AuSable Valley Animal Shelter recognizes board member, donation
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Volunteers for the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter recently celebrated 30 years of a labor of love and financial support to help lower operating costs.
The AuSable Valley Animal Shelter recognized Sharon Priebe with the presentation of a commemorative clock to recognize her 30 years of service with the non-profit organization.
Priebe first became involved with the animal shelter when Marge and Jim Carmean served as animal control officers for Crawford County.
“Over the years, I’ve stayed right with it,” Priebe said.
Priebe became more active with the shelter in 2000, when a group of citizens sought to oust the late Dixie Lobsinger from serving as the director of the animal shelter.
Following the dispute, animal shelter volunteers met with U.S. Department of Rural Development and Crawford County officials to plan and fund a new shelter.
“We moved right on down the road and built a new shelter,” Priebe said.
Shortly after opening in 2007, the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter implemented and no-kill policy through aggressive adoption and spay and neuter programs. The animal shelter remains among the top five no-kill shelters in Michigan.
“We’ve come a long way, carrying on Dixie’s dream, and I’m proud to know that I’ve been part of that,” Priebe said.
Priebe said her involvement with the shelter grew out of her love for animals.
“I was born a farmer, so animals are hugely important to me and animal lives are hugely important to me,” she said.
Although it is bittersweet to be stepping away from the animal shelter’s board of directors, Priebe vowed that she would not be a stranger.
“It’s tough. It’s hard,” Priebe said. “I won’t totally go away. I would still like to help with fundraising. I would still like to do what I can to make it easier for them to do what they do so well.”
Priebe acknowledged that the animal shelter is being left in good hands.
“The new board is going to move right on and do a spectacular job,” Priebe said. “I couldn’t be happier with the people in charge on that board. Every one of them has a great, great love of animals.”
The AuSable Valley Animal Shelter Board also recognized the Grayling Rotary Club for helping the shelter cut down its utility bills.
Earlier this year, the Rotary Club awarded a $1,000 grant to the animal shelter. The grant was used to purchase LED lights and fixtures. The lights were placed on the interior and the exterior of the shelter.
“I wanted to help with lowering their operating expenses, and this was one way to do that,” said Brad Summers, a past Grayling Rotary Club president.
In addition, sensors were placed in the occupancy rooms of the shelter. The upgrades allow employees and volunteers to carry food and other items into the rooms without having to deal with light switches. The lights turn on when they enter the room and shut off shortly after they exit.
Summers, whose wife Barb is the secretary/treasurer for the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter board, facilitated the grant request on behalf of the animal shelter.
“We do a lot internationally, but the Rotary Club wanted to be more community conscious, and that was a good fit for the shelter and it worked for the Rotary as well,” Summers said.