DERRY — A group of animals lovers is banding together to give a local Humane Society a fresh start.
The Greater Derry Humane Society is starting again with new ideas and new faces, but the same mission of helping animals in need.
The first public meeting of the reorganized group will be July 10 at the Marion Gerrish Community Center.
Last summer, the organization’s board of directors voted to end the all-volunteer organization after serving the Greater Derry area for 27 years.
That’s when a core group of volunteers jumped in to began a drive to keep some form of humane society intact in this area.
Longtime Humane Society volunteer and board member Paula Dunlavey said good things remained in the nonprofit’s corner to make the process of starting over much easier.
That included having a small amount of money remaining.
After the decision to disband, some money was distributed to other area animal rescue efforts.
The new group retained the original name and was also able to file the correct documentation with the state before the previous organization ended completely.
“That was very good for us,” Dunlavey said. “I think it’s difficult to start brand new. You have to have money,and you have to have a name. It can be very expensive.”
Many volunteers stayed on, Dunlavey said.
Clayton Grandstaff, 19, has volunteered with the group for more than five years. His family was a regular pet foster home.
He said he is happy the group is getting a new start.
“It’s awesome, and I love the group of people we’ve got,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll come back as strong as we used to be.”
Dunlavey said it’s been a lot of hard work, but the end result is well worth it.
“We’re so excited about it,” she said.