’m excited about that,” said Linda Lugo, who’s worked for Wicomico County animal shelters since 1994. “I just feel like this little shelter is a diamond in the rough and we’re going to get the word out about what we do.”
Lugo joins two full-time and one part-time employee and a slew of volunteers at the no-kill shelter. She brings experience as a kennel attendant, adoptions agent, animal control technician and most recently, executive director of the Wicomico Animal Shelter for more than 10 years.
“When I was hired in 1994 and got in and started working with the animals, I just felt like I found my niche,” she said. “I love working with animals.”
With a degree in social work, Lugo said she also enjoys the human side to her work, whether it’s reuniting owners and lost pets, educating people on how to work with their pets or making the match between an animal and family.
With the shelter still working its way out of a financial hole, people skills will be vital moving forward.
“It takes a lot of money to run a shelter and take care of an animal, and this shelter exists almost solely on the donations of people,” Lugo said. “Probably the biggest challenge is to make us more visible in the public and just to let people know who we are and where we are what were about.
“But that’s a challenge for every shelter,” she said.
One way to encourage donors is by showing where their money goes specifically, through programs like sponsoring an animal, she said.
The humane society also will attend events throughout the spring, starting tomorrow in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade on Coastal Highway. It will host yard sales and golf tournaments and have booths at the Spring Home and Condo Show, The Easter Show and Springfest, where the group will sell raffle tickets and items to raise funds for the animals.
The Humane Society’s new Ways and Means committee has been meeting monthly to work on the fundraisers, with a guest bartender night at Burley Oak Brewing Company March 24 and Board Walking for Pets slated for April 26.
Lugo also plans to do outreach in local schools — something she did often in Wicomico County — and to expand the shelter hours beyond its current 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday schedule.
“I just want to do things to get the word out about what we do and let people know we’re here to help,” she said.
Lugo’s first day is Monday, March 17, when she starts her full-time position.
Those interested in helping with events or volunteering should call the shelter at 410-213-0146.
Visit the updated Worcester County Human Society website www.worcestercountyhumanesociety.org to see photos and profiles of animals up for adoption, or visit the Humane Society on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorCoHumaneSociety.