Taos Bark

Stray Hearts Animal Shelter hires new director

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Well, here is the latest news, dear readers - our Stray Hearts Animal Shelter in Taos has been successful in hiring a new executive director. Her name is Cindy Lucas, and her official start date was Oct. 2. Lucas has experienced 37 years of animal rescue and advocacy, including 17 years as the executive director of a shelter in West Virginia.

Congratulations to the board for a job well done.

The past few years in Taos, Lucas has dedicated a large part of her time continuing her animal advocacy and lovingly caring for her own pets.

Always rescuing and bringing strays home inevitably evolved into a nonprofit animal shelter started by Lucas with $440 in West Virginia. When Lucas left for Taos after 14 years, the West Virginia shelter was providing its community spay/neuter and vaccination clinics and two mobile spay/neuter vans - all located on 3 acres - with money in the bank. Adding to Lucas' list of accomplishments is her successful experience in grant writing, fundraising and community development.

That Lucas began her shelter in a small town in a state with similar economic challenges as Taos can only be considered an asset for our community. Community outreach and development is a high priority. Meeting and talking with you, the public, is an important goal and one she looks forward to.

We need to move on and receive this gift with an open heart and all of our support. Let us all help get our shelter back to being healthy and strong. We have to get over our negative feelings and help lead into a positive future. The animals deserve that, don't they?

Walking for felines

Taos Feral Feline Friends held the 13th annual "Paws for the Cause Walkathon" this past Saturday, Oct. 7. Three "walkers" - Mish Rosete, Ben Mitchell and Dr. Kim Sides of Salazar Veterinary Clinic - took on the task of walking 27 miles for TFFF's only fundraiser by raising pledges for each walker.

A reception was held at the Bent Masonic Lodge, where the walkers were welcomed by many supporters and friends at the end of their 27-mile trek. And thank you to Taos County Commissioner Candyce O'Donnell, who came to show her support. A good time was had by all with a hearty buffet of food and treats. Also, a silent auction offered items from leading Taos galleries, stores and restaurants - more than 100 items.

If you support animal welfare or just love cats and couldn't attend this year, you can still donate directly to TFFF by calling (575) 737-9208. Your support is absolutely essential to keeping TFFF open and providing free spaying/neutering and animal vaccinations throughout Taos County.

This fundraiser is held every year in October, so mark your calendar and be sure to attend next year. I'll see you there! Thank you, Leanne and Bill Michell, for your service to our community and this special community event.

Contact taosbark@gmail.com or (575) 613-3448.

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