photo by: Joselyn King
WHEELING — The “dog days of summer” inspired Williams Lea employees in Wheeling to help the canines — and the kitties — living at the Ohio County Animal Shelter with needed supplies.
During the month of July, Shelter Director Nelson Croft visited the Williams Lea offices each week, bringing with him dogs and cats that were available for adoption at the shelter. The employees had their chance to meet and bond with the animals.
Before the month was over, the employees had raised more than $1,200 in cash and donated items for the dogs and cats. Not only that, but six of the animals found permanent homes with smitten employees.
On Friday, Croft and friendly pit bull “Bob Smith” again stopped by the offices to pick up the donations, with Bob delivering a few sloppy licks as a thank you.
Michael Santamaria, marketing director at Williams Lea, said employees with the company are involved in the community. About 600 work at the offices in downtown Wheeling.
“We like to do things with the community, and I think the employees enjoy doing them,” he said.
It’s also good for morale when the animals come to visit, he acknowledged.
“We have pictures of everyone coming down during lunch to sit with the animals,” Santamaria said. “It definitely picks up the morale.
“I’m just proud of the team that got involved. They donated their own time and money to support this cause.”
He credited senior account manager Angela Schaeffer with the idea for Williams Lea helping the animal shelter.
“We reached out to our staff, and really spearheaded this event. It was very successful,” Schaeffer said. “Even those working from home mailed donations from Amazon in to us. It was such a successful event for our employees and the community.
“The morale was wonderful. I talked to so many people who said their day may have been stressed, or having a bad day. But once they interacted with the dogs it really turned their day around. It was very much like a couple hours of therapy. It was great.”
Croft said the pit bull Bob had been a stray found on Wheeling Island, and he estimated the dog to be about a year old.
He added the shelter is very thankful for the donations it receives.
“Most of the products we use at the shelter are donated,” Croft said. “So we can save money that way, and use that money for other projects.
“The county commission is very generous to us and takes excellent care of the shelter. But when people do things like this, that money we would spend on bleach and food can be used for different projects and finding the dogs homes and everything.”
The shelter is always in need of such items as bleach, cleaning products, pet food and towels.
Those wanting to adopt an animal or donate to the shelter should visit the facility at 7011 National Road in Triadelphia, or call 304-547-1013.