ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - After a 9-month deployment in Afghanistan, the director of Kurth Memorial Animal Shelter said he’s ready to get to work serving his community in another way.
Aaron Ramsey serves in the U.S. Army Reserves and returned in June from his deployment. He spent a few weeks at Fort Hood for a processing period before spending a few weeks with his family. Assistant director Paula Taylor served as interim director while Ramsey was away.
“She had a lot on her plate,” Ramsey explained. “She did a great job during my absence, and I’m just looking forward to getting back to work.”
Ramsey said he was excited to be back from serving his country because it meant he got to work toward another passion of his: caring for abandoned and surrendered animals.
“It’s very hard to tell with a lot of animals that come in as strays, a lot of times they’re mixed-breed dogs, but they make wonderful, wonderful pets,” Ramsey said. “I always encourage people in the community: if you’re deciding to get a new animal come adopt from the shelter.”
One the goals Ramsey had before leaving for his latest deployment included examining Lufkin’s city ordinances that involve animal-related laws, which he believes need to be updated.
One such ordinance includes spay and neutering “repeat offenders” who are constantly picked up and brought to the shelter to ensure they don’t breed and add to the overpopulation of animals in the city.
Although the ordinances changes are important, the director said his first order of business, though, would be to examine the state of the shelter.
“Right now, my first goal is to see where the shelter is at,” Ramsey explained. “I want to take a look at the organization and get a feel for where we’re at so I can begin to make improvements again.”
All-in-all, the husband and father said there’s a common thread between his personal mission, whether its for his country or community.
“I’ve served in the military - both active and reserve duty - for over 23 years. That’s where my heart is; either serving my country or serving the citizens in the community. Also, the homeless animals in the community because they don’t have a voice like people.”