Skip to main content

North Hills Monthly

Animal Friends Celebrates 10 Years in the North Hills

Mar 03, 2016 09:00PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine

Kathy Hecker

A Letter from the CEO:

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 10 years since Animal Friends moved from the Strip District to our home in Ohio Township!  It sounds so cliché, but it feels like only yesterday . . .

I was asked recently to share my fondest memory of our move to the Caryl Gates Gluck Resource Center. I remember thinking what an easy question to answer! Hands down, my favorite memory is the day we transported the animals from the Strip District to the new center. After months of careful planning to devise the least disruptive way to move nearly 100 animals–some of them elderly, some of them ill and all of them certainly confused–the day came to load them into the caravan of waiting vehicles. Once here, we placed them in their new spaces. Then we waited. And we watched. Hopeful that we got it right.

Then it happened. One by one, the animals sniffed and circled, checking out their new spaces… and then simply curled up and laid down. That was when I knew we had succeeded.

Celebrating this milestone also reminds me of the important people who have made our many successes possible. They have supplied ample amounts of energy, vision, tenacity and commitment. And, as time rolls along, we are faced with the inevitable, bittersweet good-byes of these people who have been so integral to our success. Kathy Hecker is certainly one of them.

Kathy Hecker began her tenure with Animal Friends in 1992 and deserves the credit for the creation of our Humane Investigations Department. Through her leadership and role as our Humane Society police officer, Kathy changed the face of animal welfare in our region. It’s nearly impossible to measure the sheer number of lives she has affected in her 24 years of service. From the thousands of animals she has rescued to the education she has shared in our communities, she will certainly be missed. We thank her for her dedication and wish her only the best on her retirement.

So as we celebrate Animal Friends’ anniversary at our Camp Horne Road location, we also celebrate the many people–like Kathy–who have made it possible. To our staff, volunteers and to you, our supporters, thank you for believing in a more humane and compassionate community for all of our animal friends.

In appreciation,

David J. Swisher
President & Chief Executive Officer
Animal Friends