News release from Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control:
Community Relations & Education Specialist Peggy A. Bender to Retire
(August 12, 2014) – Belinda Lewis, Director for Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control announced Tuesday that Community Relations & Education Specialist Peggy Bender will retire from the Department effective September 1, 2014.
Bender was hired as the shelter’s first Community Relations & Education Specialist in 1985 during a time when major changes to the city department and local animal ordinances were being made. For 29 years Bender has pioneered and established numerous outreach programs for the Department including signature fund-raising events, a Spay Neuter Assistance Program to assist limited-income pet owners, the Animal Care Teens Program, the KIND Club Program for teachers and children, nationally recognized animal safety education, and video programs such as The Scoop and the award winning KIND Club Show series. Many have come to know her through regular appearances on WANE TV News Channel 15’s Pet of the Week.
“Working for Animal Care & Control and for the welfare of animals will always be greater than a career,” said Bender. It’s been a cause and a passion that I’ve shared with some of the most caring and dedicated people that anyone could have the privilege to know. From professional colleagues to the animal-loving community kind enough to share their stories, laughter and tears and to the thousands of animals that I was blessed to help, each have given special moments and meaning to my life.”
“Our department and the community have been fortunate to have had Peggy serving in the position of Community Relations & Education Specialist for 29 years,” said Belinda Lewis, Director of Animal Care & Control. She has excelled in every endeavor and brought national recognition to our shelter for the many education and outreach programs she has developed during her career. She will be greatly missed.”
Bender will step down to work as a Creative Director in nonprofit video marketing. She will be replaced through the promotion of the current volunteer coordinator of six years, Jodi Hamilton. The public is invited to stop by Animal Care & Control on Friday, August 22 between 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. for a farewell reception.