Special Group Of Dedicated People Keeps Shelter Going












Red’s babies. It’s a term you’ll often hear around the shelter. These are usually the pups that are living in the front puppy house where Red, aka Kenneth Wright, most often works.

Like most of the staff, Red can do any of the jobs, but this is his usual place. It’s where most of the puppies live, and some grow to a point in time when they are considered teenagers.

As with all of the staff at Payson Humane Society, Red has a special place in his heart for animals — all animals. You could never tell it by looking, but his kind and gentle nature lends something special to the homeless puppies that make their way to us. He can often be heard in there, his low-pitched, gruff voice speaking ever so gently and kindly to his babies. They look and listen to every word he says. They know and believe in people because they are being handled by such a caring person.

He has the same effect on some of the animals that come in as adults, but have been traumatized by brutality. Sheba, for instance, trusts only Red. She’s slowly but surely  coming around to the rest of us, but with Red, something about him made her feel she could trust him almost immediately.

Payson Humane Society is very lucky to have such caring and devoted people on staff. Not only Red, but Tober and Travis, who handle the bulk of the adult dog population, as well as some of the overflow of puppies. This small but mighty team bring a perfect mix of gentleness, love and strength that is needed when handling so many adult dogs.

Cristal is our quiet queen of clean. She is hard-working and always busy. She is skilled in every department at the shelter, and is tough enough to handle any task that’s put in front of her. Yet she is gentle enough to be able to give tiny babies the care they require.

Jennifer is an important figure in the cat houses, and knows each cat and their needs. She often opens her heart and home to provide foster care for kittens who are too tiny to survive the shelter environment.

The youngest member of our team is Sasha. She is the baby of the family and has a wonderful future in the world of animal rescue. She has grown so much since she first showed up last summer.

The intake and adoption coordinator is Chandra. She somehow manages to keep it all in the computer and still know each animal by name and have time to give love each day. Without her, the train could derail very easily. I lovingly refer to her as our brainiac — she’s the go-to girl if you have a question.

There’s also Robbie — he’s our cleaning-it-all man. He works hard to keep us in clean litter pans and dishes so we can make it through each day.

Of course, in the office are our lovelies — Patti and Janet.

Patti graciously and, almost always with a smile on her face, meets and greets most every person who walks through the door. Not to mention, she works tirelessly to find grants to help with the many aspects of keeping our facility going as well as funding for the spay and neuter opportunities we have been able to bring the community. She is also the volunteer coordinator.

Janet is the bean-counter who keeps us in check and on track. She’s always there to answer a question and lend a hand where she’s needed.

Ellie Watson is our fearless leader. This small-framed warrior is willing and able to handle any task in the facility. She is a true source of strength and leading by example.

Well, that leaves me, Lisa — the animal care supervisor. I guess I’m the coach and often the ring master. And, yes, I’m blessed to get to spend my days with this wonderful group of people and the animals we love dearly.

If you’d like to learn more about our organization and the animals it helps, come and see us at 812 S. McLane Road or on the Web at www.paysonhumanesociety.com.

We are having the first annual Pet-a-Palooza Jan. 24 at Safeway. If you’d like to set up a booth or do a demo, please call us at 474-5590.


Monty, Cricket, Sambo and Quinton all came from the same litter. Four of their sisters have already been adopted, so it is up to you to help the remaining four find their forever homes. They are 5 months old and current on all their shots. They have all been spayed or neutered. They are playful and energetic, and each has their own unique personality. They get along with each other and other dogs. We do offer one free training class with an adoption, so any little concerns you may have can be addressed at the training session. Please come down and meet them and experience how sweet they truly are. They are counting on you.


Sheba is one of our special needs cases. As Lisa stated, it’s hard for her to trust anyone. We believe that she will come out of this shell and blossom into a comfortable, affectionate girl, in the right environment. She needs someone who will be patient and understanding and love and accept her as she is, insecurities and all. We aren’t sure what happened with Sheba, but what we do know is she definitely needs a loving family that will make her feel safe.


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