PIERCETON — The Board of Directors for the non-profit Animal Welfare League of Kosciusko County recently announced Tonya Blanchard as their new executive director.
“This is my passion, helping these animals and our community,” said Blanchard.
Blanchard has been vice-president of Indiana Dimensional Products for the past 20 plus years. She was a volunteer at AWL for almost 13 years and joined the Board of Directors in 2019. Blanchard had stepped away from her family business.
“Life is too short,” said Blanchard. “This is my purpose.”
She is also a board member for Rudy’s Dog Park and a member of Vineyard Community Church.
As the new executive director, she has already implemented new procedures improving the quality of life for those animals in the care of the AWL team. She has started several new programs including “Nursery Nannies” for mother cats and kittens, plant a tree in honor of a pet, a drive-through microchip clinic, and making the “Pages and Paws” program for kids reading aloud to shelter buddies available on a daily basis.
Blanchard has also partnered with Cardinal Services for both hiring employees and for volunteers to spend time with the kittens. She’s also worked with the Kosciusko Community Corrections program, having used over 700 service hours this summer at the shelter. She would like to recognize all the employees and volunteers for all their hard work at the shelter.
“They also have a passion to do this work,” said Blanchard.
The shelter has also worked hard to maintain a ‘no-kill’ status and is a non-profit organization that serves the entire county.
“We get help from Kosciusko County, Warsaw and North Webster for our services and soon will be asking others in the community for their help,” said Blanchard. “Besides staring and daily needs of the pets, the shelter has spay/neuter, vaccines, flea and tick, heartworm and microchip expenses for nearly every pet that comes through our doors along with mortgage payments and utilities.”
This year, the shelter has already taken in 902 pets from all areas of the community.
The Animal Welfare League is also a new member of the Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce and is working closely with the Kosciusko County Community Foundation to help understand any grants that might be available for the shelter.
“We want to be more involved in our community,” said Blanchard.