Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter (MOAS) Director Shaina Knight announced her resignation Monday.
Knight, who has served as director of the shelter for three years, said she is resigning her position to pursue other opportunities but remains a strong supporter of the shelter.
“I love MOAS, this is a personal decision that has nothing to do with the shelter; I just need to take a step back, but I will still be in there, offering my support, writing grants and doing other things to help out,” said Knight. “I feel like right now we need a director with fresh energy and our board (of directors) is committed to finding someone great.
“I guess the biggest point I want to get across is how immensely grateful I am for the community’s support of MOAS, I love the shelter more than anything and I hope the community will continue to support it as they have in the past, maybe even more now with the added stress of the pandemic upon us.”
And Knight urged pet owners to continue to spay and neuter their pets.
“You know we do about 3,200 spay/neuter surgeries in our clinic each year and we are still dealing with a heavy pet overpopulation in this area,” she said. “So please support the shelter in any way that you can and help us curb the pet overpopulation.”
Knight’s resignation is effective Sept. 7.
“Our hearts are heavy today at MOAS, as we announce the departure of our amazing director,” MOAS board president Sherrie Hines said. “Shaina is resigning to pursue other opportunities and take a well-deserved break from the stresses of animal rescue. We know she'll be moving on to bigger and better things, but we can't help but be heartbroken to see her go. Shaina has done an absolutely phenomenal job running the shelter and has achieved so much in the three years that she's been with us.”
Hines said Knight has dramatically reduced the shelter’s euthanasia rate, secured numerous grants to provide free spay/neuter surgeries to help reduce pet overpopulation and has made MOAS a model animal shelter in the region—all while maintaining the utmost levels of animal care.
“On behalf of our board, our staff, our volunteers, and our many supporters, I cannot possibly thank Shaina enough for all of her hard work, and I know that we all wish her all of the best in her future endeavors,” Hines said. “Shaina is a passionate and skilled animal advocate, and we know that she will be a leader wherever she goes.”
Hines said she encourages everyone to let Knight know how much she will be missed and to thank her for her dedication to the animals in this community.
In the meantime, the MOAS board has begun advertising for a new shelter director and hopes to bring someone on board as soon as possible to continue the important work of the shelter in the community.
“While Shaina will leave incredibly large shoes to fill, the board is committed to conducting a national search to find the best possible candidate to take over the leadership of our shelter,” she said. “Shaina and her team have helped MOAS grow in leaps and bounds, and the board is looking for an experienced and enthusiastic individual who can build on all of the great work that Shaina has done and who will be a great fit for our team and our community.”
Interested applicants can learn more about the position and apply online at www.moaspets.com/shelter-director.
Hines said despite the transition, there will be no interruption in services to the community and that the staff, volunteers and the board of directors are dedicated to the shelter’s mission of caring for stray and unwanted pets and providing spay/neuter and other low cost services.
“The board is extremely thankful for and proud of the efforts of all of our staff as we work through this difficult transition,” Hines noted. “Current Shelter Manager Lorah Patman will be leading the shelter in the interim, and we are confident that she will be able to continue to provide the high level of care and services that our community has come to expect from MOAS.”