Spotlight on Animal Heroes – The Warwick Valley Dispatch

Suzanne Barron, president of the Warwick Valley Humane Society

How would you describe someone who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors who runs the Warwick Valley Humane Society, does animal control work, brings kittens home to foster, participates in or leads cruelty investigation cases, writes a pet column for the local newspaper, and supervises staff Paid and volunteer volunteers, developing community outreach programs, are you a disaster relief responder? After serving as treasurer when she joined the board in 1990, she became president in 2000 and has since established a low-cost spay/neuter program, improved existing facilities, and in 2023 opened a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter. These are just a few of the areas and projects that fall within the broad scope of its duties.

Too many words come to mind – a few of which are dedicated, dynamic, compassionate, forward-thinking, creative, tireless, intelligent, and focused – but they describe a respected and admirable woman, Suzanne Barron.

Starting with her photo as a 2-year-old in the New York Daily News kissing her beloved boxer Mambo, Suzin’s career path was varied until she found her true calling when she followed her heart and began working with animals.

Over time, her shelter began handling animals other than household pets, and now includes a program to help wildlife in need. But as services have increased, the public’s perception and expectations of shelters have changed, and in Sosin’s words: “Unfortunately personal responsibility is diminished when people try to avoid the word surrender or surrender and think they are just rehoming an animal.”

Anyone who has worked or knows someone who works in animal care knows how frustrating a lack of commitment to four-legged family members can be. Add to that staff shortages, financial issues, and endless but individualistic animals that break your heart, and it’s clear that anyone who has done this for any length of time with such a long list of personal and professional accomplishments is remarkable!

Just coping on a daily basis can be a challenge, but implementing many successful programs, including work with domestic violence shelters and other daily improvements, deserves special recognition, but for her this is what she does.

With everything she has going on now, Suzin plans to make continued upgrades to her new shelter and wildlife rehabilitation and education center in the future. Considering her past accomplishments, there is no doubt that she will accomplish it all!

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