You might think the founder of Susie’s Fund would be upset about the fact that Guilford County is doing away with the well-known fund set up to help cover the medical costs for injured and abused animals that ended up at the Guilford County Animal Shelter, however, Roberta Wall, who gave the fund its name and helped establish it, said nothing could be further from the truth.
Guilford County recently decided to do away with Susie’s Fund –named after a Greensboro dog that was badly beaten and burned and Wall said this week that she fully supports the county in not just this decision but in many other areas regarding the county’s animal welfare efforts. She said major progress in animal welfare is being made in Guilford County.
Wall said she fully understands why Guilford County made the decision to do away with the fund. According to Wall, doing away with Susie’s Fund, which was connected to a different agency, and replacing it with a new fund that accepts donations from citizens – and uses them for a broad range of animal welfare purposes – is a good idea.
“I am so fine with the county going in a different direction,” she said.
She said Susie’s Fund was established in 2010 and it was actually an outgrowth of a previous fund at the Animal Shelter called “Cindy’s Fund,” which Wall said she believed was named after dog that was thrown out of a moving car.
Of course, the plight and recovery of Susie, a dog that was burned and left for dead and found in a Greensboro Park, brought national attention to the fund that ultimately grew to over a quarter of a million dollars.
Wall said she’s been highly impressed with the way Guilford County has been addressing animal issues in 2018. She said that new shelter Director Jorge Ortega has been doing an excellent job.
“He has great ideas and good connections,” she said.
One thing Ortega did that several predecessors could not was get the animal shelter to pass a state inspection. Earlier this year, state inspectors commented on the night and day change in conditions at the Guilford County Animal Shelter.
According to Wall, at times people are too quick to criticize the shelter and the staff who run it. She said it’s obvious the Animal Shelter is headed in the right direction and Ortega is doing what he can to make that happen.
“It’s a slow process and you can’t do it overnight,” she said. “He only got here in January.”
Wall said that everyone should support adoptions at the shelter, donate money to the new fund and get solidly behind the county’s efforts.
“Their hearts are in this,” she said of county staff.
Wall added that, in her view, Guilford County needs to implement “differential licensing,” a system in which the county charges owners a pet licensing fee, with a higher cost for owners if their pets aren’t spayed or neutered.
“I’m a realtor and I have people ask me all the time, ‘Where do I pay the yearly fee that other counties charge?” she said.
Wall said that money, like the money collected in an animal welfare fund, could be used to help the animals in the shelter’s care.