The Montgomery Humane Society prevents cruelty to animals by operating an animal shelter for homeless, abandoned, and unwanted animals; by operating an adoption center for healthy animals; by investigating cruelty and abuse cases; and by educating the public in animal owner responsibility.
Saving Lives…Completing Families
“In the 1920s a small group of citizens organized a Humane Society.”
In the 1920s a small group of citizens organized a Humane Society. As a result of their efforts, a local law was enacted by the legislature creating the job of humane officer whose salary of $150 would be equally divided between the city and the county. A vehicle would also be provided to him, with upkeep maintained by the city and county. The humane officer was to warn offenders of cruelty followed by their arrest unless conditions improved. One of the board members at the Humane Society kept cages in her yard for animals since there were no provisions for years for housing of stray animals. Finally, in November, 1949, Mrs. David Crosland asked some known humanitarians to meet at her house to discuss a re-organization of the Humane Society since, by then most of the original group had died or moved away. Their first effort was to obtain some cages from the city which were put in the stable of the humane officer who was also a horse dealer. This proved to be inadequate. Finally in 1951, our board appealed to the city and county for sufficient financial support to operate a real animal shelter and that the board be answerable to the city and county with the humane officer continuing to be answerable to the board. An agreement was reached making it possible in October 1951 to rent a vacant veterinary hospital on Norman Bridge Road near Catoma Creek.
Board members active in the reorganization of the Humane Society were Mrs. Files Crenshaw Jr., Mrs. David Crosland Jr., Mrs. George P. Dean, Mr. William B. Griffen, Mrs. Clyde Pearson, Mr. T. Leslie Samuel Sr., Mrs. Gaynor Turner, and Mrs. E. M. Tutwiler. Once we had a decent shelter and some publicity, animals were brought to us by the public as well as by the county rabies inspector who only picked up uninoculated dogs in September and October of each year.
In 1952, a bequest of $10,000 from the late Mrs. Nina Winter Pinckard enabled us to buy property at 2599 Mobile Highway where we operated our Shelter through the spring of 1995 when we moved to our current facility on John Overton Drive. We had a mortgage on the shelter on the mobile highway with a balance of approximately $8000. On the property was a dwelling in a small kennel. Mrs. Rose Jarvis was hired as a humane officer, and she and her family lived in the dwelling. About February 1961 she retired and Vernon Newhart, a retired Master Sergeant, was hired as humane officer. Just before he and his wife Truitt were to move in the rains of 1961 began, and the property was flooded. Mr. David Crossland, Master Sergeant Newhart and kennel employees worked in waist-high water carrying animals to waiting trucks on the road. The animals were boarded by veterinarians overnight they were returned the next day after the waters receded.
“Mr. David Crossland, Master Sergeant Newhart and kennel employees worked in waist-high water carrying animals to waiting trucks on the road.”
“…dilapidated conditions, cramped quarters for animals, the poor location of the shelter, and many other factors necessitated the need for the board to begin plans to build a new shelter.”
In 1967, a bequest from the late Mrs. Elizabeth Winter Watts (a sister of Mrs. Pinckard, two of the founders in the 1920’s of the Humane Society) made it possible to borrow additional money to build the front building of the shelter on the Mobile Highway after the land was filled in. The total price was $62,801.45. Mr. Joe Lacey, a board member, gave much time to the details of the building, but the actual plans were prepared by an architect. Later a valuable painting was given to the Humane Society. The painting was sold for $9000. Subsequently, we received a bequest of $18,000 from Mrs. Mildred Wallace, A former resident of Montgomery, who knew of our work. In 1974 the city built the back kennel of the Mobile Highway shelter with the understanding that dogs picked up by dog control would be housed there. If unclaimed in 10 days they would be available for adoption. The building was supposed to become the property of the Humane Society in 1989, but only a few years after it was built the city gave it to us. Subsequently, Mrs. Earl Andrews gave a generous donation which enabled us to build a better facility to house puppies.
While we were grateful to have the Mobile Highway shelter, dilapidated conditions, cramped quarters for animals, the poor location of the shelter, and many other factors necessitated the need for the board to begin plans to build a new shelter. Were it not for the leadership and vision of Dr. Wesley Dunn, our current shelter on John Overton Drive would never have become a reality.
In 1993, money was pledged from the John Overton estate for our new building. Receipt of the money was contingent upon groundbreaking beginning on a specified date. Dr. Dunn, as board president and leader of a capital campaign drive to raise funds for the new shelter, organized committees to raise funds and to work with the architectural firm of Seay, Seay & Litchfield to design our new shelter. The Humane Society purchased 10 acres of land for the new facility with an additional 10 acres donated by Mr. Billy Newall. The building came to fruition through the generosity of the Overton Estate and countless caring citizens in the Montgomery community.
In the spring of 1995 the Shelter moved from the Mobile Highway to our current location on John Overton Drive.