MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare's new director spent the first day on the job listening.
Sarah Tenon had a meet and greet at the Bibb County Courthouse Monday. She wanted to hear community concerns and answer questions before heading to her new office. First on her agenda is listening; listening to the community and listening to her staff.
"I want to meet with my staff. Look at our hours of operation, our employee schedule and just look and see how we can better serve our community," Tenon said.
The Hawkinsville native has been working in animal shelters for nearly 24 years and said she believes close ties with rescue groups are important. She said she had good relationships with several groups in Mobile Alabama, where she most recently served as the director at Mobile County Animal Control.
"I definitely can't wait to work with our rescue organizations to help placing some of the animals we have in the community. I want to network with rescue groups to help to reduce the number of healthy animals that we have to euthanize and connect with the community to promote spaying and neutering," Tenon said.
Once she hears from the rescue groups and her staff, she's not opposed to modifying shelter times and other policies to fit everyone's needs. Larry Bunge, a volunteer with All About Animals is looking forward to the changes. Bunge and his wife volunteer with several animal groups in the Middle Georgia area. He says the recent parvo outbreaks, fumigation and other issues at Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare concern him.
"We've been hoping that someone will come along and help the situation," Bunge said.
After talking with Tenon on Monday, Bunge believes she may just be the right one for the job.
"I like her. She has a nice smile, she's very friendly, has a good attitude and lots of experience," Bunge said.
The new animal welfare director is not a stranger to Macon. Tenon worked at the Bibb County Shelter back in 2008. She said she left the job to move back home and help support her family.
"That job opening was available and I took it to be closer with my mom before she died," Tenon said.
The new director turns 49 on Tuesday and said that it feels like everything is coming full circle. She's worked at seven different animal shelters and hopes this one will be her last.