JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Director of the Jackson County Animal Shelter said it was one of the toughest decisions she has ever made. Diane Robinson announced this week that she is resigning.
Robinson has only been with the shelter a short time, but she has made numerous changes to improve the conditions and services at the facility.
Christine Ravens and her daughter fell in love with a black lab four days ago. On Thursday, they returned to the Jackson County Animal Shelter to adopt him. Ravens said she has noticed a more welcoming atmosphere at the facility in recent months.
"This place is a lot cleaner. Every time I come here, I feel the pets are being more taken care of," said Ravens.
Improving the conditions at the shelter was one of Robinson's top priorities when she took over the director's job 10 months ago.
"We're a much cleaner facility. We've established some intake procedures to create a healthier environment, so animals are all vaccinated and wormed on intake. That helps with the overall population health, because they're not spreading the diseases," said Robinson. "Our cleaning protocols have improved, and the cleaning agents that we're using are much more effective than some of the previous products that we've been using."
The population at the shelter ranges from around 200 to 240 animals a day. Robinson is proud of programs like working with other shelters and rescue groups to find the animals forever homes.
She said the improvements, along with growing public support, have helped boost morale among the staff.
"I think all of these changes have really allowed them to grow into the amazing folks that they are, and getting these animals adopted and helping people make the right match," said Robinson.
Although her time at the shelter is coming to an end, Robinson is not ready to leave just yet. She wants to wrap up several projects, like a volunteer and foster program, updating the animal ordinance and finalizing plans to build a new shelter.
"All the wonderful things that have happened here, the growth and improvements that have happened here, it's bitter sweet leaving it. Once you give yourself so much to something, it's hard to leave, and there's a lot of great projects," said Robinson.
Her new position will be Director of Operations for the Atlanta Humane Society's Mansell Campus.
Her last day on the job in Jackson County has not been determined yet. Robinson also plans to spend some time helping the Jackson County Board of Supervisors find her replacement.