Jackson County hires new animal shelter director

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Improving the aging conditions of the Jackson County animal shelter and the well being of the animals are the top things on the new director's to-do list.  Diane Robinson was officially hired at the board of supervisors meeting Monday.

"I have been working in animal welfare for about eight years now and in some form of animal work all my life and this seem like an amazing way to be part of the community,"  Robinson said.

The new director was all smiles as she chatted with county leaders and citizens about her qualifications and goals to improve the facility in Gautier.

"Things the county has already talked about, I think, are really good ideas to get a flooring down... and fix the gates. It's looking at the health and well being of the animals, so whatever is going to help improve the conditions while they are there is great." 

Robinson knows the shelter is overcrowded; It's a problem she wants to tackle this year.

"Overcrowding throughout the nation is a reality. There is a real positive thing going on with networking. Transferring animals to where if we have too much of one kind of animal, we can transfer them to another part of the country that needs those kind of animals," Robinson said.

Supervisor John McKay likes the idea.

"The challenges we have is the one that has always gotten us is that we put too many animals to sleep out there. What we are hoping to do is get more adoption programs,"  McKay said.

Robinson replaces Bill Richmond, who retired earlier this year. Supervisors received dozens of job applications, and decided Robinson has the skills to promote the shelter in a more positive light.

"I think the shelter has a stigma that follows it from the past. I think the past director has done a lot to improve it and has come a long way, but I think the new hire will be someone to take this to the next level," Supervisor Troy Ross said.

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