A Very Special Thank You
A Tribute to Pat and Terry Vannerson
Terry Vannerson served for ten years as the executive director of the McCracken County Humane Society. (MCHS) Her husband, Pat Vannerson has served on the board of MCHS for more than 35 years. Together, they have given MCHS almost 50 years of exemplary service to our animals.
In the fall of 2011, some former employees of MCHS did some terrible things, which lead to public condemnation of MCHS. The county withdrew its support. The executive director and most of the board quit. Fortunately, Dr. Jim Schumaker remained as president and Pat Vannerson was the only other director. Some people from the community volunteered to be new board members. The new board’s first challenge was to find a new executive director in such difficult times.
Terry agreed to serve as the executive director, although she had little administrative experience. She worked hard to master the organization’s finances and attended several national seminars concerning the management of animal shelters. She got up in the middle of the night many times to care for sick or injured dogs brought to the shelter by animal control.
She transformed MCHS into an efficient organization and greatly improved the quality of care for our animals. Terry’s hard work, and the work of her dedicated staff led to the Extension Service of the University of Kentucky to declare that MCHS was one of the top five animal shelters in the Commonwealth.
Pat has volunteered thousands of hours of service to MCHS, primarily involving facility maintenance and care for the animals. Pat advised the board on maintenance issues and served as the board’s representative to all of the contractors who performed work for MCHS. Pat oversaw the expansion of MCHS which doubled its size and involved extensive upgrades to the original facility. Pat prepared the annual budgets.
Pat and Terry are the kind of people who look for tasks to do, do them well, and expect nothing in return, other than the knowledge and satisfaction that their work greatly improved the lives of our precious animals. MCHS will be forever grateful for their outstanding service.
As a testament to their effective leadership, they leave MCHS in a strong position. Our new director, Traci Phelps, and her very talented and hard working staff, continue to improve the quality of care for our animals and to engage in programs to bring more public awareness of MCHS.
Mark Whitlow , MCHS Board President